Kanji Study Archive

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KANJI—an Introduction

Kanji make up the third part of the Japanese writing system after Hiragana and Katakana. Imported from China hundreds of years ago, kanji have evolved in a number of ways to make them sometimes considerably different from their Chinese ancestors. They may look different and sound different. Even still, knowing Japanese kanji often means you can guess the meaning of written Chinese—even if you have never studied Chinese!

There are about 2,000 kanji needed to be literate in Japan. But in reality, knowing just a few hundred will allow you to read most anything, even if you may need the occasional aid of a dictionary. Very few foreigners have mastered kanji. Could you be one of them?

Most kanji have a single core meaning (this could be an abstract notion or something more concrete) and two or more “readings” or pronunciations.  The readings are either on yomi” or “kun yomi.”  The “on” pronunciation was the original Chinese pronunciation—or at least the sounds Japanese people thought were the Chinese pronunciation.  The “kun” pronunciation was the native Japanese pronunciation for that particular concept. 

So:
音読み on yomi--the "Chinese" pronunciation
訓読み kun yomi--the native "Japanese" pronunciation

Due to changes in sounds over time, some kanji have an impressive number of pronunciations. It is best to learn these sounds by example which is why we include multiple example words with each kanji in this newsletter.

How do I Study Kanji ?

You gotta love ‘em!

If you don’t decide from the beginning to love kanji, I am sure you will end up hating them. There are many, many characters with various meanings and readings, so without a desire to explore, you will become quickly discouraged.

Write them! Speak them! Look for them!

Our suggestions for studying kanji:

1)      Create fun mnemonics that will help you remember the character. Make it personal and even absurd. This will help make it stick better. For example, the moon 月 looks like the character for sun 日 but with legs. Think of the moon trying to run away from the sun since it usually only comes out at night. If you can think of a mnemonic for one or more readings, all the better.

2)      Keep a writing pad handy. Copy each individual kanji several times while speaking and thinking on the readings. While writing them, try to picture the kanji’s reading, meaning, and shape in your head.

3)      Finally, read! Use the power of a search engine to look for the newly learned kanji in other contexts. It is an exciting feeling to come across kanji that you have just studied.

You may want to review our Kanji Stroke Order lesson here. Or else, you can press the link below to study Kanji 一.

Kanji: 一 ichi one

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And so begins your kanji journey and it couldn’t get any easier! (...and believe me it won’t!)
                JLPT N5: 1 / 100 | 1 Stroke


On: イチ
Kun: ひと・つ
Meaning: one; 1

It is a number “1” on its side. Draw the single stroke from left to right.


Examples:
ichi—one; the number one
一番 ichi ban—#1; the best
世界一 se kai ichi—the best in the world
一人 hitori—one person; alone


どこが一番いいところですか?
doko ga ichiban ii tokoro desu ka?
Where is the best place?
[ichiban is often used this way to show the best of something: ichiban oishii—the most delicious]

Kanji: 二 ni two

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Two lines = two, logical!; a little harder, but don’t run for the aspirin yet!)
JLPT N5: 2 / 100 | 2 Strokes


On: ニ
Kun: ふた・つ

Meaning: two; 2

Two lines make Two!

Stroke Order:


Examples:
ni—two
第二 dai ni—the second
二月ni gatsuFebruary [the 2nd month]


フロリダの12月は暑いですか?
furorida no juunigatsu wa atsui desu ka?
Is December in Florida pretty hot?

[Foreign (non-Japan) place names and people’s names are written in katakana unless there is a kanji for the name.]

Kanji: 三 san three

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Three lines = 3
JLPT N5: 3 / 100 | 3 Strokes


On: サン
Kun: みっ・つ

Meaning: three

Write the three strokes from top to bottom. Remember, the middle is shorter.

Stroke Order:


Examples:
san—three
三角 san kaku—triangle
三月 san gatsuMarch [the 3rd month]


三月に日本にいきます。
san gatsu ni nihon ni ikimasu.
I’m going to Japan in March.

[The months are easy in Japanese: a number + gatsu]

Kanji: 四 yon four

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Think of two little legs dangling in a FOUR sided box.
JLPT N5: 4 / 100 | 5 Strokes


On: シ
Kun: よん; よっ・つ

Meaning: four

 

Stroke Order:


Examples:
yon or shi– four [both pronunciations mean “four” but they are used in different contexts.]
四級 yon kyuu4th grade
四月 shi gatsuApril [the 4th month]


四匹のねこを飼っています。
yonhiki no neko wo katteimasu.
I have four cats.

[The verb for owning/having pets is 飼うkau—not to be confused with the verb “to buy” which is 買うkau.]

Kanji: 五 go five

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This is modern art. 五is an artist’s impression of the number 5. [Well, it kind of looks like the number!]
JLPT N5: 5 / 100 | 4 Strokes


On: ゴ
Kun: いつ・つ

Meaning: five

 

Stroke Order:


Examples:
go—five
五月 go gatsu—May [the 5th month]
五ヶ月 go ka getsu—five months [So far we have seen that adding a number between 1-12 with gatsu makes the month names. But here is how to say a duration of months: # + ka + getsunotice it is “getsu” not “gatsu”]


十五まで数えます。
juugo made kazoemasu.
I can count to fifteen.

[The made here means “until” or “up to (fifteen)”]

Kanji: 六 roku six

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A picture of a man stretching his hands and legs is the character for "6."
JLPT N5: 6 / 100 | 4 Strokes


On: ロク
Kun: むっ・つ

Meaning: six

 

Stroke Order:


Examples:
六 roku - six
六日 mui ka - the 6th of the month
六月 roku gatsu - June [the 6th month]


六個ほしいです。
rokko hoshii desu.
I want six of them.

[Sometimes roku has a sound change before certain sounds. Listen to the sound file to get it down.]

Kanji: 七 shichi seven

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A diagonal line through a "L" means "7."
JLPT N5: 7 / 100 | 2 Strokes


On: シチ
Kun: なな・つ

Meaning: seven

 

Stroke Order:

Start with the (almost) horizontal line.


Examples:
七 shichi or nana - seven
七不思議 nana fushigi - the Seven Wonders
七月 shichi gatsu - July [the 7th month]


こんばん、「七人の侍」をみます。
konban, shichinin no samurai o mimasu.
I will watch "Seven Samurai" tonight.

[Seven Samurai is a famous movie by Akira Kurosawa.]

 

Kanji: 八 hachi eight

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If you have studied katakana, you will notice this looks like "ha." So HAchi = 8
JLPT N5: 8 / 100 | 2 Strokes


On: ハチ
Kun: やっ・つ

Meaning: eight

 

Stroke Order:


Examples:
八 hachi - eight
八年間 hachi nen kan - eight years
八月 hachi gatsu - August [the 8th month]


今月の二十八日は私の誕生日です。
kongetsu no juunihachi nichi wa watashi no tanjoubi desu.
The 28th of this month is my birthday.

 

Kanji: 九 kyuu nine

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Don't confuse this one with 力 chikara (power)
JLPT N5: 9 / 100 | 2 Strokes


On: キュウ; ク
Kun: ここの・つ

Meaning: nine

 

Stroke Order:

Don't forget to make the hook at the end.


Examples:
九 kyuu or ku - nine
九ヵ月 kyuu ka getsu - nine months
九月 ku gatsu - September [the 9th month]


今月は九月です。
kongetsu wa kugatsu desu.
This is September.

 

Kanji: 十 juu ten

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5 + 5 = +
JLPT N5: 10 / 100 | 2 Strokes


On: ジュウ
Kun: と; とう

Meaning: ten

 

Stroke Order:

Start with the horizontal line.


Examples:
十 juu - ten
十九 juu kyuu - 19 [lit. 10 & 9]
九十 kyuu juu - 90 [lit. 9 & 10]
十二月 juu ni gatsu - December [the 12th month]


わたしは十九歳です。
watashi wa juukyuu sai desu.
I am nineteen.

 

Kanji: 百 100

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Remember the line over & the number of lines inside the box - that can save some confusion later!
JLPT N5: 11 / 100 | 6 Strokes


On: ヒャク
Kun:

Meaning: hundred

 

Stroke Order:

One hundred has a one (一) at top.


