The Joy o' Kanji Essays

Show: Sort:
Search for essays:
JOK: 1620
Embankments save lives and could even be why we have government! But they're so well integrated into landscapes that you could walk on an embankment and not know it. See why Japan has built these structures for millennia. (A folktale particularly brings the topic to life.) Also find out about embankment stew, tsutsumi dolls, 'super embankments,' and a "battleship seawall."
JOK: 1624
Woodwind instruments have played a prominent role in Europe (e.g., the Pied Piper), but what about Asia? Find out about bamboo flutes in Shinto music, Noh theater, gagaku (old court music), hunting, and old-time candy peddling. Read about a bamboo instrument that resembles a phoenix and may express a ray of heavenly light! Also learn about a whistle that you'll hear only in Japan.
JOK: 1625
Do you know what it means to be pinched by a fox?! And do you know the Japanese for "bar snack" (which is also the term for "knob, handle")? How would you talk about picking strawberries? Learning about 摘 will give you access to this vocabulary. With 摘, you can also zero in on the fundamental aspects of something - or on people's errors! With 摘, 'picking' often turns into 'nitpicking'!
JOK: 1626
With 滴 you can talk about dewdrops and eyedrops, fogged and rain-spattered windows, rain dripping off roofs, sweaty foreheads, IV drips, waterproof items, dripping-wet towels, meadows overflowing with freshness, drops of ink, and teardrop-shaped jewelry. Learn to say, "I felt a drop of rain." Also discover how three drops of water mysteriously fall from a shrine roof every day.
JOK: 1627
Have you longed to see certain politicians get the ax? This kanji enables that to happen! The Japanese mainly associate 迭 with political shakeups (so you'll learn to say, "Minister Tanaka's 'resignation' was actually a dismissal"), but the essay also includes sentences about nonpolitical firings. You'll find 迭 in Amazon Japan synopses of episodes of several TV shows (e.g., House of Cards).
go through
JOK: 1629
This tenacious kanji takes you through from start to finish, enabling you to say, "I have to work all night" and "do-or-die resistance." Also learn to say, "I recommend a thorough checkup," "If you learn English, study it thoroughly," and "You're a complete misanthrope. In addition, discover the Japanese for "Why don't you stick to what you've set out to do?" and "obstinacy of old age."
JOK: 1630
See how Shigeru Mizuki discussed retreating troops in his manga about the war. Learn the Japanese for retracting words and reversing decisions. Find out what to write when leaving online arguments in Japanese and how to say, “We decided to withdraw from the restaurant business,” “She advocated equal rights for women,” and “The posters were immediately removed from the wall.”
Big Dipper
JOK: 1633
The dipper kanji helps you hold your liquor! That is, its core meaning is "dipper," a device to scoop saké. (It means "dipper" in the constellation sense, too!) Using 斗, we can also measure large quantities of that saké. By studying 斗, we find out about noshi. And that's not all! The 斗 shape is a ryakuji (a simplified form of more complex kanji), as well as a radical.
JOK: 1636
If you want to talk about crossing bridges, emigrating, people ranging in age from 18 to 25, possessing an heirloom for generations, a room that looks out onto the ocean, handing someone paper, extraditing criminals, advancing wages, or bouncing a check, you'll need the indispensable 渡! Find out about all these structures, as well as a deadly form of transit that some Japanese once used!
JOK: 1639
Through 怒 one can learn about the transformative power of anger - namely, what it does to the body. (Nothing attractive.) Find out, too, about ways of flying into a rage and of shouting (with the help of a bird!). If rage turns you on, there's also information about making people angry. Finally, explore the differences between おこる and いかる, the two yomi of the verb 怒る. Both mean "to get angry," but beyond that, they diverge in unexpected ways.
Kanshudo is your AI Japanese tutor, and your constant companion on the road to mastery of the Japanese language. To get started learning Japanese, just follow the study recommendations on your Dashboard. You can use Quick search (accessible using the icon at the top of every page) to look up any Japanese word, kanji or grammar point, as well as to find anything on Kanshudo quickly. For an overview, take the tour.