Components

Point of interest: Uniquely Japanese words and concepts

Uniquely Japanese words and concepts
Tweet
Japanese contains a number of unique concepts which don't have direct parallels in English. We recently read '7 brilliant Japanese words we need in English' by Matthew Davis, published in Big Think, which is a fun read. It introduces a number of these concepts, several of which are common in daily usage in Japan. All of them are fascinating, and would make great conversation starters!
To help you study the terms in Japanese, we've gathered references to the words on Kanshudo, along with example sentences. Try to use one of them in your next Japanese conversation!
 

Ikigai - reason for living

noun
something one lives for; purpose in life; raison d'être
(click the word to view an additional 3 forms)
TEST
 

Karōshi - death from overwork

karoshi; death from overwork
TEST
てんぽう
転封
かちゅう
家中
ないふん
内紛
すり
らした
すえ
かろうし
過労死
であろう
He supposedly died from overwork, ground down by relocation and family troubles.
 

Shinrinyoku - forest therapy

noun
peaceful walk through the woods; being immersed in a forest; forest therapy
TEST

そうだ、どうせなら
さんぽ
散歩
がてらに、
りんどう
林道
って
プチ
しんりんよく
森林浴
でも・・・
I know, as we're going for a walk, we could take the forest path and do a little forest therapy ...
 

Shikata ga nai - it can't be helped

expression, 'i' adjective
it can't be helped; it's inevitable; it's no use; can't stand it; being impatient; being annoyed  (see also: 仕方のない)
(click the word to view an additional 2 forms)
9
TEST

じぶん
自分
やったことだから
しかた
仕方
がない
ね。
You brought it on yourself.
 

Tsundoku - book stockpiling

1. buying books and not reading them; stockpiling books
noun
2. books bought but not read
(click the word to view an additional 2 forms)
6
TEST

あれ
よく
ほん
どく
だ。
He often buys books but just leaves them unread.
 

Irusu - pretending to be out

noun
pretending to be out
TEST

 

Ageotori - the disappointment of a bad haircut!

noun
the disappointment that comes from a haircut that makes your hair look worse
TEST

おと
いうのは
かみ
のに
しっぱい
失敗
して
きぶん
気分
こと
'Ageotori' refers to the disappointment you feel when a haircut fails.
 


 
You can also view all the words together in the Analyzer.

Kanji used in this point of interest

シ   わたくし    わたし I, myself   
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
カ   なに    なん what?   
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
セイ   ショウ    life   なま raw   いかす to enliven   いきる to live   いける to arrange flowers   うまれる to be born   う to give birth to   き pure, undiluted   
ジ   も to hold, to have   
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
テン   ころがる to roll (intr.)   ころがす to roll (tr.)   ころげる to roll about   ころ to fall over   
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
フウ   ホウ    seal   
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
カ   ケ   house   いえ    や    
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
チュウ   ジュウ   なか middle   
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
ナイ   ダイ   うち inside   
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
フン   confused   まぎれる to be confused   まぎらわす to make confusing   まぎらわしい ambiguous, confusing   まぎらす to divert, distract   まが to be mistaken for, to be confused with   まぐ fluke, chance   
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
シン   み body, person   
ゲン   へ become less   へらす reduce   
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
マツ   バツ   すえ end   
カ   あやま mistake   あやま to slip up   すぎる to overdo, be more than   すごす to pass, spend   
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
ロウ    labor   
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
シ   death   し die   
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
サン   ちらかす to scatter   ちらかる to be in disorder   ちらばる to be scattered about   ち to fall (leaves etc)   
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
ホ   フ   ブ   ある    あゆ to walk   
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
リン   wood; trees   はやし wood   
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
ドウ   トウ   みち road   
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
コウ   ギョウ   アン   ゆ    い to go   おこな to take place   
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
シン   もり forest   
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
ヨク   あびる to shower, to bask in   
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
ジ   シ   みずか self   
ブン   ブ   フン   わける to divide, to distinguish   わかる to understand   わかれる to be divided   わかつ to share, distribute   
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
シ   ジ   つかえる to attend to   
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
ホウ   かた way, direction   
ヒ   かれ he   
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
ホン   book   もと origin   
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
バイ   か to buy   
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
セキ   つ to load, to heap up   つもる to be piled up   つもり intention   
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
ドク   トク   よ to read   
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
デン    electricity   
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
ワ   はな to talk   はなし talking   
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
キョ   い to exist, to be present   
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
ル   リュウ   とめる to detain   とまる to stop   
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
シュ   ス   まも to protect, guard   
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
使
シ   つか to use   
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
ジョウ   ショウ   うえ above   うわ- above   あげる to raise   あがる to rise   かみ first half, upper part   のぼ to climb   のぼせる to bring up, to raise   のぼ to bring up   
レツ   inferior   おと to be inferior to   
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
ハツ   かみ hair (of the head)   
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
セツ   サイ   き to cut   きれる to break, to snap   
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
シツ   うしな to lose   
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
ハイ   defeated   やぶれる to be defeated, frustrated   
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
キ   ケ    spirit   
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
ラク   おちる to fall   おとす to drop (something)   
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
crowded   -こ to be crowded   こめる to load; to include   
Please LOG IN to view this kanji's mnemonic
Problem with this point of interest? Question or comment? Please CONTACT US.
×
Change component list
By default the component builder shows the most common components (themselves joyo kanji, or used in at least 3 other joyo kanji). Select an alternative set of components below.



Full details of all components and their English names can be found here.
Help with the component builder
For detailed instructions, see the Component builder how to guide.
To find any kanji, first try to identify the components it is made up of.
For any components you recognize, if you know the English meaning or name, start typing it in the text area. Full details of all components and their English names can be found here.
Alternatively, count the strokes of the component, and scan the list to find it visually.
Example
To find the kanji :
  • Notice that it is made of several components: 氵 艹 口 夫.
  • 氵 艹 口 all have three strokes, so you could look in the list in the 3 stroke section. 夫 has four strokes.
  • Alternatively, you could start typing 'water' (氵), 'grass' (艹), 'mouth' (口) or 'husband' (夫) in the search area, and the components will be highlighted in yellow.
  • Keep adding components until you can see your kanji in the list of matches that appears near the top.