Examples:
二百 ni hyaku - 200
三百 san byaku - 300 [note: sound changes to a harder "b" sound]

Example Sentence:
ええと、百人くらいきました。
eeto, hyakunin kurai kimashita.
Let's see... About a hundred people came.

[eeto is often heard in spoken Japanese similar to our "umm."]

 

Kanji: 千 sen 1000

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It looks like a 10 [ 十 ] with a slanted line over it. Think of the line as adding two extra 0's: 1000
JLPT N5: 12 / 100 | 3 Strokes


On: セン
Kun: ち

Meaning: thousand

 

Stroke Order:

1) top (almost) horizontal line; 2) second horizontal line; 3) the vertical line from top to bottom.


Examples:
千円 sen en - 1000 yen [the 一 ichi becomes "iss" perhaps because it is easier to say than "ichisen." Also yen is pronounced "en"]
三千二百 san zen ni hyaku - 3,200
二千年 ni sen nen - the year 2000

Example Sentence:
これは五千円ほどで買えます。
kore wa gosen en hodo de kaemasu.
This can be bought for about 5,000 yen.

[hodo shows the "about" uncertainty.]

 

Kanji: 万 man 10,000

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The next in numbers. add another 0
JLPT N5: 13 / 100 | 3 Strokes


On: ばん; まん
Kun:

Meaning: ten thousand

 

Stroke Order:

The stroke order for kanji like this is a little different. Start at the top horizontal line but the second stroke is the rightmost one that looks like フ


Examples:
百万 hyaku man - a million (1,000,000) [100 &10,000]
一万円 ichi man en - 10,000 yen (about $100 US)
万歳 ban zai - hurrah! banzai! hooray! [usually said 3 times in a row]

Example Sentence:
はい、一万円ぐらいあります。
hai, ichiman gurai arimasu.
Yes, I have about 10,000 yen.

[Again, this is about $100 USD]

 

Kanji: 父 chichi father

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It looks like a father tying his tie.
JLPT N5: 14 / 100 | 4 Strokes


On: フ
Kun: ちち; とう

Meaning: father

 

Stroke Order:


Examples:
お父さん o tou san - a father
父の日 chichi no hi - Father's Day

Example Sentence:
仕事が終わったら、お父さんはテレビの前でごろごろします。
shigoto ga owattara, otousan wa terebi no mae de gorogoro shimasu.
After work, dad just loafs around in front of the TV.

[The honorific "o" is usually added to tousan.]

 

Kanji: 母 haha mother

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Think of a mother holding two babies close to her.
JLPT N5: 15 / 100 | 5 Strokes


On: ボ
Kun: はは; かあ

Meaning: mother

 

Stroke Order:


Examples:
お母さん okaa san - a mother, mommy
母の日 haha no hi - Mother's Day
保母 ho bo - a kindergarten teacher, a nurse

Example Sentence:
あの子はお母さんにいつもべたべたしています。
ano ko wa okaasan ni itsumo betabeta shiteimasu.
That child is always just clinging to his mother.

[The betabeta here gives a sticky effect]

 

Kanji: 友 tomo friend

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A picture of a friend giving another friend a hand.
JLPT N5: 16 / 100 | 4 Strokes


On: ユウ
Kun: とも

Meaning: friend

This kanji is often used with words dealing with friendliness.

Stroke Order:


Examples:
友達 tomo dachi - friends, a friend
友情 yuu jou - friendship
友好国 yuu kou koku - a friendly nation

Example Sentence:
途中で友達に会いました。
tochuu de tomodachi ni aimashita.
On the way, I ran into a friend.

[tochuu is a very useful word meaning "on the way" to any destination.]

 

Kanji: 女 onna woman

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Think of a woman dancing.
JLPT N5: 17 / 100 | 3 Strokes


On: ジョ
Kun: おんな

Meaning: woman; female

A female ninja is called kunoichi. If you write hiragana ku く, katakana no ノ, and the kanji ichi 一 you get 女.

Stroke Order:


Examples:
彼女 kanojo - 1) her; 2) girlfriend
女の子 onna no ko - a girl
女優 jo yuu - an actress

Example Sentence:
彼は女をナンパばかりする。
kare wa onna o nanpa bakari suru.
He is always hitting on women.

[nanpa means "to hit on" the opposite sex.]

 

Kanji: 男 otoko man

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A man using power 力 in the field 田.
JLPT N5: 18 / 100 | 7 Strokes


On: ダン
Kun: おとこ

Meaning: man; male

The top part 田 means "rice field" and 力 means "power." So a powerful man works in the rice field.

Stroke Order:


Examples:
男女 dan jo - men & women
男らしい otoko rashii - manly, like a man
雪男 yuki otoko - the abominable snowman

Example Sentence:
赤ちゃんは男の子です。
akachan wa otoko no ko desu.
The baby is a boy.

 

Kanji: 人 hito person

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This is a person with no head or arms trying to do a split.
JLPT N5: 19 / 100 | 2 Strokes


On: じん; にん
Kun: ひと

Meaning: person; people

 

Stroke Order:


Examples:
日本人 ni hon jin - a Japanese person [simply add a "jin" after many countries]
大人 otona - adult, a grown-up [this is an irregular reading]
外国人 gai koku jin - foreigner
美人 bi jin - a beautiful woman
宇宙人 u chuu jin - a space alien

Example Sentence:
あなたは美人です。
anata wa bijin desu.
You are a beautiful woman...

 

Kanji: 子 ko child

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A little child with his arms wide and his mouth open crying for his mommy.
JLPT N5: 20 / 100 | 3 Strokes


On: シ
Kun: こ

Meaning: child

 

Stroke Order:


Examples:
子供 ko domo - children, child
男の子 otoko no ko - a boy [man's child = boy]
お菓子 okashi - candy, sweets
子猫 ko neko - kitten [child cat]

Example Sentence:
子供が好きです。
kodomo ga suki desu.
I like children.

 

Kanji: 日 hi day

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A square sun with a line through it.
JLPT N5: 21 / 100 | 4 Strokes


On: ニチ
Kun: ひ

Meaning: sun; day

The usual word for "sun" is 太陽 taiyou.

Stroke Order:


Examples:
ある日 aru hi - one day (as in: One day, Little Red Riding Hood...)
毎日 mai nichi - everyday
今日 kyou - today [irregular pronunciation]
日曜日 nichi you bi - Sunday

Example Sentence:
毎日、日本語を勉強します。
mainichi, nihongo o benkyou shimasu.
Everyday I study Japanese.

 

Kanji: 月 tsuki month

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This is a sun ( 日 ) with legs -- the moon runs faster around the earth, therefore it needs legs.
JLPT N5: 22 / 100 | 4 Strokes


On: ガツ; ゲツ
Kun: つき

Meaning: moon; month

Learn these early kanji well. Many of them are found in more complex kanji as radicals.

Stroke Order:


Examples:
一月 ichi gatsu - January [lit. 1st month]
今月 kon getsu - this month
月 tsuki - the moon
月曜日 getsu you bi - Monday

Example Sentence:
今日は月曜日です。
kyou wa getsuyoubi desu.
Today is Monday.

[All the days of the week end with ~youbi.]

 

Kanji: 火 hi fire

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Think of it as sparks coming from a person.
JLPT N5: 23 / 100 | 4 Strokes


On: カ
Kun: ひ

Meaning: fire

Learn these early kanji well. Many of them are found in more complex kanji as radicals.

Stroke Order:


Examples:
花火 hana bi - fireworks [note how the hi becomes a bi ]
火花 hi bana - sparks [sometimes you can reverse kanji and get a different meaning - note here how the hana becomes bana ]
火山 ka zan - volcano [lit. fire mountain]
火曜日 ka you bi - Tuesday

Example Sentence:
あしたは火曜日です。
ashita wa kayoubi desu.
Tomorrow is Tuesday.

 

Kanji: 水 mizu water

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Squeeze a river (川) and you get water.
JLPT N5: 24 / 100 | 4 Strokes


On: スイ
Kun: みず

Meaning: water

This kanji as a radical often looks like 氵 and is found with kanji dealing with water.

