The Joy o' Kanji Essays

Show: Sort:
Search for essays:
music
JOK: 1759
This kanji primarily means “musical score,” and because every element in a musical staff is already a symbol, 譜 is a symbol of other symbols! Learn to talk about reading music and to say, “He played piano by ear.” Catch a startling glimpse of traditional musical notation in Japan. Also see why 譜 appears in terms for “genealogy” and “record of a board game,” as well as in biography titles.
dance
JOK: 1761
Traditional Japanese dance may seem tangential to your life, but it has connections to the gods, so don't overlook it! Also, 舞 is a core part of Nihongo, factoring into terms for bustling activity, story settings, being in the limelight, behaving well or badly, treating others to meals, visiting the sick, seasonal greeting cards, and closing up shop, as well as the words for kabuki and butoh.
breadth
JOK: 1764
With the help of 幅, you can say all of the following: "The stock price has dropped slightly," "The team is planning major changes in the coaching staff," or "We should have had a wide range of alternatives." The breadth of 幅 is often figurative, though you can also use it to express "wide belt" or "wide river." This kanji can even team up with another to express narrowness!
atmosphere
JOK: 1769
Did you know that some Japanese feel that polite language can spoil a mood? Learn two ways of referring to a ruined mood, depending on whether or not it's salvageable. Find out how to use 雰囲気 (atmosphere) when saying “You look very intelligent” and “I love the way you look.” Also learn to talk about uncomfortable situations, atmospheric bars, and photos that evoke nostalgia.
third
JOK: 1773
Through this essay you’ll find out when the Japanese use the system of sequencing and ranking that includes 丙, and you’ll see why 丙 is excluded more often than not. With an explanation of the sexagenary system, you’ll come to understand how 丙 relates to the 12 zodiacal kanji. And you’ll discover how 丙 can factor into the name of the fifth day of a month while meaning “third”!
pattern
JOK: 1776
This essay will help you grasp a kanji with a dizzying array of meanings. By reading about 柄, you'll learn how to say the following: * Her true character is starting to show. * I'm on good terms with him. * He seems familiar with the subject. * I want to talk with him about the matter. * His arrogance is no longer tolerable. * She swears by that brand. * She married him for his family name. * The red kills the whole pattern. * My son is tall for his age. One kanji gives you all of this!
fence
JOK: 1777
Fans of Japanese architecture: this essay abounds in photos! Japanese fences and boundary walls make definitive statements in residential settings and at temples, castles, and restaurants. Learn terms for bamboo and wooden fences, as well as earthen and cinderblock walls. Find out what a black fence represents and what Japan's boundary walls mean culturally and psychologically.
abuse
JOK: 1779
Japan may pride itself on its long traditions and conservative ways. But armed with 弊, people criticize antiquated thinking and talk about abandoning customs. The same kanji enables the Japanese to discuss exhaustion and worn-out objects. Despite all this negativity, people commonly use 弊 for upbeat statements such as “Thank you for your interest in our company.”
lean towards
JOK: 1782
Find out why the kanji that appears in terms for "prejudice," "eccentricity," and "mental imbalance" also represents "left-hand radical." Also learn how this kanji might factor into your acceptance speeches for prestigious awards (E.g., "I owe what I am today to ...").
catch
JOK: 1784
Some of the six Joyo yomi associated with 捕 sound like tongue twisters. This essay tames them through mnemonics and an exercise. Learn to say, "Television viewers see only what the camera captures," "She's a slave to fashion," and "He was eaten up with guilt." See what it means for a person in Japan to have a "main point" or, conversely, to be incomprehensible to others.
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.
×