The Joy o' Kanji Essays

This page provides a synopsis of all 536 kanji that have so far been featured by Joy o' Kanji. Each section provides the ability to purchase and download a kanji essay (), study flashcards for the essay content (), play entertaining study games (), or view the kanji's details on Kanshudo ().
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JOK: 1882
Become a champion! Learn to say, “She is an ardent supporter of women’s rights,” “We must fight for our democracy,” “They stood up for the rights of their nation,” “Human rights organizations are putting pressure on authoritarian governments,” and “We put him up as a rival candidate.” Also find out why so many birds are fluttering around kanji compounds involving protection.
JOK: 1884
Controlling your anger, your appetite, and even your rebellious monks—this kanji enables all of that to happen. Learn to say, “He stood by those who were oppressed,” “Jane could not stop her tears,” “Inflation is getting out of control,” “A sudden wave of nausea overpowered him,” and “He could no longer restrain himself,” as well as “He doesn't intonate when he speaks.”
JOK: 1887
Learn why Buddhists eat a bitter pill before chanting, how a net relates to items arranged in a row, how beautiful clothes relate to the stars, the origin of the name "Rashomon" (it's more than a film title), why a term for "Indian gods" can represent a type of sled, why the sal tree and cypress are significant in Japan, and which body part Buddhists once amputated for a shocking reason.
JOK: 1888
See how people have envisioned thunder as a god's drum or hammer. Discover how to use 雷 for applause, amazement, and explosive weapons. Learn to say, "Thunder indicates that a storm is near," "The sound of thunder comes after the flash of lightning," "Thunderclouds hung low over the whole valley," and "Tactless people are likely to step on other people's land mines."
JOK: 1889
Through 頼 you'll learn to trust again. The many sample sentences include "I trust him completely" and "He is a very reliable person." You'll also find out how to manipulate others with "I'm begging you," "You are my last resort," and "Can I count on you to get me the job?" You'll see what role dependence plays in Japanese culture. Finally, mnemonics will help you master the four Joyo yomi.
JOK: 1891
See why the kanji for “dairy product” contains the “saké” radical. While reading about dairy farming and dairy products, find out about “tree cakes,” “butter mochi,” and a snack that’s like sand. Discover the Japanese for “dairy-free.” Find out about a cheese ingredient that’s also in adhesives and other industrial products. And learn about an acid in milk, body odor, and vomit!
JOK: 1893
Learn the sections of a newspaper, discovering how to say, “I always look at the sports pages first” and “Last week’s column got a huge reaction.” Also see how the Japanese say, “Please mark the relevant fields” and “All you have to do is fill in the blanks below.” Find out what “the comments section as a cockroach trap” really means. And learn to say, “I clutched the handrail.”
JOK: 1898
Willows play important roles in Japan, lining rivers in several cities (and the streets of Ginza in Tokyo) and frequently appearing in ink paintings. Using pliable willow wood, people make everything from chopsticks and wicker to medicine. Sayings about taking things in stride often include 柳. There's also a link between 柳 and geisha, as well as a connection between willows and ghosts!
JOK: 1899
Unlike Europeans, who have feared dragons, the Japanese have viewed them as mythical or divine since ancient times. The dragon is even more important in China, where it symbolizes the emperor, is associated with water and weather, and is an imaginary creature in legends. In this essay you'll find out about dragons from every angle, including the following: animals with dragons inside them, tense relations between dragons and tigers, dragons that fly away, and the dragon inside the waterfall kanji. In more practical terms, you'll read about Chinese dragon boats, as well as Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan, who both had connections to dragons. Finally, you'll discover whatever there is to know about the "dragon" radical - and why one might be tempted to call it the "hidden dragon" radical. Incidentally, 竜 is a Shin-Joyo kanji; it's a 2010 addition to the Joyo set.
JOK: 1904
This is an essay of Thou Shalt Nots, filled with signs issuing prohibitions. But it’s not all negative; some sentences with 慮 encourage people to ask questions freely and to eat cake. Several keywords involve being thoughtful and sensible. Learn to say, “We failed to take the weather into account” and “It was a silly misjudgment to decide, after seeing the prototype, that we failed.”
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