Stroke Order:


Examples:
大水 oo mizu - flood [lit. big water]
水着 mizu gi - swimsuit, bathing suit
水曜日 sui you bi - Wednesday

Example Sentence:
水着を持っていますか?
mizugi wo motteimasu ka?
Do you have your swimming trunks?

 

Kanji: 木 ki tree

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This is a tree with two low hanging branches.
JLPT N5: 25 / 100 | 4 Strokes


On: モク; ボク
Kun: き

Meaning: tree

Start with the horizontal line, then vertical, the left and right slanted strokes are last.

Stroke Order:


Examples:
木登り ki nobori - tree climbing
松の木 matsu no ki - pine tree
木曜日 moku you bi - Thursday

Example Sentence:
公園に松ノ木があります。
kouen ni matsu no ki ga arimasu.
There is a pine tree at the park.

 

Kanji: 金 kin Gold

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Think of gold being buried deep within a hill.
JLPT N5: 26 / 100 | 8 Strokes


On: キン; コン
Kun: かね

Meaning: gold; money

Usually "kin" deals with gold and "kane" means money in general.

Stroke Order:


Examples:
お金 okane - money
賞金 shou kin - prize money
金曜日 kin you bi - Friday

Example Sentence:
お金貸してくれる?
okane kashite kureru?
Will you loan me some money?

 

Kanji: 土 tsuchi ground

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It's a cross in the ground.
JLPT N5: 27 / 100 | 3 Strokes


On: ド; ト
Kun: つち

Meaning: earth; ground; soil

Don't confuse this with "gentleman" 士. The earth is wider than the cross here.

Stroke Order:


Examples:
粘土 nen do - clay
土地 to chi - ground; area; soil
土曜日 do you bi - Saturday

Example Sentence:
土地を売る。
tochi o uru.
To sell land.

 

Kanji: 本 hon Book

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Just as the kanji is made from ki ( 木 ) so is a book made from trees.
JLPT N5: 28 / 100 | 5 Strokes


On:
Kun: ほん

Meaning: book; counter for long, slender objects

In Japan, you will often see large signs with just this kanji to indicate bookstores.

Stroke Order:


Examples:
日本 ni hon - Japan
絵本 e hon - a picture book (for children)
本 hon - a book
本屋 hon ya - bookstore

Example Sentence:
本屋はどこですか?
honya wa doko desu ka?
Where is a bookstore?

 

Kanji: 休 yasumu Rest

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This is a picture of a person (left) resting against a tree。
JLPT N5: 29 / 100 | 6 Strokes


On: キュウ
Kun: やす・む

Meaning: rest; vacation

As suggested above, the left part ( 亻) is actually "person" (人)

Stroke Order:


Examples:
夏休み natsu yasumi - summer vacation
昼休み hiru yasumi - lunch break
お休みなさい oyasuminasai - Good night!

Example Sentence:
休んだほうがいい。
yasunda hou ga ii.
We had better rest.

 

Kanji: 語 go Language

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I know this one looks difficult, but learn it! You'll see it a lot.
JLPT N5: 30 / 100 | 14 Strokes


On: ゴ
Kun: かた・る

Meaning: word; speech; language

It may help to break this down. 言 to speak; 五 #5; and the bottom is ( 口 ) which means mouth.

Stroke Order:



Examples:
日本語 ni hon go - Japanese
物語 mono gatari - a story, tale, legend
国語 koku go - national language (in Japan, Japanese)

Example Sentence:
日本語ができます。
nihongo ga dekimasu.
I can speak Japanese.

[Note: the "dekimasu" merely shows abiilty, so this could mean "I can speak" or "I understand" or "I can read"...]

 

2 kyuu Kanji with One Pronunciation Page 1

All the Kanji on the JLPT Level 2 Test with ONE reading : #1
NOTE: Actually, most of these kanji DO have more than one reading, however they are rarely used or used only in names AND with recent changes in the test a few of these may actually be 3 kyuu kanji!

The Kanji
Reading & Meanings Useful and/or interesting words
あい love 愛している - I love you!
愛妻 ai sai - beloved wife
愛知県 ai chi ken - Aichi prefecture
愛読 ai doku - a Book lover
あつ pressure

気圧 ki atsu - atmospheric pressure
電圧 den atsu - voltage

commit; to entrust with 委員 i in - committee member
任せる makaseru - to entrust, leave ~ to
stomach i - stomach
胃液 i eki - stomach juices, the gastric juices
いき boundary 地域 chi iki - a region, area
地域時刻 chi iki ji koku - local time
universe, eaves, house 宇宙 u chuu - the universe, space
宇宙人 u chuu jin - an alien
宇宙飛行士 u chuu hi kou shi - an astronaut
宇宙旅行 u chuu ryo kou - Space travel
えき - liquid 毒液 doku eki - venom (from a snake...)
血液型 ketsu eki gata - blood type
えん to act;; to perform a play 演歌 enka - Enka (style of Japanese music)
開演 kai en - curtain opening (start of a play)
おう king 王国 ou koku - kingdom, monarchy
王子 ou ji - a prince
王手 ou te - checkmate, check (shougi/chess)
王様 ou sama - a king
おう center 震央 shin ou - center of earthquake; epicenter中央 chuu ou - the center; central; middle
おう Europe 西欧 sei ou - Western Europe
欧風 ou fuu - European style
おく hundred million 一億 ichi oku - 100,000,000
subject of study 学科 gakka - subject; course of study
科学 ka gaku - science
教科書 kyou ka sho - a textbook
money, goods 金貨 kin ka - a gold coin
硬貨 kou ka - a coin
section, lesson 課長 ka chou - section chief
課税 ka zei - taxes, taxation
possible, approve 許可 kyo ka - permission, approval
可愛い kawaii - cute, pretty
不可能 fu ka nou - impossible
可能性 ka nou sei - possibility
candy, confectionery お菓子 okashi - sweets, snack
菓子屋 kashi ya - confectionery shop
かい shell; shellfish kai - a shell
貝塚 ka zuka - a shell mound (remains of ancient socities' dump)
かい (1st, 2nd) floor (of a building); rank; 音階 on kai - music scale
武士階級 bushi kai kyuu - warrior class
階段 kai dan - stairs
かい machine 機械 ki kai - a machine
機械翻訳 ki kai hon yaku - machine translation
かい mediate; come between; to aid 紹介 shou kai - introduce
自己紹介 ji ko shou kai - self-introduction
がい harm; calamity 迫害 haku gai - persecution
煙害 en gai - smoke pollution
かつ active, live, activity 生活 sei katsu - life, living,lead a life
復活 fukkatsu - revival, restoration
活火山 kakkazan - an active volcano
活動 katsu dou - activity, movement
かん feeling, sense, feel 実感 ji kan - real feelings
第六感 dai rokkan - the 6th sense, a hunch
女の直感 onna no chokkan - women's intuition
感じる kanjiru - to feel, experience
感謝 kan sha - thanks, gratitude
感動 kan dou - to be moved (emotionally)impressed
かん complete, perfect 完璧 kan peki - perfect, completeness
完全 kan zen - perfection, completeness
完全主義者 kan zen shu gi sha - a perfectionist (person)
かん government 警察官 kei satsu kan - a policeman
官庁 kan chou - government office
かん view 観光 kan kou - sightseeing
観光ビザ kan kou biza - tourist visa
かん publish 月刊 gekkan - a monthly publication
週刊 shuu kan - published weekly
夕刊 yuu kan - evening paper
かん simple 簡単 kan tan - easy, simple
簡略 kan ryaku - simplicity
かん a can (drink or food can) 空缶 aki kan - an empty can
缶詰 kan zume - packed can, canned goods
缶切り kan kiri - a can opener

2 kyuu Kanji with One Pronunciation Page 2

All the Kanji on the Level 2 Test with ONE reading: #2
NOTE: Actually, most of these kanji DO have more than one reading, however they are rarely used

