The Joy o' Kanji Essays

Show: Sort:
Search for essays:
best regards
JOK: 1134
With 宜 we can talk about timing (e.g., We provide timely information), convenience (e.g., For convenience I’m including everyone on this email), and suitability (e.g., Do as you see fit). The kanji also pops up in greetings (e.g., Say hello to your sister for me), phrases about permission (e.g., May I come and see you tomorrow?), and advice (e.g., It would be better to tear it down).
chrysanthemum
JOK: 1141
Chrysanthemums are all-important in Japan. The imperial chrysanthemum seal pops up on coins, passports, and battleships. People eat these flowers, drink them, and dress dolls with them. There are mum festivals and a chrysanthemum month. We find 菊 in the names of movies, animals, and a stone. It has worked its way into folklore and is even in slang for a body part!
cram
JOK: 1144
The kanji 詰 shows up in word after word about feeling stuck, being at a loss, arriving at a dead end, giving someone little space (emotionally speaking), and packing people into a tight place. Learn how to talk about being "jam-packed" (think of a Tokyo subway at rush hour), feeling "ill at ease," and being "at a loss for words."
twist
JOK: 1151
Bringing together strands of yarn seems harmless, but with 糾 this act can be menacing. Once just a depiction of twisting strands into a rope, 糾 now also involves criminal investigations, interrogations, and denunciations. The essay explores all that and touches on a dam in the works since 1947, a government policy of abandoning those in need, and communist influence on Japan.
refuse
JOK: 1154
Sometimes you just have to say no. With 拒 you can turn down requests and offers (e.g., marriage proposals), refuse to pay or to take money, reject advice, and refuse to go places. You can also use 拒 to say, "I refuse to answer the question," "The government refuses to bow to public pressure," “They denied asylum to refugees,” and "She automatically dismisses talk of the supernatural."
void
JOK: 1156
In 虚 we find a hollow space, though it's often filled with lies. As such, it pops up in words about bluffs, false fronts, and vanity, as well as emptiness, both emotional and physical. When an effort is in vain, leading to nothing, 虚 again enables us to express that. Learn about its surprising relationship to 実. Also find out why you should never choose a spouse who has a 虚業!
situation
JOK: 1163
Do you know how to say, “I don’t like grilled fish, let alone raw fish,” “The market deteriorated, so our inventory piled up,” or “Please let me know the status”? Through this essay you’ll learn all that, plus ways of talking about the business climate, booms and busts, live broadcasts, events packed with people, and more. Also find out how a term for “urgent state of affairs” connects to sumo.
gorge
JOK: 1164
In a nation of islands separated by straits that can be dangerously rough, geography is a vivid reality. The most common 峡 word by far is 海峡 (strait), so this photo-studded essay mainly looks at significant Japanese straits and at the bridges, whirlpools, and important events associated with them. You will emerge from this essay with a much sharper sense of Japanese geography!
put between
JOK: 1165
Find out why several places are called Fusabami, what it means to "discuss something across a table," and what to call attacks from two sides. Learn how one powerful verb can refer to sandwiching something or to filling that sandwich. Discover ways to talk about fingers slammed in doors, houses facing each other, hearsay, interruptions, and meddling (or "sticking your beak in"!).
narrow
JOK: 1166
The word 'narrow' makes me think of 'skinny,' as in the delightfully named diet book Skinny Bitch. But skinny isn't what you'll find with 狭, even though it means 'narrow.' The Japanese associate 狭 with crowdedness. Learn various words for cramped spaces, from a tiny apartment to a clogged artery. We'll even cover narrow-mindedness and narrow interpretations of words. You'll get the skinny on all of it!
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.
×