The Joy o' Kanji Essays

Show: Sort:
increasingly
JOK: 2120
Discover the shocking roots of the language and people of Japan (i.e., Yayoi versus Jomon). Find out about Buddhist figures and terms that have eluded you. And learn to say, “They hooted at his suggestion,” “That makes you even more attractive,” “That’s nothing more than a temporary remedy,” and “The origins of (certain) kanji will make your hair stand on end with fear.”
illustrate
JOK: 2122
Learn to compare life to climbing a mountain, to a stage, and to a voyage, while likening death to sleep. Discover the Japanese metaphor for being unable to use one’s talents in a new environment. Find out how to use “torii,” “bow and arrow,” and “bread” to stand for larger entities, along with “mountain” and “temple” in certain regions. Also see what alchemy and lemons represent in Japan.
gush
JOK: 2124
With 湧, you can talk about hot springs and cool pools. You will discover a famous group of springs at the foot of Fuji and will see how marketers associate brands and products with words for "springs." You'll also encounter a wealth of figurative expressions about things that emerge (e.g., a flood of ideas) and that come out of nowhere, whether storm clouds or enemy soldiers.
fertile
JOK: 2127
Learn to talk about fertile land, as well as a “fertile field” of thought. Learn to say, “Rich soil yields abundant crops” and “Where there used to be a fertile plain, there is nothing but a wasteland now.” Also find out about iodine—the terms for it, the human need for it, and the special Japanese relationship to this trace mineral. Finally, discover a psychoactive plant once used in magic brews!
kidnap
JOK: 2128
Find out all about the bizarre "abduction issue" in Japan, a mystery that has persisted for decades. Delve into questions about the origins of ramen and various ways of representing that word. Discover a manga character inspired by noodles! Learn to use 拉 to indicate that you've been crushed by misfortune or weighed down by worries. And see how such random meanings all connect to 拉.
indigo
JOK: 2130
Indigo became important in Japan partly because commoners couldn’t wear silk and instead chose cotton. Farmers’ indigo work togs shaped the creative inclinations of a contemporary dyer who loves to wrestle with indigo’s “persona.” A term for “temple” is inside a word for “pelican,” just as “cabbage” lies inside “kale” and “brussels sprouts.” The essay unravels all of these mysteries.
afraid; tremble
JOK: 2132
Learn to talk about what makes people shake like a leaf, including horror movies. Find out how to say, “They were horrified by the news,” “She was trembling with fear,” “The news of the bizarre accident made TV viewers shudder,” “In a shaking voice she cried, ‘Help!’” and “The armed hijackers terrified the passengers.” Also read about the time Japanese forces fought in India.
companion
JOK: 2133
Adults who are determined to be together for life, soulmates who reconnect with each reincarnation, pets who are steadfast companions—侶 brings us all that love, as well as the loss of love when death separates life partners. Find out how priests fit into the picture, see how one priest wants temples to be entertainment centers, and learn to say “sexual abstinence” and “secular burial.”
plain
JOK: 2134
If you appreciate things that are easy to understand, 瞭 is for you. It enables you to talk about clear explanations and user-friendly products, as well as things that are obvious, including the results of tests, someone’s romantic feelings, and secret alliances between countries. Learn to say, “Your opinion is off the mark. That’s clear to anyone” and “Will you please explain it more clearly?”
lapis lazuli
JOK: 2135
Find out why {search[瑠璃](るり)} can represent glass, as well as the mineral lapis lazuli and the bright blue color of that stone. Using {search瑠璃} people convey the blueness of everything from our planet as seen from space to the hue of flowers, birds, butterflies, and one kind of cockroach! Lapis is even the color of courage! Also learn about the performing art known as joruri, and see how it relates to puppet theater.
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.
×