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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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.
spine; ロ sound
JOK: 2136
With this deep dive into the world of Japanese baths, learn about the Indian roots of Japanese bathing practices, the custom of bathing at someone else's house, the way to heat cold bathwater, the purpose of bathtub covers, and figurative descriptions of muggy weather. Also find out about various bathing environments, whether indoor, outdoor, water-free, sandy, or hazardous!
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