The Kanji
Readings & Meanings Useful and/or interesting words
rare, aspire, desire 希望 ki bou - wish, desire, hope
希望者 ki bou sha - person wishing to do something (join something...)
season (of the year) 四季 shi ki - the 4 seasons
季節 ki setsu - the seasons, season
季節的 ki setsu teki - seasonal
rule, regulation, compass 規格 ki kaku - norm, standard
規則 ki soku - rule, regulations
discuss, debate 会議 kai gi - a meeting, conference
不思議 fu shi gi - strange, mysterious
議会 gi kai - Diet, congress, parliament
きつ inhale, drink 受動喫煙 ju dou kitsu en - passive smoke
喫茶店 kissaten - coffee house, coffee shop
きゅう grade 一級 ikkyuu - 1st class, 1st grade
高級 kou kyuu - high class (expensive)
上級 jou kyuu - advanced level, upper class
武士階級 bu shi kai kyuu - the warrior class
きゅう supply, pay 給食 kyuu shoku - school lunch
給料日 kyuu ryou bi - pay day
きゅう old, former 復旧 fukkyuu - restoration, rehabilitation
旧姓 kyuu sei - maiden name (former name)
旧約聖書 kyuu yaku sei sho - the Old Testament
きょう cooperate 協会 kyou kai - association,society, organization
日本放送協会 nippon hou sou kyou kai - NHK (public television in Japan)
きょう conditions, state of things, still more 状況 jyou kyou - circumstances, situation
準備状況 jun bi jyou kyou - preliminary conditions, initial conditions
きょく bureau, segment 結局 kekkyoku - after all, in the end
米航空宇宙局 bei kou kuu u chuu kyoku - NASA (USA)
放送局 hou sou kyoku - broadcasting office
きん even, level 平均 hei kin - equilibrium, balance,average
平均寿命 heikin jyu myou - life expectancy
きん prohibit, not allowed 禁煙 kin en - no smoking!
禁煙車 kin en sha - non-smoking car
禁止 kin shi - prohibited, not allowed
- district, ward 行政区 gyou sei ku - administrative district
区別 ku betsu - distinction, to make a distinction
- tool; utensil; ingredients 雨具 ama gu - rain gear (umbrella, raincoat...)
家具 ka gu - furniture (lit. house equipment)
道具 dou gu - tool, equipment, implement
具合 gu ai - condition
具体的 gu tai teki - concrete, definite, tangible
ぐう - by chance; couple; even numbers 配偶者 hai guu sha - spouse
配偶者ビザ hai guu sha biza - spousal visa
偶然 guu zen - by chance, unexpectantly
偶像 guu zou - idol, statue
くん - instruct 遺訓 i kun - dying instructions
音訓 on kun - kanki readings
訓練 kun ren - practice, drill
ぐん - army, military 救世軍 kyuu sei gun - the Salvation Army
将軍 shou gun - Shogun, general
軍歌 gun ka - war song
けい - scene 景色 kei shiki - scenery, landscape
全景写真 zen kei sha shin - panoramic phot
けい - gaurd against, warn 警察 kei satsu - police
警衛 kei ei - guard, patrol, escort
警官 kei kan - a policeman
警告 kei koku - a warning
げい - art, skill 隠し芸 kakushi gei - hidden talent
芸者 gei sha - geisha
芸術 gei jutsu - art, the arts
芸術的 gei jutsu teki - artistic
げき - drama 演劇 en geki - theatrical play
劇的 geki teki - dramatic
けん - prefecture 各県 kaku ken - all prefectures
福井県 fukui ken - Fukui prefecture
県庁 ken chou - prefectural head office
県立 ken ritsu - prefectural ~, (built by the prefecture)
けん - matter 条件 jyou ken - conditions, terms
労働条件 rou dou jou ken - working conditions
けん - ticket, certificate, coupon 証券 shou ken - securities, bonds
商品券 shou hin ken - gift certificate
旅券 ryo ken - passport
けん - examine 車検 sha ken - car inspection ($$$)
探検 tan ken - explore, expedition
検査 ken sa - inspection, examination
検事 ken ji - public prosecutor
けん - right, power 議決権 gi ketsu ken - right to vote
特権 tokken - privilege, special right
権利 ken ri - right, privilege
- individual 個人的 ko jin teki - personal, individual,
個人タクシー ko jin takushi- - privately owned taxi
こう - navigate 航海 kou kai - voyage, sailing
米国航空宇宙局 bei koku kou kuu u chuu kyoku - NASA
こう - ore, mine 金鉱 kin kou - a gold mine
炭鉱 tan kou - a coal mine
鉱物学 kou butsu gaku - mineralogy

2 kyuu Kanji with One Pronunciation Page 3

All the Kanji on the Level 2 Test with ONE reading: #3
NOTE: Actually, most of these kanji DO have more than one reading, however they are rarely used

The Kanji
Readings & Meanings Useful and/or interesting words
こう - lecture 講演 kou en - lecture
講師 kou shi - lecturer
講談 kou dan - story-telling
こう - assent, consent 首肯 shu kou - assent, consent
肯定的 kou tei teki - affirmative
こう - suburb 近郊 kin kou - suburbs, the outskirts
郊外 kou gai - suburbs, the outskirts
ごう - number, signal, sign 青信号 ao shin gou - a green (blue) signal light
暗号 an gou - code, password, cryptic message
記号 ki gou - symbol, mark, code
背番号 se ban gou - number on player's back
こん - marry, marriage 結婚 kekkon - marriage
新婚 shin kon - newly wed
婚約 kon yaku - engagement
- look into 検査 ken sa - inspection, examination
捜査 sou sa - search, investigation
探査機 tan sa ki - a probe (space)
さい - talent, age 天才 ten sai - genius, natural gift
才媛 sai en - a talented woman
ざい - timber, materials 教材 kyou zai - teaching materials
木材 moku zai - lumber, timber, wood
- bloom, come out (flowers), blossom 咲き誇る saki hokoru - to be in full bloom
咲く saku - to bloom
さく - yesterday, last... 昨日 saku jitsu - yesterday (note: this is also the kanji for kinou)
昨晩 saku ban - last night
さつ - inspect, guess 警察 kei satsu - police
観察 kan satsu - observation
さら - plate, dish 皿洗い機 sara arai ki -a dishwasher machine
sara - dish, plate
さん - to calculate 算数 san su - arithmetic
算盤 soroban - abacus (non-regular reading)
さん - approve, praise 賛否 san pi - for & against, yes and no
賛美歌 san bi ka - hymn, praise song
- history 史上 shi jyou - historical
史上最大 shi jyou sai dai - the greatest in history
- master, teacher 教師 kyou shi - an instructor, teacher
講師 kou shi - a lecturer
牧師 boku shi - a pastor, minister, clergyman
- resources 学資 gaku shi - school fund, money needed for school
資格 shi kaku - qualifications, requirements, capabilities
天然資源 ten nen shi gen - natural resources
- words 歌詞 ka shi - lyrics, words to a song
形容詞 kei you shi - adjective (grammar)
作詞 saku shi - write a song, song making
台詞 serifu - lines (of a play...), speech
- magazine 雑誌 zasshi - magazine
日誌 nisshi - diary
釣りバカ日誌 tsuri baka nisshi - 'the diary of a fishing fool' - a popular long running comedy movie series
しき - ceremony, style 結婚式 kekkon shiki - a wedding ceremony
最新式 sai shin shiki - the newest style
略式 ryaku shiki - informal, simplified
しき - know 知識 chi shiki - knowledge, information
識字率 shiki ji ritsu - literacy rate
じゅつ - an art 技術 gi jutsu - technology, a technique, skill
読唇術 doku shin jutsu - lip reading
忍術 nin jutsu - the art of the Ninja, stealth & combat
じゅん - order,a turn, obey 従順 juu jun - obedience
順調 jun chou - favorable, smoothness, smoothly
じゅん - standard, a rule, semi~ 水準 sui jun - water level
準備中 jun bi chuu - in preparation, not open yet (business)
じゅん - pure, purity 単純 tan jun - simplicity
単純に言えば tan jun ni ieba - to put it simply, simply put...
しょ - deal with, to manage 処理 sho ri - managment
処分 sho bun - disposal, punishment
しょ - government office 消防署 shou bou sho - fire station
税務署 zei mu sho - tax office
しょ - many 諸君 sho kun - Ladies and Gentlemen!
諸国 sho koku - various countries
しょう - chapter (in a book) 序章 jo shou - preface
第一章 dai isshou - the first chapter
しょう - prize, award ノーベル賞 no-beru shou - the Nobel Prize
賞品 shou hin - prize, trophy

