December 19, 2021

Kanji Study: 防 -Proof [Upper Beginners+]

Kanji Study : 防

Today we will look at a fairly common upper-level kanji, 防.

Meanings: ward off; defend; protect; resist

Kun: ふせ.ぐ

On: ボウ

Kanji Parts:
  • 阝 mound; dam
  • 方 direction

Mnemonic: Set up a mound 阝 to ward off and defend against those coming from the enemy's direction 方.

As a verb it means:

ふせぐ 【防ぐ】 protect from, keep away, prevent

And we can see these meanings in 熟語(じゅくご) jukugo (kanji combinations), but another meaning for this kanji, when used as a prefix, is "-proof". Knowing this can increase your vocabulary quickly and without much headache:

Examples of 防 as -proof 


bou sui
[防水靴ぼうすいぐつ  bou sui gutsu - water-proof shoes; 防水ぼうすいコート bou sui ko-to - rain coat]]


bou on
[防音室 bou on shitsu - soundproof room]


bou han
prevention of crime; crime prevention


bou ka


bou sai
protection against (natural) disasters


bou eki
prevention of epidemics or plagues

Then we have a few examples that appear to mean the opposite of -proof. While the above 防 (-proof) was added to the undesirable thing it should prevent, the following seem to have 防 to compliment that meaning: to protect or defend (something) 


bou shi
[止 means to stop]


bou sen
a defensive battle
[戦 means war; battle]


bou ei
[衛 means defense]

Sharing is caring!

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Level up your Japanese!


For Total Beginners

Japanese for beginners - Beri-Beri Shoshinsha

This 15-book study guide + worksheets bundle is ON SALE. For just one-time payment only, you will get this bundle for a very low price plus you will get future contents for free (no additional charge).

Easy to follow and understand

This bundle is perfect for absolute beginners. It's thorough without being wordy, giving you exactly enough information to understand the concepts without overloading you with information. 

TheJapanShop.com Customer

Makoto+ Membership

You'll notice many TheJapanesePage.com lessons have bonus content for Makoto+ Members. Well, membership goes well beyond that. Members also get our monthly magazine for learners of Japanese (Beginners to Intermediates), weekly exclusive lessons, Podcast bonus content, and much more.