The Joy o' Kanji Essays

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JOK: 1248
See how the four Joyo yomi of 更 will take you in very different directions. With ふ•ける and ふ•かす, you can stay up late. With さら, you can talk about what's new. By adding hiragana to さら, you produce adverbs, such as one for 'furthermore.' Finally, コウ means 'change' in terms for 'renewal,' 'revision,' and 'rehabilitation.' As a bonus, learn what it means to change clothes in Japan!
agreement
JOK: 1250
You’ll be nodding your head in agreement as you discover terms for “consent” and “affirmation,” as well as “self-esteem.” Learn to say, “The author received a bunch of positive reviews,” “The answer was yes,” “There are many positive opinions about the original plan,” “I cannot agree with that opinion,” and “He nodded as he listened attentively to my speech.”
constancy
JOK: 1251
Find out what's "fixed" about a star - and why a planet conversely seems confused! Then come back to Earth to focus on steady livelihoods, annual events, constant wars, and permanent peace. See how "constant river sand" traveled from India through China into Buddhism and even further from there. And learn how a poisoning scandal from 1955 could help Fukushima victims.
flood
JOK: 1252
Learn how floods pose a serious threat in ultra-rainy Japan, which now has the world's largest underground flood-prevention facility. Find out how to talk about real and figurative floods. Hear Okinawan "flood myths," and see what the Japanese say about Noah's flood. Examine 洪 in the names of a huge bell, famous ship, well-known doctor, star athlete, and two countries.
fragrance
JOK: 1255
With a plethora of photos, this essay shows how 香 conveys the scent of everything from coffee to flowers in signs from around the globe. This kanji also means "incense" (which has played an important role in Japanese culture and religion for centuries), as well as 'perfume' (which hasn't). On top of that, 香 factors into two notable place names and some food terms. It's even a radical!
disconcerted
JOK: 1259
With 慌 we can talk about someone who is late, careless, or flustered. The same kanji helps us discuss mass panic about the economy or about an earthquake. See how the kun-yomi zooms in on the individual and how the on-yomi relates to the public. Learn to say, “The question threw him off,” “One needn’t panic,” and “Because he acts hastily, he’s likely to jump to conclusions.”
wring (out)
JOK: 1261
The 絞 kanji affords access to practical devices, such as juice squeezers and garlic presses. This kanji also introduces us to Japanese tie-dyeing. But 絞 really comes to life with its figurative uses, enabling us to put the screws on someone, squeeze money out of people, zero in on something, weed out applicants, and rack our brains. See what it means to strangle slowly with a silk cord.
magnificent
JOK: 1271
Certain people stand out because they have strength of character, courage, free spirits, and loads of talent. We also tend to notice wealthy and powerful sorts, as well as the luxurious places they enjoy. Knowing 豪 gives us copious ways of talking about such people and places. It also pops up in words for “heavy drinker,” “torrential rain,” and “Australia.”
marriage
JOK: 1278
This essay puts a finger on the pulse of current anxieties about finding a spouse in an "herbivore" nation. Quizzes reveal just how many types of marriage and divorce there can be. Photos showcase picture brides and Shinto weddings. The essay abounds in terms related to engagements, fancy or toned-down ceremonies, shotgun weddings, honeymoons, and anniversary gifts.
navy blue
JOK: 1279
Discover how dark blue connects to the police and navy. Find out why a term for “dyer” includes 紺, what it means for dyers to “wear white,” and where Dyers Alley is. Learn about great kinds of blue kasuri, find out how horned blue demons differ from other types, see what you get when eggplant mixes with dark blue, and learn the origins of “Prussian blue” and “ultramarine.”
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