2 kyuu Kanji with One Pronunciation Page 4

All the Kanji on the Level 2 Test with ONE reading: #4
NOTE: Actually, most of these kanji DO have more than one reading, however they are rarely used

The Kanji
Readings & Meanings Useful and/or interesting words
しょう - general officer 将棋 shou gi - Japanese chess (game)
将軍 shou gun - Shogun, general
将来 shou rai - the future
しょう - introduce 紹介 shou kai - introduce, introduction
自己紹介 ji ko shou kai - self-introduction
じょう - form, letter 果たし状 hatashi jou - letter of challenge, challenge to a duel
招待状 shou tai jou - invitation card
しょく - employment 求職 kyuu shoku - seeking employment, looking for work
辞職 ji shoku - resignation
しん - believe, message 確信 kaku shin - confidence, conviction
信仰 shin kou - faith, creed
遭難信号 sou nan shin gou - distress signal, SOS
せい - system, control 規制 ki sei - regulation
無制限 mu sei gen - limitless
せい - manufactured, made in ~ アメリカ製 amerika sei - made in America
木製 moku sei - made of wood
ぜい - tax 関税 kan zei - customs, duty, tarrif
税制改革 zei sei kai kaku - tax reform
せき - seat 運転席 un ten seki - driver seat
欠席 kesseki - absence, non-attendance
せき - achievements 実績 jisseki - actual results, achievements
成績表 sei seki hyou - report card
せき - one of a pair; counter for boats 数隻の船 suu seki no fune - several boats
一隻 isseki - one (counter for boats)
せき - register 国籍 koku seki - nationality
本籍地 hon seki chi - permanent residence
せん - a line 境界線 kyou kai sen - boundary line
曲線 kyoku sen - curve
- ancestor 祖国 so koku - father land, native country
祖先 so sen - ancestor
そう - total, general 総合的 sou gou teki - synthetic
総理大臣 sou ri dai jin - Prime Minister
そう - stratum, layer 階層 kai sou - class, level
成層圏 sei sou ken - stratosphere
そう - dry up 乾燥 kan sou - dried, dehydrate
乾燥洗濯 kan sou sen taku - dry cleaning
ぞう - image 現像 gen zou - developing (film)
雪像 setsu zou - snow sculpture
想像 sou zou - imagination
ぞう - internal organ, entrails 肝臓 kan zou - liver (body part)
心臓の鼓動 shin zou no kodou - heartbeat
そく - a rule, law, to act on 規則 ki soku - rule, regulation
不規則動詞 fu kisoku dou shi - irregular verb
そつ - graduate 卒業証書 sotsu gyou shou sho - diploma
高卒 kou sotsu - high school graduate
だい - rank, No. ~ 安全第一 an zen dai ichi - safety first
第一印象 dai ichi in shou - first impression
たく - house, home 自宅 ji taku - one's house
宅配便 taku hai bin - express home delivery
たく - to rinse 洗濯挟み sentaku basami - clothes pin
洗濯物 sen taku mono - clothes to be washed
たん - single 単身赴任 tan shin fu nin - transfer without family; the father working in another city
単独会見i tan doku kai ken - exclusive interview
だん - talk 怪談 kai dan - ghost story
冗談抜き jou dan nuki - no joking, jesting aside
だん - step 手段 shu dan - means, way
段ボール dan bo-ru - cardboard
ちく - livestock 家畜 ka chiku - domesticated animals, cattle
畜産 chiku san - stock breeding
ちゅう - outer space 宇宙基地 u chuu ki chi - space station
宇宙人 u chuu jin - alien, space man
宙返り chuu gaeri - somersault

2 kyuu Kanji with One Pronunciation Page 5

All the Kanji on the Level 2 Test with ONE reading: #5
NOTE: Actually, most of these kanji DO have more than one reading, however they are rarely used

The Kanji
Reading & Meanings Useful and/or interesting words
ちゅう - stationed 駐車場 chuu sha jou - parking lot
駐屯所 chuu ton jo - military station, post
ちょ - lay up 貯金 cho kin - savings, save money
貯水池 cho sui chi - reservoir (of water)
ちょう - government agency 環境庁 kan kyou chou - environmental agency
県庁 ken chou - prefectural headquarters
てい - stop, halt バス停 basu tei - bus stop
停学 tei gaku - suspend from school
てき - suitable 快適 kai teki - pleasant, comfortable
不適当 fu teki tou - inadequacy, unfitness
てつ - iron 地下鉄 chi ka tetsu - subway, underground train
鉄棒 tetsu bou - iron bar, crowbar
てん - point, marks, dot 凝固点 gyou ko ten - freezing point
交差点 kou sa ten - intersection, crossing
- follower 使徒 shi to - apostle, disciple
偶像教徒的 guu zou kyou to teki - idolatrous
- way 途中 to chuu - on the way
前途有望 zen to yuu bou - a promising future
とう - party, sect, group 反対党 han tai tou - opposition party
民主党 min shu tou - Democratic party
とう - arrive 人跡未踏 jin seki mi tou - unexplored
到着 tou chaku - arrival
とう - tower 管制塔 kan sei tou - control tower
バベルの塔 baberu no tou - the Tower of Babel
どう - copper, bronze 銅メダル dou medaru - a bronze medal
銅山 dou zan - copper mine
どく - poison 働き中毒 hataraki chuu doku - workaholic, work poisoning
毒見 doku mi - tasting for poison (for a king...)
解毒剤 ge doku zai - antidote
ねん - toughts, remembering 記念 ki nen - commemoration, in memory
望郷の念 bou kyou no nen - a sense of nostalgia
のう - farming 農家 nou ka - farmer, farm family
農場 nou jou - farm
のう - ability 日本語能力試験 nihongo nou ryoku shi ken - the Japanese Language Proficiency Test
人工知能 jin kou chi nou - AI, Artificial Intelligence
不可能 fu ka nou - impossible
のう - brain 洗脳 sen nou - brain washing
頭脳 zu nou - head, brains, intellect
ばい - times X, double 二倍 ni bai - twice, double x2
倍増 bai zou - double
ばく - to explode 原爆 gen baku - atomic bomb
爆弾 baku dan - bomb
爆発 baku hatsu - explosion
はこ - box ごみ箱 gomi bako - garbage box, trash can
主の箱 shu no hako - the Ark of the Lord
巣箱 su bako - nest, hive (bees)
はだ - skin 鳥肌 tori hada - goose bumps, get goose pimples
肌寒い hada samui - chilly
はん - print, publishing 英語版 ei go ban - English edition
吹き替え版 fuki kae ban - dubbed version (videos...)
はん - to sort, generally 一般的 ippan teki - generally, typically
全般的 zen pan teki - universally
はん - to sell 自動販売機 ji dou han bai ki - vending machine
通信販売 tsuu shin han bai - mail order
ばん - order, turn, watch 一番 ichi ban - #1, the best, favorite
交番 kou ban - police box
夜番 yo ban - night watch
ばん - evening 一昨晩 issaku ban - night before last
一晩中 hito ban chuu - all night, over night
- not, not good 是非 ze hi - certainly, of course
非金属 hi kin zoku - non-metal
非常に hi jou ni - extremely, very

2 kyuu Kanji with One Pronunciation Page 6

All the Kanji on the Level 2 Test with ONE reading: #6
NOTE: Actually, most of these kanji DO have more than one reading, however they are rarely used

