The Joy o' Kanji Essays

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resemble
JOK: 1391
Learn to talk about painted portraits, as well as abstract ones (e.g., a portrait of age 17). Find out how the idea of being inferior to one's parents spawned a word with many meanings, including a humble first-person pronoun. See how luck is considered contagious, and learn how a verb expressing this can also mean 'to follow someone's example' and 'to be named after.'
marsh
JOK: 1395
Learn to talk about bogging down in paperwork or endless war. Find out how to refer to an Instagram addict and a recession that threatens to become a quagmire. See how 沼 relates to 沢 (marsh), 湖 (lake), and 瓊 (beautiful ball)! Learn derogatory slang involving 沼. Find out about a man whose policy decisions increased bribery and famine in Japan. And see how methane can clear the mind.
good omen
JOK: 1398
This kanji takes us on quite a ride, from good omens to scandals ("unlucky things," according to the kanji) to discussions of origins and birthplaces (e.g., of reiki, golf, or a "super embankment"). Learn to say that Osaka is the birthplace of "conveyor belt" sushi, and find out about a crazy theory that Noah's Ark departed from Japan, making that country the birthplace of world civilization!
introduce
JOK: 1400
Find out about “stealth marketing” and legitimate articles versus advertorial. See why one term for “employment agency” sounds offensive to people. Learn about a man who brought an unlikely sport to Japan. Discover what happens if you see a doctor at a large Japanese hospital with no letter of introduction. Along the way learn a bit about hairy litchi and the origins of takoyaki!
detailed
JOK: 1409
Through this essay you'll learn how to ask in Japanese for further details, say that an artist is unknown, and mention that Apple sued several unidentified individuals. You'll also be able to say, "It's natural that he knows a lot about Miles Davis," "Are you familiar with this area?" and "The prime minister elaborated on the financial crisis." With these details (詳), you'll know 詳 well (詳しい)!
patent
JOK: 1410
From statues and commemorative coins to Nobel Prizes and Employee-of-the-Month awards, people honor achievements in many ways - even with edible testimonials! From this essay you'll learn the relevant Japanese vocabulary, the salient facts about two dramatic chapters in history (the Horeki River Improvement and the Shogitai), and the figurative usage of "yoke" in Japanese.
reef
JOK: 1413
Reefs lurk underwater, just waiting to cause shipwrecks, and the very components of 礁 may point to sailors’ anxiety about this. Read about fish that change gender, the connection between coral and fences, the reason some coral reefs are circular, and what a reef in outer space represents. Learn a kanji for “off the coast of.” And best of all, see what it means figuratively to run aground.
bell
JOK: 1414
Do you know the difference between a 鐘 and a 鈴? Hint: Each bell has a different religious affiliation! Do you know which parts of a bell are associated with dragons, colts, and breasts? Do you know how to eat a bell? Do you know why they ring temple bells 108 times? Do you know what it means to strike an alarm bell figuratively? Read the essay, and you'll soon know all of this!
stature
JOK: 1415
The simple-looking 丈 is a "coatrack" on which scads of meanings hang. Our kanji lies at the heart of 大丈夫 (okay), in terms conveying strength, and in several adverbs. Moreover, 丈 plays a key role in measurements of height (e.g., of people) and length (especially of clothes). Thanks to the last meaning, 丈 is in the name of an island famous for silks, drumming, and unreal beauty.
superfluous
JOK: 1416
Learn to joke around in Japanese and to say, “He was amused at my joke,” “I said so jokingly, but she got angry,” and “His joke eased the tension in the room.” Find out how to talk about excess verbiage, as with “This sentence is too wordy” and “I eliminated redundancies.” Discover terms for on-the-job uselessness and excess, as in “I’m swamped with unnecessary work.”
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