The Joy o' Kanji Essays

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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.
JOK: 1640
From edamame to natto to tofu, Japan abounds in bean dishes. Learn about the most popular beans in Japan (unexpectedly named 小豆 and 大豆!), one of which is even popular with foxes! Find out which piece of furniture 豆 used to represent, as well as alternate meanings of 豆. Also discover its role as a radical in kanji such as 豊 (790: plentiful). Finally, learn a Japanese insult that involves tofu!
JOK: 1641
This kanji takes things to extremes. In sentences with 到, people attain goals, writers complete long novels, and hikers reach mountaintops. You'll hear that marriage proposals and fan letters arrived in a flood. You'll find out about people whose research is beyond reproach. You'll also learn 3 adverbs meaning "at last" and will get a grip (at last!) on how they differ.
fall over
JOK: 1643
This kanji is full of instability. If you fall to the floor, fall ill, fall to a better team, or have your government's cabinet fall, this is the kanji to use. You can also use it if you fell a boxing opponent, wrestle an attacker to the ground, or simply collapse a car seat. When you turn anything on its head, from a Spanish exclamation point (¡) to a change in the word order of a sentence, this kanji can again help you discuss that state of affairs.
peach tree
JOK: 1646
See how peaches connect to pregnancy, epidemics, instability, a hairstyle, Shangri-la, and Osamu Dazai. Discover why 桃 is in terms for plum, cherry, apricot, walnut, almond, and tonsil! Learn the origin of the era name Azuchi-Momoyama. Rethink a folktale; was the hero Momotaro a thief? Learn to say, "Cherries are ripe in June," "My tonsils are swollen," and "Her cheeks were a light pink."
JOK: 1650
While enjoying gorgeous photos of pottery that only Japanese clay and firing techniques can produce, you'll gain a sense of what pottery means to the Japanese, from its use in daily life to its Zen connections. You'll also learn how to say not only "pottery" and "potter" in Japanese but also "He made me who I am today" and "I'm drunk on music."
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