The Kanji
Reading & Meanings Useful and/or interesting words
びょう - a second 数秒 suu byou - a few seconds
秒読み byou yomi - countdown
- prefecture, agency 大阪府 oo saka fu - Osaka prefecture
政府 sei fu - government
- a woman 看護婦 kan go fu - nurse
夫婦 fuu fu - husband and wife
- symbol 引用符 in you fu - quotation marks ""
切符 kippu - ticket
- wide, universal, general 普段着 fu dan gi - everyday clothes
普通列車 fu tsuu ressha - regular local train
- skin 皮膚科 hi fu ka - dermatology
完膚なきまで kan pu naki made - completely, thoroughly
- a department, section 倶楽部 ku ra bu - (school) club
警部 kei bu - police inspector
部屋 heya - room (irregular reading)
ふく - fortune 祝福 shuku fuku - blessing
福井県 fukui ken - Fukui prefecture
福引き fuku biki - lottery, drawing
福音 fuku in - the Gospel, the Good News
福祉 fuku shi - welfare
ふく - secondary 副詞 fuku shi - adverb
副社長 fuku sha chou - vice-president (of company)
ふく - return to, again 往復 ou fuku - round trip, return ticket
回復 kai fuku - recovery (from an illness)
復習 fuku shuu - review (studies)
復讐 fuku shuu - revenge
ふく - compound, complex 複雑 fuku zatsu - complex, complicated
複数 fuku suu - plural (grammar...)
複製 fuku sei - reproduction, reprinting, duplication
貿
ぼう - trade 貿易会社 bou eki gai sha - trading company
交換貿易制 kou kan bou eki sei - barter system
ぼう - a stick, rod 指揮棒 shi ki bou - conductor's stick
泥棒 doro bou - theif, robber
用心棒 you jin bou - a bodygaurd
ぼう - headgear 脱帽 datsu bou - take off one's hat; my hat's off to you
麦藁帽子 mugi wara bou shi - straw hat
まい - counter for sheets (of paper) 一枚 ichi mai - one flat object (paper)
三枚目 san mai me - a comedian, comic actor
二枚目 ni mai me - a love scene's actor, handsome man
- not yet, still to come 未確認飛行物体 mi kaku nin hi kou buttai - UFO
未知 mi chi - unknown, not known yet
未来型 mi rai gata - futuristic
やく - promise, contract 旧約聖書 kyuu yaku sei sho - the Old Testament
契約 kei yaku - contract
婚約 kon yaku - engagement
- transport 禁輸 kin yu - embargo
密輸 mitsu yu - smuggling
輸入 yu nyuu - import
ゆう - mail 郵税 yuu zei - postage
郵便為替 yuu bin kawase - postal money order
- in advance, I 予言者 yo gen sha - a prophet
予算 yo san - budget, estimate
予約 yo yaku - reservation, booking
よう - sun, positive 太陽 tai you - the Sun
陽光 you kou - sunlight, sun shine
よう - appearance, contain 儀容 gi you - manners
美容院 bi you in - beauty parlor
容疑者 you gi sha - a suspect (person)
よく - the following, the next 翌日 yoku jitsu - the next day
翌年 yoku nen - the following year
りく - land 上陸 jou riku - landing (from plane)
大陸 tai riku - continent
りゃく - abridged, strategy 省略 shou ryaku - omission, abbreviation
侵略 shin ryaku - invasion, raid
りょう - both 両思う ryou omou - mutual love
両手 ryou te - both hands
りょう - territory 大統領 dai tou ryou - president (of country)
領事館 ryou ji kan - consulate
りょう - finish, comprehend 完了 kan ryou - completed, finished
終了 shuu ryou - end, finish, termination
了解 ryou kai - understand, roger

2 kyuu Kanji with One Pronunciation Page 7

All the Kanji on the Level 2 Test with ONE reading: #7
NOTE: Actually, most of these kanji DO have more than one reading, however they are rarely used

The Kanji
Reading & Meanings Useful and/or interesting words
りょう - treat 治療 chi ryou - medical treatment
医療 i ryou - medical care, medical
るい - a kind, a type 書類 sho rui - papers, documents
人類 jin rui - humanity, mankind
れい - command 制令 sei rei - regulations
年令 nen rei - age
命令 mei rei - command, order
れい - zero 零下 rei ka - below zero, sub-zero
零時 rei ji - midnight
れい - age 学齢 gaku rei - school age
年齢 nen rei - age
れき - personal history 学歴 gaku reki - school history, acedemic background
歴史家 reki shi ka - historian
れつ - row, a line 戦列 sen retsu - line of battle
列を作る retsu o tsukuru - make a line
最後列車 sai go ressha - last train
ろう - labor, effort 肉体疲労 niku tai hi rou - totally fatigued
勤労者 kin rou sha - worker
ろく - record 回顧録 kai ko roku - memoirs, recollections (written down)
黙示録 moku shi roku - the Apocalypse, Book of Revelation
録画 roku ga - recording (video)
ろん - argue, theory 意味論 i mi ron - semantics, study of meaning
議論 gi ron - discussion, argument
結論 ketsu ron - conclusion
理論 ri ron - theory
わん - bay 台湾 tai wan - Taiwan
湾岸 wan gan - gulf coast

Cats & Bears

Here are those kanji masquerading as cats!

The Kanji in Question meaning / readings Combos and related words
Readings: びょう byou , ねこ neko
Meaning: Cat
猫舌 neko jita - A sensitive tongue to heat
猫背 neko ze - stooping, stooping over (like a cat)
Readings: びょう byou , えが+く ega+ku, か+く ka+ku
Meaning: To draw, to picture, to describe
描写 byou sha - a description, to describe
Readings: びょう byou , なえ nae ,  なわ nawa
Meaning: a seedling; a young plant, tree
苗代 nawa shiro - a nursery; a bed for rice seedlings
苗木 nae gi - a young tree

Have a look at the bear's cousins...

The Kanji in Question meaning / readings Combos and related words
Readings: くま kuma
Meaning: Bear
洗熊 arai guma - raccoon (lit. washing bear - because this animal washes his paws)
熊のプーさん kuma no pu-san - Winnie the Pooh
白熊 shiro kuma - Polar Bear
Readings: のう nou
Meaning: ability; the Noh (play)
可能 kanou - possible
不可能 fukanou - impossible
性能 seinou - ability; efficiency
Readings: たい tai
Meaning: appearance; state of affairs
態度 taido - attitude

Reversable Kanji Combinations

Here we will explore the wonderful world of kanji. A 熟語 jukugo is a kanji compound where each kanji has a meaning that somehow relates (usually) to the combined kanji's overall meaning. Some kanji combinations can be reversed to give a similar meaning or sometimes opposite meaning. It is this kanji phenomena that we shall explore here. Why? I don't know. It's fun!

#1 Reversed Kanji with the same pronunciation

事故 ji ko - (traffic) accident
故事 ko ji - tradition, historical fact  [submitted by Eduardo]

慣習 kan shuu - usual (historical) custom
習慣 shuu kan - custom, habit, manners

名著 mei cho - famous book, masterpiece
著名 cho mei - well-known

魚雷 gyo rai Torpedo
雷魚 rai gyo A type of fish - snakehead mullet (whatever that is...)

進行 shin kou progress, advance
行進 kou shin march, parade

和平 wa hei peace
平和 hei wa peace

画面 ga men terminal screen, scene, picture, the field (in TV), photo
面画 men ga surface-drawing

社会 sha kai society
会社 kai sha a business

決議 ketsu gi a resolution, resolve
議決 gi ketsu

議会 gi kai an assembly
会議 kai gi a meeting

議論 gi ron an argument; a discussion
論議 ron gi discussion; to discuss or talk about

楽器 gakki - a musical instrument
器楽 ki gaku - instrumental music

光栄 kou ei - honor, glory, privilege
栄光 ei kou - glory

海外 kai gai foreign countries
外海 gai kai open ocean

数人 suu nin - Several People
人数 nin zuu Number of people

材木 zai moku - wood, lumber, timber
木材 moku zai - lumber

実現 jitsu gen - realization (of a dream)
現実 gen jitsu - a reality, actual, real


#2 Reversed Kanji with a different pronunciation

日本 nihon Japan
本日 hon jitsu Today

家出 ie de  running away from home, leaving home
出家 shukke entering the priesthood, priest, monk

力学 rikigaku mechanics, dynamics
学力 gaku ryoku scholarship, knowledge, literary ability

男優 dan yuu actor
優男 yasa otoko man of gentle manners

根性 kon jyou will-power (vs), guts, temper, nature, spirit
性根 shou ne character, nature

様子 you su aspect, state, appearance
お子様 o ko sama child (polite)

凸凹 dekoboko - rough; uneven
凹凸 ou totsu - unevenness; uneven

敬愛 kei ai - respect & affection
愛敬 ai kyou - love & respect

口出し kuchi dashi - meddling, interference
出口 de guchi - exit

切腹 seppuku - commiting suicide by cutting the stomach
腹切り harakiri - same as above

The Many Mushis

THAT IS, a look at the words that have the pronunciation of ' mushi .'

