The Joy o' Kanji Essays

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JOK: 1457
Find out about drunken boxing and a coinage for "wasted on arrival in Japan." Discover how to get cats drunk and what to dilute drinks with to avoid hangovers. Learn to say, "After several drinks, the guy was feeling no pain," "The drunk staggered up to him," "He was put under anesthesia," "Don't you tend to get carsick?" and "You will be intoxicated by this elegant space."
JOK: 1458
Journey to the dark side with terms for attempted crimes, learning to say, “He is accused of attempted robbery.” Then move to the sunny side with positive keywords about achieving things. Sample sentences include, “Come what may, I am determined to accomplish it,” “I will do it at all costs,” “He is equal to the task,” and “He persisted in accomplishing his original plan.”
ear (of a plant)
JOK: 1460
How do a cattail, calligraphy pen, and fishing rod relate to 穂? When an ear of rice hangs low, what does that figuratively mean in Japan? How about a grafted plant? Which name for Japan means 'Land of Abundant Rice'? Why would a faucet be compared to a rice plant on Amazon? Which French painting related to grain is famous in Japan? Read the essay to find all these answers and more!
JOK: 1461
This essay teaches you how to complain about vague comments, ambiguous replies, obscure explanations, uncertain stances, and lax attitudes. Moreover, the text touches on the role of ambiguity in Japanese culture, "aimai" accents in Japan, and disambiguation in computer contexts. Also find out about an unexpected connection between Oscar Wilde and Yukio Mishima!
JOK: 1462
This kanji can represent opposites—both obeying orders and doing as one pleases! Learn to say, “I traveled wherever my fancy took me,” “The small boat drifted at the mercy of the waves,” and “The orchid has an extremely vivid color.” Also find out how to say, “Our techniques are unrivaled,” “This plan comes with a problem” and “It seems a long way from here to the town.”
JOK: 1463
By learning the figurative senses of “bone marrow” terms, you will grasp the role of 髄 in sentences that mean “A novel has true spirit when it reflects a state of mind” and “The most important part of that picture lies in the person's shadow.” Learn to say, “He is rotten to the core,” “Brevity is the soul of wit,” “the essence of aikido,” and “His article does not get to the essential point.”
JOK: 1464
The bolt called 枢 (くるる) slides into the cavity called 枢 (とぼそ), just as the knob called 枢 (とまら) fits into the hole called 枢 (とぼそ)! This apparent brain teaser actually supplies early meanings of 枢, which came to play a role in words for central things, ranging from the central nervous system to the center of political power. This kanji also pops up in terms for “Axis powers” and “axis of evil”!
JOK: 1467
Native to Japan, this towering tree lives 500 years - and more than two millennia on one island! Living cedars may be seen as sacred, receiving attention even from the emperor. Meanwhile, felled cedars turn into everything from soy sauce barrels to "magewappa." Discover unexpected relationships between cedar and saké, as well as between postwar reconstruction and pollenosis.
JOK: 1468
This kanji, which symbolizes the hills that some crop farmers make in fields, belongs squarely in the agricultural realm. However, 畝 also represents ridges in knit items, ribbed fabric, and the like, and therefore has a firm presence in the sphere of shopping! Plus, the Japanese once used 畝 as a measurement of areas. Finally, this kanji pops up in names, notably that of one heroic man.
JOK: 1470
Why have the Japanese worshipped well water, shouted down wells, and jokingly called the Edo era the "Ido" era? How do people use the shape of a well in everything from kimono cloth to business slang? How does 井 figure into economic and political discussions? Find out all of this and much more, including the role of wells in folktales, proverbs, and Haruki Murakami's fiction.
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