The Joy o' Kanji Essays

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however
JOK: 1559
With 但 you can control others! When it means "provided that you do what I say," 但 enables you to lay down rules for other people's behavior! You can also use it to hedge your bets and cite exceptions to rules, saying things like "Free shipping! Remote islands excluded." Side discussions cover ways of interpreting and representing ただ, as well as the grammar of "if-then" statements.
rust; vermilion
JOK: 1563
Find out which hues 丹 represents. (It’s complicated!) Learn to use 丹 to discuss great effort and careful work. See how a mineral gave rise to the shape and meaning of our kanji, and find out why the ancient Chinese fatally consumed this mineral in the pursuit of immortality. Also see why the Japanese revere the peony, and read about its connection to mochi, windfalls, and shrimp.
gall bladder
JOK: 1564
Find out how 胆 and 肝 (liver) enjoy an incredibly close relationship. They're often interchangeable and collectively serve as a metaphor for profound compatibility. These organs supposedly work together to govern our minds and hearts, with the gallbladder supplying courage. Learn about a long-standing theory that bodily fluids such as bile even determine personality traits.
podium
JOK: 1571
An altar may be the spiritual center of a Buddhist household, but that doesn't mean it can't be heavily marketed. By studying text and photos used to sell all styles of household altars, you'll become an altar expert. Enjoy colorful photos of temple altars from Malaysia to Japan. Also find out about Edo-era execution methods and how they relate to a figurative expression used today.
immature
JOK: 1576
Although 稚 means 'immature' or 'childish,' this kanji often represents very young people who are no more to blame for their lack of readiness than half-baked bread is. Learn ways of saying things like "They were too naive to understand." Also discover the context behind kids in a festival procession who wear silk costumes and heavy makeup and who may be called "divine children."
regularity
JOK: 1580
The 秩 kanji represents a type of orderliness way beyond the Marie Kondo kind. A life can be in order, though a sentence in the essay demonstrates what can happen: "His well-ordered life collapsed when his alcoholic brother showed up." Societies can be orderly, thanks to internalized social mores, the police, or martial law. Even the whole world has an order. Find out about all of this via 秩.
open sea
JOK: 1583
This kanji brings us into fascinating realms, including an island so sacred that women are forbidden to enter, offshore earthquakes that cause tsunamis, and World War II battles that the Japanese still analyze for their lessons about failure. Above all, studying 沖 takes us to Okinawa, whose distinctive culture bears the influences of surrounding nations. As such, it is the birthplace of karate!
inmost
JOK: 1585
With this short, energetic essay you'll learn the following things: * How to express sympathy when someone loses a close relative or a business. * Mnemonics for distinguishing 衷 from two look-alikes. * Words related to compromises and happy mediums. * How to talk about styles that blend East and West. * Terms that sound like sneezes!
stop over
JOK: 1587
This character once involved controlling horses. Now 駐 enables people to control cars and bikes (especially in terms of parking) and even to control each other! Using 駐, you can say that a company has posted you to Japan or that the government has stationed troops in a war-torn country. With 駐, you can also speak of envoys, such as the Japanese ambassador to France.
challenge
JOK: 1589
This kanji has three sides to its personality. One part is ambitious; you can use 挑 for setting world records, trying skydiving, launching a spacecraft, or just challenging yourself with an exam. Another aspect of 挑 causes trouble, enabling you to have a defiant attitude and challenge others (even bears!) to a fight. The final side is sexual; with 挑, you can turn people on!
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