BEGINNER:

1) 虫 mushi - insect, bug

EXAMPLE: 虫が 好きです。 mushi ga suki desu.  - (I) like bugs.    

VOCAB:
mushi - bug
suki - to like                        
desu - the ending verb that ties it all together  

2) 無視  mushi - disregard, ignore

EXAMPLE: 無視して下さい。 mushi shite kudasai.  Please ignore me.    

VOCAB:   
mushi - ignore
shite - a form of the verb 'suru' - to do
kudasai - together with 'shite kudasai' it means 'please do something' (by itself it means, 'give me.'  I had a friend who occasionally called his sensei's house.  The sensei's husband would answer the phone.  My friend who had then just began his Japanese studies asked very politely, "NAME OF SENSEI, kudasai."  Meaning "NAME OF SENSEI, please."  It was only after 4 or 5 calls that the husband broke down in laughter and explained that my friend was literally asking to HAVE his wife!  It is in such a case where the above example sentence could prove useful!)  

INTERMEDIATE:

3) 蒸し暑い mushi atsui humid

EXAMPLE: フロリダの夏はいつもとても蒸し暑い。
furorida no natsu wa itsumo totemo mushi atsui.
Florida's Summer is always very humid.    

VOCAB:   
furorida - Florida (USA)
no - 's (the possessive marker)
natsu - Summer
itsumo - always
totemo  - very, so

4) 虫歯 mushi ba cavity, decayed tooth

EXAMPLE: チョコレートが好きなので、虫歯が 多いです。
chokore-to ga sukina node, mushiba ga ooi
Because I love chocolate, I have many cavities    

VOCAB:
chokore-to - Chocolate
ga - subject marker / particle
suki - like, love
node - because, since - * notice word order *
ooi - many, a lot

 

ADVANCED:

5) 虫眼鏡 mushi megane - magnifying glass  (lit. 'bug (insect)' 'glasses (spectacles)')

EXAMPLE: ホームスはやっと虫眼鏡で証拠を見つけました。
ho-musu wa yatto mushimegane de shouko wo mitsukemashita.
Holmes, at last, found the evidence with his magnifying glass.    

VOCAB:   
ho-musu - Sherlock Holmes
yatto - finally, at last
de - by means of, at, with...
shouko - evidence  (<BONUS> shouko inmetsu - destruction of evidence)
wo - direct object marker / particle
mitsukemashita - past tense of mitsukeru  - to find
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

HAVE A SAFE AND PROSPEROUS MUSHI-FREE DAY!

Kanji: 上 ue Up

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The shorter bar is ABOVE the longer bar.
JLPT N5: 41 / 100 | 3 Strokes


On: ジョウ
Kun: うえ; あ・げる; のぼ・る

Meaning: up; to raise up

Don't be shocked at the number of pronunciations (actually, there are more!), the best one to remember is ue.

Stroke Order:


Examples:
机の上 tsukue no ue - on (the) desk [lit. desk's above]
上手 jou zu - to be good at something [lit upper hand]
年上 toshi ue - older; old (in years)

Example Sentence:
上を見てください。
ue o mite kudasai.
Please look up.

Kanji: 下 shita Down

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The shorter bar is BELOW the longer bar.
JLPT N5: 42 / 100 | 3 Strokes


On: カ; ゲ
Kun: した

Meaning: below; under; down

This one also has several more readings, but shita is the most useful for now.

Stroke Order:


Examples:
靴下 kutsu shita - socks [lit. shoes under]
地下 chi ka - underground, basement
年下 toshi shita - junior, younger, young

Example Sentence:
車の下に猫がいます。
kuruma no shita ni neko ga imasu.
There is a cat under the car.

Kanji: 中 naka inside

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JLPT N5: 53 / 100 | 4 Strokes


On: チュウ
Kun: なか

Meaning: middle; center; within; inside

It's a line inside a box!

Stroke Order:


Examples:
一日中 ichi nichi juu - all day long (sound changes from chuu to juu)
家の中 ie no naka - inside the house
勉強中 ben kyou chuu - while studying, in the midst of studying

Example Sentence:
彼は雪の中を歩きました。
kare wa yuki no naka o arukimashita.
He was walking through the snow.

Kanji: 今 ima Now

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It looks like someone with a hat is eating with his mouth wide open now
JLPT N5: 39 / 100 | 4 Strokes


On: コン; キン
Kun: いま

Meaning: now; the present

 

Stroke Order:


Examples:
今月 kon getsu - this month
今晩は kon ban wa - good night [lit. as for this night]
今度 kon do - next time [you would think this means this time!]

Example Sentence:
今年30歳になりました。
kotoshi sanjuusai ni narimashita.
I became 30 this year.

[Note: "this year" is "kotoshi" not "kontoshi"]

Kanji: 何 nani What

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One of the most useful kanji.
JLPT N5: 40 / 100 | 6 Strokes


On: カ
Kun: なに; なん

Meaning: what

 

Stroke Order:


Examples:
何人 nan nin - how many people?
何か nani ka - something
何? nani? - What?

Example Sentence:
何時ですか?
nanji desu ka?
What time is it?

Kanji: 先 saki Previous

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It has two legs so it always walks ahead.
JLPT N5: 38 / 100 | 6 Strokes


On: セン
Kun: さき

Meaning: previous; ahead

This word is used for space and time.

Stroke Order:


Examples:
先生 sen sei - teacher
先日 sen jitsu - the other day

Example Sentence:
どうぞ、お先に。
douzo, osaki ni.
Please go first.

Kanji: 分 bun Part

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JLPT N5: 57 / 100 | 4 Strokes


On: ふん; ぶん
Kun: わ・ける

Meaning: part; portion

The bottom part is a sword ( 刀 ) and think of the sword dividing the top part into two parts.

Stroke Order:


Examples:
半分 han bun - half
部分 bu bun - a part
気分 ki bun - feeling, mood
分かりました wakarimashita - I understand

Example Sentence:
はい、分かります。
hai, wakarimasu.
Yes, I understand.

Kanji: 前 mae Before

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Remember: there is a month in there.
JLPT N5: 33 / 100 | 9 Strokes


On: ゼン
Kun: まえ

Meaning: before; in front of; previous

This versatile word is used with time and space (before and in front of).

Stroke Order:


Examples:
名前 na mae - name
前書き mae gaki - preface [lit. before the writing]
二年前 ni nen mae - two years ago

Example Sentence:
お名前は何ですか?
onamae wa nan desu ka?
What is your name?

 

Kanji: 北 kita North

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It looks like two people sitting with their backs against the north pole.
JLPT N5: 48 / 100 | 5 Strokes


On: ホク
Kun: きた

Meaning: north

Or if it helps... two polar bears sitting back to back.

Stroke Order:


Examples:
北海道 hokkaidou - Hokkaido (most northern part of Japan)
北アメリカ kita amerika - North America
北京 pekin - Beijing (In China)
南北戦争 nan boku sen sou - the (US) Civil War

Example Sentence:
北海道へ行ったことがありますか?
hokkaidou e itta koto ga arimasu ka?
Have you ever been to Hokkaido?

Kanji: 午 go Noon

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Be careful to not confuse this one with 牛 ushi (cow)
JLPT N5: 32 / 100 | 4 Strokes


On: ゴ
Kun:

Meaning: noon

This also looks like the previous kanji, year 年.

Stroke Order:


Examples:
午後 go go - afternoon (PM)
午前 go zen - morning (AM)
午後二時 go go ni ji - 2 O'clock in the afternoon

Example Sentence:
午前のコーヒー
gozen no ko-hi-
Morning coffee

 

Kanji: 半 han Half

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JLPT N5: 56 / 100 | 5 Strokes


On: ハン
Kun:

Meaning: half

The two top half lines were cut in half.

