The Joy o' Kanji Essays

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fell (an enemy)
JOK: 1707
See how trees can be difficult! Find out why marketers emphasize that products have been made from wood felled in thinning the forest, and discover the thinking behind thinning forests at all. Then explore figurative uses of 伐 in terms about savage behavior, punitive expeditions to subjugate rebels, and the conquest of other countries. Also learn about a Japanese Robin Hood!
paddy ridge
JOK: 1713
Find out how the Japanese use a ridge between rice fields metaphorically to represent other objects. Learn to say all of the following: “Today we plan to stay at the riverside hotel,” “Many flowers are blooming on the riverbank,” “The English capital, London, is on the Thames,” “The old church by the lake is very beautiful,” and “He gave us a tour around the lake.”
sell
JOK: 1715
Find out the staggering range of items that Japanese vending machines sell (including eggs!), as well as several terms for such machines. Learn to say that a type of car is on the market or will soon be (which requires a different word!), retailing for a certain amount, though a sales promotion will bring a discount. Scads of photos reinforce the most important 販 terms.
conveyor
JOK: 1716
Learn to talk about transporting everything from people who need medical care to felled trees. See how martial arts relate to emergency services. And find out how to say, “We’ll carry out furniture and household appliances later,” “A train can transport huge amounts of cargo,” “The man is loading the moving truck,” and “Software portability gives many companies an advantage.”
partition
JOK: 1718
One shrine is handing out sweets. Other shrines sell amulets or magic beans. The essay contains signs with details about such offerings because 頒 represents the way in which people distribute goods. That includes printed matter; sample sentences are about disseminating manga at the Comic Market, handing out brochures at City Hall, and publishing stories in booklet form.
queen
JOK: 1724
Think you know what a princess is? This essay, which is largely organized around photos, illuminates the meanings of “princess,” “empress,” and “crown princess”; 妃 versus 姫; “regnant” versus “consort”; and much more. We look closely at Japan’s imperial household (especially Princess Masako), as well as royalty in Britain and France, even touching on Monaco and Manchuria!
exposed
JOK: 1726
With 披, it's as if trumpets have sounded. This kanji enables you to unveil plans, make announcements, debut songs, and show what you're capable of doing. Connected with introductions, displays, and performances, 披 pops up in contexts ranging from weddings to kabuki and Noh to sumo. But this kanji also has a sensitive side; with 披 you can pour out your innermost feelings.
shabby
JOK: 1727
Because 卑 means 'base, lowly, vile, vulgar, mean,' it acquaints us with uncouth human behavior. Then again, 卑 can also mean 'humble' (i.e., the opposite of 'arrogant'), which is definitely a positive quality, especially in Japan. With this essay you'll learn Japanese words for "self-deprecation," "vulgarity," "despicable," "low class," and "coward." You'll also encounter an expression that means "Too much humility is pride." After reading about 卑, you'll even know how to say, "my humble opinion," which is kind of like IMHO, but not quite!
door
JOK: 1730
Knowing 扉 will open doors for you! Learn about 扉 as a door to buildings, cabinets, shrines, and even trucks. Discover how the Japanese associate 扉, 戸, and ドア with different types of doors. See how 扉 works as a metaphorical door to the heart, the unknown world, and more. And find out how doors can connect to a goddess, book layouts, filleting methods, and even executions of war criminals.
tombstone
JOK: 1731
Japan abounds in stone monuments of all types. They commemorate individual lives, wars, peace, loyal service, and "aha!" moments that came to poets. By considering the spectrum of stone markers in Japan, we can understand what people have cared about and have sought to preserve. Don't miss this photo-rich essay, which looks at Japan from a very different angle.
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