Stroke Order:


Examples:
半ヶ月 han ka getsu - half a month
半月 han tsuki - a half moon
半島 han tou - peninsula [lit. half island]

Example Sentence:
やっと半分終わった。
yatto hanbun owatta.
Finally, I'm half-way finished.

Kanji: 南 minami South

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Remember: there is money ( ¥ yen ) in the south
JLPT N5: 47 / 100 | 9 Strokes


On: ナン
Kun: みなみ

Meaning: south

It would be helpful to learn directions well as they can be confusing.

Stroke Order:


Examples:
東南アジア tou nan ajia - Southeast Asia
南極 nan kyoku - the South Pole, Antarctic
南米 nan bei - South America

Example Sentence:
南に海があります。
minami ni umi ga arimasu.
Down south, there is an ocean.

Kanji: 右 migi Right

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Migi is right.
JLPT N5: 44 / 100 | 5 Strokes


On: ユウ
Kun: みぎ

Meaning: right

Both left ( 左 ) and right ( 右 ) are very similar. Left has a capital I and right has a mouth.

Stroke Order:


Examples:
右目 migi me - right eye
右ページ migi pe-ji - right page (of a book)
右手 migi te - right hand

Example Sentence:
右に曲がります。
migi ni magarimasu.
I'm turning to the right.
(in car for example)

Kanji: 名 na Name

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JLPT N5: 50 / 100 | 6 Strokes


On: メイ; ミョウ
Kun: な

Meaning: fame; famous; name

 

Stroke Order:


Examples:
名前 na mae - name
有名 yuu mei - famous
平仮名 hiragana - Hiragana [the Japanese writing system]

Example Sentence:
私の名前は~です。
watashi no namae wa ~ desu.
My name is...

Kanji: 外 soto Outside

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Looks like an axe cutting a tree down outside.
JLPT N5: 49 / 100 | 5 Strokes


On: ガイ; ゲ
Kun: ほか; そと

Meaning: outside; foreign; other

"Foreigner" is often abbreviated as gaijin but this can be considered an insult.

Stroke Order:


Examples:
外国人 gai koku jin - foreigner
外国語 gai koku go - foreign language

Example Sentence:
外で遊ぼう。
soto de asobou.
Let's play outside.

Kanji: 大 ookii Big

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JLPT N5: 54 / 100 | 3 Strokes


On: ダイ; タイ
Kun: おお・きい

Meaning: big; large

This is a big person ( 人 ) with his great arms spread wide.

Stroke Order:


Examples:
大学 dai gaku - university, college
大きい心 ookii kokoro - a big heart
大会 tai kai - big meet, convention, rally

Example Sentence:
あなたの頭は大きいです。
anata no atama wa ookii desu.
Your head is big.

Kanji: 学 gaku Learning

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JLPT N5: 58 / 100 | 8 Strokes


On: ガク
Kun: まな・ぶ

Meaning: learning; study

The bottom is a child ( 子 ) and think of the top as his brain waves learning

Stroke Order:


Examples:
科学 ka gaku - science
中学校 chuu gakkou - middle school, JHS
数学 suu gaku - math; arithmetic

Example Sentence:
数学できません。
suugaku dekimasen.
I can't do math.

Kanji: 校 kou School

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JLPT N5: 59 / 100 | 10 Strokes


On: コウ
Kun:

Meaning: school

Remember: many schools buildings are made of trees ( 木 )

Stroke Order:


Examples:
学校 gakkou - school
高校 kou kou - senior high school
校内 kou nai - within the school, on school grounds

Example Sentence:
あなたの学校はどこですか?
anata no gakkou wa doko desu ka?
Where is your school?

Kanji: 生 ikiru Live

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JLPT N5: 60 / 100 | 5 Strokes


On: セイ; ショウ
Kun: う・む; い・きる

Meaning: birth; life; to give birth; to live

 

Stroke Order:


Examples:
学生 gaku sei - a student
一生 isshou - all life; a lifetime
人生 jin sei - life (human)
先生 sen sei - teacher; master; doctor...

Example Sentence:
先生はあの人です。
sensei wa ano hito desu.
The teacher is that person over there.

Kanji: 小 chiisai Small

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JLPT N5: 52 / 100 | 3 Strokes


On: ショウ
Kun: ちい・さい;こ;お

Meaning: small; little

Only three small strokes make this kanji.

Stroke Order:


Examples:
小学校 shou gakkou - elementary school
小さい家 chiisai ie - a small house
小説 shou setsu - a novel, a story (fiction)

Example Sentence:
赤ちゃんが小さいです。
akachan ga chiisai desu.
The baby is small.

Kanji: 左 hidari Left

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Hidari is left.
JLPT N5: 43 / 100 | 5 Strokes


On: サ
Kun: ひだり

Meaning: left

Both left ( 左 ) and right ( 右 ) are very similar. Left has a capital I and right has a mouth.

Stroke Order:


Examples:
左手 hidari te - left hand
左足 hidari ashi - left leg
机の左 tsukue no hidari - to the left of the desk

Example Sentence:
左にあります。
hidari ni arimasu.
It is on the left.

Kanji: 年 toshi year

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This year study kanji!
JLPT N5: 31 / 100 | 6 Strokes


On: ネン
Kun: とし

Meaning: year

You are making progress. Keep at it.

Stroke Order:


Examples:
一年 ichi nen - one year
二年前 ni nen mae - two years ago
去年 kyo nen - last year

Example Sentence:
今年30歳になりました。
kotoshi sanjuusai ni narimashita.
I became 30 this year.

[Note: "this year" is "kotoshi" not "kontoshi"]

 

Kanji: 後 ushiro Behind

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When you are "behind" you are "after" something or someone
JLPT N5: 34 / 100 | 9 Strokes


On: ゴ; コウ
Kun: うし・ろ; のち

Meaning: behind; after

 

Stroke Order:


Examples:
最後 sai go - the last, the end, conclusion
後ろ ushiro - behind
後書き ato gaki - postscript, afterword [lit. after the writing]

Example Sentence:
後ろを見て。
ushiro o mite.
Look behind (you).

 

Kanji: 時 toki Time

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The sun is very important in telling time: 日
JLPT N5: 35 / 100 | 10 Strokes


On: ジ
Kun: とき

Meaning: time

sun 日 + temple 寺

Stroke Order:


Examples:
時間 ji kan - time
時々 toki doki - sometimes [the 々 character means to repeat]
江戸時代 e do ji dai - the Edo period

Example Sentence:
何時ですか?
nanji desu ka?
What time is it?

 

Kanji: 東 higashi East

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In order to look at the sun from behind a tree, you must be facing east:
JLPT N5: 45 / 100 | 8 Strokes


On: トウ
Kun: ひがし

Meaning: east

A sun [ 日 ] character behind a tree [ 木 ]

Stroke Order:


Examples:
中東 chuu tou - the Middle East
東アジア higashi ajia - East Asia
東京 tou kyou - Tokyo

Example Sentence:
東京に住んでいます。
toukyou ni sunde imasu.
I live in Tokyo.

Kanji: 毎 mai Every

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Every time you draw this kanji say, "every"
JLPT N5: 37 / 100 | 7 Strokes


On:
Kun: まい

Meaning: every~

Do you see mother? 母

Stroke Order:


Examples:
毎日 mai nichi - everyday
毎朝 mai asa - every morning
毎週 mai shuu - every week

Example Sentence:
毎日日本語を勉強します。
mainichi nihongo wo benkyou shimasu.
I study Japanese everyday.

 

Kanji: 西 nishi West

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"Go west !", said the mouth with legs dangling inside.
JLPT N5: 46 / 100 | 6 Strokes


西

On: セイ; サイ
Kun: にし

Meaning: west

It would be helpful to learn directions well as they can be confusing.

Stroke Order:


Examples:
西口 nishi guchi - west entrance
関西 kan sai - Osaka and surrounding area; Kansai
西ドイツ nishi doitsu - West Germany
大西洋 tai sei you - the Atlantic

Example Sentence:
西はどっち?
nishi wa docchi?
Where is west?

Kanji: 長 nagai Long

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JLPT N5: 55 / 100 | 8 Strokes


On: チョウ
Kun: なが・い

Meaning: long; (chou - head of an organization; leader)

There are several long strokes to make nagai.

Stroke Order: