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Encyclopedia > Kun'yomi
The characters for Kanji, lit. "Han characters".
The characters for Kanji, lit. "Han characters".

Japanese writing The character 書 (sho/kaku -- writing) in kaisho style. ...


Japanese writing Nihongo in kanji This article describes the modern Japanese writing system and its history. ...

Kanji 漢字


Kana 仮名 Kana is a general term for two types of syllabic Japanese script: hiragana (ひらがな) and katakana (カタカナ). ...

Uses Hiragana (平仮名, literally smooth kana) are a Japanese syllabary, one of four Japanese writing systems (the others are katakana, kanji and rōmaji). ... Katakana (片仮名, literally: fragmentary kana) are a Japanese syllabary, one of four Japanese writing systems (the others are hiragana, kanji and rōmaji). ...

Romaji ローマ字 Furigana (ふりがな), also called yomigana, are kana printed next to a kanji or other character to indicate its pronunciation. ... Okurigana (送り仮名, literally accompanying characters) are a special use of hiragana suffixes following kanji stems in Japanese written words. ... Rōmaji (ローマ字 characters of Rome, frequently misspelled romanji in English), is a Japanese term for the Latin alphabet. ...

Kanji (漢字, literally "characters from Han China"; see also Han Chinese) are Chinese characters used in Japanese. Kanji are one of the five character sets used in the modern Japanese writing system, the other four being hiragana, katakana, the Roman alphabet (rōmaji), and Arabic numerals. The Han Dynasty (Traditional Chinese characters: 漢朝, Simplified Chinese characters: 汉朝, pinyin Hàncháo 202 BC - AD 220) followed the Qin Dynasty and preceded the Three Kingdoms in China. ... Han Chinese (Simplified: 汉; Traditional: 漢; Pinyin: hàn) is a term which refers to the majority ethnic group within China and the largest single human ethnic group in the world. ... 漢字 in Traditional Chinese and other languages. ... Nihongo in kanji This article describes the modern Japanese writing system and its history. ... Hiragana (平仮名, literally smooth kana) are a Japanese syllabary, one of four Japanese writing systems (the others are katakana, kanji and rōmaji). ... Katakana (片仮名, literally: fragmentary kana) are a Japanese syllabary, one of four Japanese writing systems (the others are hiragana, kanji and rōmaji). ... Rōmaji (ローマ字 characters of Rome, frequently misspelled romanji in English), is a Japanese term for the Latin alphabet. ... Arabic numerals (also called Hindu numerals or Hindu-Arabic numerals) are by far the most common form of symbolism used to represent numbers. ...


This article focuses on the Japanese use of these characters; see Chinese character for a general discussion of Chinese characters, which are also used in several other languages. 漢字 in Traditional Chinese and other languages. ...

Contents

History

There is some disagreement about how the use of Chinese characters began in Japan, but it is generally accepted that Buddhist monks brought Chinese texts back to Japan in about the 5th century. These texts were in the Chinese language and would have been read as such at first. Over time, however, a system known as kanbun (漢文) emerged; it essentially used Chinese text with diacritical marks to allow Japanese speakers to read it in accordance with the rules of Japanese grammar. Statues of Buddha such as this, the Tian Tan Buddha statue in Hong Kong, remind followers to practice right living. ... A Roman Catholic monk A monk is a person who practices monasticism, adopting a strict religious and ascetic lifestyle, usually in community with others following the same path. ... In language, text is something that contains words to express something. ... ( 4th century - 5th century - 6th century - other centuries) Events Rome sacked by Visigoths in 410. ... Chinese (written) language (pinyin: zhōngw n) written in Chinese characters The Chinese language (汉语/漢語, 华语/華語, or 中文; Pinyin: H nyǔ, Hu yǔ, or Zhōngw n) is a member of the Sino-Tibetan family of languages. ... Links to kanbun redirect to this page. ... A diacritic mark or accent mark is an additional mark added to a basic letter. ... This article is about grammar from a linguistic perspective. ...


The Japanese language itself had no written form at the time. Eventually a writing system called man'yōgana (used in the ancient poetry anthology Man'yōshū) evolved that used a limited set of Chinese characters for their phonetic value alone, not for their semantic value, which was necessary for writing Japanese poetry. Manyogana written in curvilinear style became hiragana, a writing system that was accessible to women (who were denied higher education). Major works of Heian-era literature by women were written in hiragana. Katakana emerged via a parallel path: monastery students simplified manyogana to a single constituent element. Hiragana and katakana are referred to collectively as kana. Manyōgana (万葉仮名) is an ancient form of Japanese kana based on kanji (Chinese characters). ... Manyoshu (万葉集 Manyōshū, Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves) is the oldest existing, and most highly revered, collection of Japanese poetry, compiled sometime in the Nara or early Heian periods. ... Phonetics (from the Greek word phone = sound/voice) is the study of speech sounds (voice). ... In general, semantics (from the Greek semantikos, or significant meaning, derived from sema, sign) is the study of meaning, in some sense of that term. ... Hiragana (平仮名, literally smooth kana) are a Japanese syllabary, one of four Japanese writing systems (the others are katakana, kanji and rōmaji). ... Higher education is education provided by universities and other institutions that award academic degrees, such as university colleges, and liberal arts colleges. ... Location of Kyoto, on the main island of Japan Kyoto (Japanese: 京都市; Kyōto-shi) is a city in Japan that has a population of 1. ... Literature is literally an acquaintance with letters as in the first sense given in the Oxford English Dictionary (from the Latin littera meaning an individual written character (letter)). The term has, however, generally come to identify a collection of texts. ... Katakana (片仮名, literally: fragmentary kana) are a Japanese syllabary, one of four Japanese writing systems (the others are hiragana, kanji and rōmaji). ... Buddhist monastery near Tibet A monastery is the habitation of monks. ... Kana is a general term for two types of syllabic Japanese script: hiragana (ひらがな) and katakana (カタカナ). ...


As the Japanese system of writing matured and expanded, kanji began to be used to write certain parts of speech, such as nouns, adjectives and verbs, while hiragana was used to write verb endings (okurigana), uniquely Japanese words, and words where the kanji is too difficult to read or remember. Hiragana is also used in books for young children and to impart a softer tone to words and requests. Words or parts of words like kudasai (ください please) and kodomo (子ども children) are usually written in hiragana. Speech: (n. ... A noun, or noun substantive, is a word or phrase that refers to a person, place, thing, event, substance or quality. ... An adjective is a part of speech which modifies a noun, usually making its meaning more specific. ... A verb is a part of speech that usually denotes action (bring, read), occurrence (to decompose (itself), to glitter), or a state of being (exist, live, soak, stand). Depending on the language, a verb may vary in form according to many factors, possibly including its tense, aspect, mood and voice. ... Okurigana (送り仮名, literally accompanying characters) are a special use of hiragana suffixes following kanji stems in Japanese written words. ...


Conversely, because of its angularity, katakana came to be used for representing onomatopoeia, harsh and sudden sounds, animal noises, and foreign words. Note, however, that the usage of katakana to write loan words developed much later. Originally they were written using kanji, chosen either for their meaning (煙草 tabako) or to spell the word phonetically (tempura 天婦羅 or 天麩羅). Today, the reverse is occurring. Loan words, especially from English, are rapidly displacing common words for which there are suitable Japanese equivalents instead of being used to fill lexical gap. One linguistics professor estimates that as much as one-third of spoken Japanese today consists of loan words or wasei-eigo, Japanese-invented English words and portmanteaux like パソコン pasokon (personal computer). In linguistics and poetry, onomatopoeia is the device of a word, or occasionally, a grouping of words, with a sound imitating the sound it is describing, such as bang, click, fizz, hush or buzz. Onomatopoetic words exist in every language, although they are different in each. ... A loanword (or a borrowing) is a word taken in by one language from another. ... Species N. alata N. bigelovil N. debneyi N. excelsior N. exigua N. glauca N. glutinosa N. kawakamii N. knightiana N. longiflora N. sylvestris N. tabacum Ref: ITIS 30562 as of 2002-08-28 Tobacco () is a broad-leafed plant of the nightshade family, indigenous to North and South America, whose... Tempura Tempura (Japanese 天麩羅, てんぷら) refers to classic Japanese deep fried batter-dipped seafood and vegetables. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... Broadly conceived, linguistics is the study of human language, and a linguist is someone who engages in this study. ... Wasei-eigo (和製英語 wasei eigo, lit. ... A portmanteau (plural: Portmanteaux or portmanteaux) is a word that is formed by combining two words. ...


Types of kanji: categorized by history

Kokuji

While some kanji and Chinese hanzi are mutually readable, many more are not. In addition to characters that have different meanings in Japanese, and characters that have identical meanings but are written differently, there are also characters peculiar to Japanese known as kokuji (国字; literally "national characters"). Kokuji are also known as wasei kanji (和製漢字; lit. "Chinese characters made in Japan"). There are hundreds of kokuji (see the sci.lang.japan AFAQ list (http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/afaq/afaq-full.html#kokuji)), and although some are rarely used, many others have become important additions to the written Japanese language. These include: Technical note: Due to technical limitations, some web browsers may not display some special characters in this article. ... The characters for Kanji, lit. ...

  • tōge (mountain pass)
  • sakaki (sakaki tree, genus Camellia)
  • hatake (field of crops)
  • tsuji (crossroads, street)
  • , hatara(ku) (work)

In a mountain range, a pass (also gap, notch, col, saddle, or bealach) is a lower point that allows easier access through the range. ... Camellia Categories: Stub | Flowers ...

Kokkun

In addition to kokuji, there are kanji that have been given meanings in Japanese different from their original Chinese meanings. These kanji are not considered kokuji but are instead called kokkun (国訓) and include characters such as:

  • oki (offing, offshore; Ch. chōng rinse)
  • mori (forest; Ch. sēn gloomy, majestic, luxuriant growth)
  • 椿 tsubaki (Camellia japonicus; Ch. chūn Ailantus)

This article is about forests as a massing of trees. ...

Old characters and new characters

The same kanji character can sometimes be written in two different ways, 旧字体 (kyū-jitai; lit. "old character") and 新字体 (shin-jitai; "new character"). The following are some examples of kyū-jitai followed by the corresponding shin-jitai:

  • 國 国 kuni (country)
  • 號 号 (number)
  • 變 変 hen, ka(waru) (change)

Kyū-jitai were used before the end of World War II, but after the war the government introduced the simplified shin-jitai. Some of the new characters are similar to simplified characters used in the People's Republic of China, but the two are essentially different things. Mushroom cloud from the nuclear explosion over Nagasaki rising 18 km into the air. ... History of Japan Paleolithic Jomon Yayoi Yamato period ---Kofun period ---Asuka period Nara period Heian period Kamakura period Muromachi period Azuchi-Momoyama period ---Nanban period Edo period Meiji period Taisho period Showa period ---Japanese expansionism ---Occupied Japan ---Post-Occupation Japan Heisei The Surrender of Japan Japan surrendered to the Allies... Simplified Chinese characters (Simplified Chinese: 简体字; Traditional Chinese: 簡體字; pinyin: jiǎntǐzì; also called 简化字/簡化字, jiǎnhuàzì) are one of two standard character sets of printed contemporary Chinese written language. ...


There are also Chinese characters that are only used phonetically in Japanese (当て字 ateji), and many Chinese characters that are not used in Japanese at all. Theoretically, however, any Chinese character can also be a Japanese character—the Morohashi Daikanwa Jiten, the largest dictionary of kanji ever compiled, has close to 50,000 entries, even though some of those entries have never been used in Japanese.


Readings

A kanji character may have several (in rare cases ten or more) possible pronunciations, depending on its context, intended meaning, use in compounds, and location in the sentence. These pronunciations, or readings, are typically categorized as either on'yomi or kun'yomi (often abbreviated on and kun). Pronunciation refers to: the way a word or a language is usually spoken; the manner in which someone utters a word. ...


On'yomi (Chinese reading)

The on'yomi (音読み) of a kanji (also called its on reading or Chinese reading) is based on the Japanese approximation of the original Chinese pronunciation of the character at the time it was introduced. Some kanji were reintroduced from different parts of China at different times, and so have multiple on'yomi (and often multiple meanings as well). Contrariwise, wasei kanji typically have no on'yomi at all.


For example, the kanji for light or next (明) may be pronounced myō, from an early (c. 5th6th century) borrowing from southern China, or mei, from a later (c. 7th9th century) borrowing from northern China. However, the kanji 込 is Japanese, not Chinese, in origin, and thus lacks any on'yomi. ( 4th century - 5th century - 6th century - other centuries) Events Rome sacked by Visigoths in 410. ... (5th century — 6th century — 7th century — other centuries) Events The first academy of the east the Academy of Gundeshapur founded in Persia by the Persian Shah Khosrau I. Irish colonists and invaders, the Scots, began migrating to Caledonia (later known as Scotland) Glendalough monastery, Wicklow Ireland founded by St. ... ( 6th century - 7th century - 8th century - other centuries) Events Islam starts in Arabia, the Quran is written, and Arabs subjugate Syria, Iraq, Persia, Egypt, North Africa and Central Asia to Islam. ... ( 8th century - 9th century - 10th century - other centuries) Events Beowulf might have been written down in this century, though it could also have been in the 8th century Reign of Charlemagne, and concurrent (and controversially labeled) Carolingian Renaissance in western Europe Viking attacks on Europe begin Oseberg ship burial The...


Due to trade/navigation patterns, a great volume of Chinese vocabulary was introduced to Japan by natives of southern Chinese, thus many common pronunciations more closely mirror those of Southern Chinese languages ("dialects") rather than Northern pronunciations--of course it must be noted that Chinese languages have changed over time and pronunciations used at the time of introduction of vocabulary from China to Japan may no longer be used in a recognizable form by contemporary Chinese.


On'yomi are phonologically characterized by their tendency toward single-syllable readings, since each character expressed a single Chinese syllable. However, tonality aside, most Chinese syllables (especially in Middle Chinese, in which final stop consonants were more prevalent than in most modern dialects) did not fit the largely-CV (consonant-vowel) phonotactics of classical Japanese. Thus most on'yomi are composed of two moras (syllables or beats), the second of which is either a lengthening of the vowel in the first mora (this being i in the case of e and u in the case of o, due to linguistic drift in the centuries since), or one of the syllables ku, ki, tsu, chi, or syllabic n, chosen for their approximation to the final consonants of Middle Chinese. (In fact, palatalized consonants before vowels other than i (written as y in consonant clusters and the consonants ch, sh and j in these environments), as well as syllabic n, were likely added to the Japanese phonotactic system to better simulate Chinese; none of these features occur in words of native Japanese origin.) Tone refers to the use of pitch in language to distinguish words. ... Middle Chinese (中古漢語, pinyin: zhōnggǔ Hànyǔ), or Ancient Chinese as used by linguist Bernhard Karlgren, refers to the Chinese language spoken during Northern and Southern Dynasties and the Sui, Tang, and Song dynasties (6th century - 10th century). ... A stop or plosive or occlusive is a consonant sound produced by stopping the airflow in the vocal tract. ... Phonotactics (in Greek phone = voice and tactic = course) deals with restrictions in a language on the permissible combinations of phonemes. ... Mora can mean: Mora - a municipality of Dalarna County in Sweden Mora - a district of Dalecarlia in Sweden Mora, Minnesota Mora, Portugal Mora County, New Mexico Mora: A unit of sound used in phonology that determines stress in some languages. ... Drift is the slow long term variation of an attribute or value of a system or device. ...


On'yomi primarily occur in multi-kanji compound words (熟語 jukugo), many of which are the result of the adoption (along with the kanji themselves) of Chinese words for concepts that either didn't exist in Japanese or could not be articulated as elegantly using native words. This borrowing process is often compared to the English borrowings from Latin and Norman French, since Chinese-borrowed terms are often more specialized, or considered to sound more erudite, than their native counterparts.


Kun'yomi (Japanese reading)

The kun'yomi (訓読み) of a kanji (also called its kun reading, Japanese reading, or somewhat misleadingly its native reading) is a reading based on the pronunciation of a native Japanese word, or yamatokotoba, that closely approximated the meaning of the Chinese character when it was introduced. Again, there can be multiple kun readings for the same kanji, and some kanji have no kun'yomi at all.


For instance, the kanji for east, 東, has the on reading . However, Japanese already had a word for east, pronounced higashi (or sometimes azuma). Thus, the kanji character 東 had the latter pronunciations grafted onto it as kun'yomi. However, the kanji 寸, denoting a Chinese unit of measurement (slightly over an inch), had no native Japanese equivalent; thus it has only its on'yomi, sun. East is most commonly a noun, adjective, or adverb indicating direction or geography. ...


Kun'yomi are characterized by the strict (C)V syllable structure common to yamatokotoba, passingly similar to that of the nearby Polynesian languages. Most noun or adjective kun'yomi are two to three syllables long, while verb kun'yomi are more often one or two syllables in length (not counting trailing hiragana called okurigana, although those are usually considered part of the reading). The Polynesian languages are a group of related languages spoken in the region known as Polynesia. ... Hiragana (平仮名, literally smooth kana) are a Japanese syllabary, one of four Japanese writing systems (the others are katakana, kanji and rōmaji). ... Okurigana (送り仮名, literally accompanying characters) are a special use of hiragana suffixes following kanji stems in Japanese written words. ...


In a number of cases, multiple kanji were assigned to cover a single word. Typically when this occurs, the different kanji have slightly different meanings. For instance, the word なおる naoru, when written 治る, means to heal an illness or sickness. When written 直る, it means to fix something (e.g. a bicycle or TV). Sometimes the differences are very clear, other times they are quite subtle. Sometimes you will get differences of opinion depending on which reference work you look at -- one dictionary may say the kanji are equivalent, while another dictionary may draw distinctions of use between them. Because of this confusion, even Japanese people have trouble knowing which kanji to use in some cases. One workaround is simply to write the word in hiragana, a method frequently employed with more complex cases such as もと moto (which has at least 4 different kanji, 3 of which have only very subtle differences).


Other readings

Some kanji also have lesser-known readings called nanori, which are mostly used for people's names, and are generally closely related to the kun'yomi. Place names sometimes also use nanori (or, occasionally, unique readings not found elsewhere). In the Japanese language many names are constructed from common kanji characters with standard spelling and pronunciation. ...


Gikun (義訓) are readings of kanji combinations that have no direct correspondence to the characters' individual on'yomi or kun'yomi, but are instead connected by the meaning of the written and spoken phrases. For example, the compound 一寸 might naïvely be read issun, meaning "one sun", but it is more often used to write the indivisible word chotto, "a little". Gikun also feature in some Japanese family names.


Many ateji (kanji used only for their phonetic value) have meanings derived from their usage: for example, the now-archaic 亜細亜 ajia was formerly used to write "Asia" in kanji; the character 亜 now means Asia in such compounds as 東亜 tōa, "East Asia". From the written 亜米利加 amerika, the second character was taken, resulting in the semi-formal coinage 米国 beikoku, lit. "rice country" but meaning "United States of America". World map showing location of Asia A satellite composite image of Asia Asia is the central and eastern part of the continent of Eurasia, defined by subtracting the European peninsula from Eurasia. ...


When to use which reading

The division between on'yomi and kun'yomi can seem arbitrary and unnecessarily difficult to the learner of Japanese. Words for similar concepts, such as "east" (東), "north" (北) and "northeast" (東北), can have completely different pronunciations: the kun readings higashi and kita are used for the first two, while the on reading tōhoku is used for the third. However, the situation is actually no less coherent than the similar mixture of pronunciations in English which resulted from similar borrowings from other languages. The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ...


To complicate the matter, there are two basic guidelines for determining the pronunciation of a particular kanji in a given context. First, and most simply, kanji occurring in compounds are almost always read using on'yomi. These sorts of words are sometimes called jukugo (熟語). For example, 情報 jōhō "information", 半月 hangetsu "half-moon", and 革命家 kakumeika "[a] revolutionary" all follow this pattern.


Secondly, kanji occurring in isolation -- that is, written adjacent only to kana, not to other kanji -- are typically read using their kun'yomi. Together with their okurigana, if any, they generally function either as a noun or as an inflected adjective or verb: e.g. 月 tsuki "moon", 情け nasake "sympathy", 赤い akai "red", 建てる tateru "to build". The rare kanji compounds that also have okurigana, such as 空揚げ karaage "fried" and 名無し nanashi "nameless", also fall into this category. Okurigana (送り仮名, literally accompanying characters) are a special use of hiragana suffixes following kanji stems in Japanese written words. ...


There are numerous exceptions to both rules. 赤金 akagane "copper", 日傘 higasa "parasol", and the famous 神風 kamikaze "divine wind" all use kun'yomi despite being simple kanji compounds. Fortunately, most exceptions to the second rule are simple nouns: 愛 ai "love", 禅 Zen, 点 ten "mark, dot" -- in addition, the vast majority of these cases involve kanji that have no kun'yomi, so there can be no confusion. A kamikaze, a Mitsubishi Zero in this case, about to hit the USS Missouri. ... Bodhidharma, woodblock print by Yoshitoshi, 1887. ...


The situation is further complicated by the fact that many kanji have more than one on'yomi: witness 説明 setsumei "explanation" versus 灯明 tōmyō "light offered to a god".


There are even kanji compounds that use a mixture of on'yomi and kun'yomi, known as jūbako (重箱) or yutō (湯桶) words. The words jūbako and yutō themselves are examples: the first character of jūbako is read using on'yomi, the second kun'yomi, while it is the other way around with yutō. Other examples include 金色 kin'iro "golden" (on-kun) and 影法師 kagebōshi "silhouette" (kun-on-on).


Finally, there are some words that can be read multiple ways -- in some cases the words have different meanings depending on how it is read. One example is 上手, which can be read in three different ways -- jōzu (skilled), uwate (upper part), or kamite (upper part). In addition, 上手い has the reading umai (skilled).


Some famous place names, including those of Tokyo (東京 Tōkyō) and Japan itself (日本 Nihon or sometimes Nippon) are read with on'yomi; however, by far the vast majority of Japanese place names are read with kun'yomi (e.g. 大阪 Ōsaka, 青森 Aomori, 箱根 Hakone). Family names are also usually read with kun'yomi (e.g., 山田 Yamada, 田中 Tanaka, 鈴木 Suzuki). Personal names, although they are not typically considered jūbako/yutō, often contain mixtures of kun'yomi, on'yomi, and nanori, and are generally only readable with some experience (e.g., 大助 Daisuke [on-kun], 夏美 Natsumi [kun-on]). Tokyo (東京; Tōkyō  listen, literally eastern capital), is located in the Kanto region on the island of Honshu in Japan. ...


Pronunciation assistance

Because of the ambiguities involved, kanji will often have their pronunciation for the given context spelled out in ruby characters known as furigana (small kana written above or to the right of the character) or kumimoji (small kana written in-line after the character). This is especially true in texts for children or foreign learners and manga (comics). It is also used in newspapers for rare or unusual readings and for characters not included in the officially recognized set of essential kanji (see below). Ruby characters are small, annotative characters placed above or to the side of an ideogram when writing ideographic languages. ... Furigana (ふりがな), also called yomigana, are kana printed next to a kanji or other character to indicate its pronunciation. ... Kana is a general term for two types of syllabic Japanese script: hiragana (ひらがな) and katakana (カタカナ). ... Rurouni Kenshin manga, volume 1 (English version) Manga (漫画) is the Japanese word for comics; outside of Japan, it usually refers specifically to Japanese comics. ...


Types of Kanji: by prevalence (Orthographic reform and kanji lists)

In 1946, following World War II, the Japanese government instituted a series of orthographic reforms. Some characters were given simplified glyphs, called 新字体 (shinjitai). The number of characters in circulation was reduced, and formal lists of characters to be learned during each grade of school were established. Many variant forms of characters and obscure alternatives for common characters were officially discouraged. This was done with the goal of facilitating learning for children and simplifying kanji use in literature and periodicals. These are simply guidelines, so many characters outside these standards are still widely known and commonly used. 1946 was a common year starting on Tuesday. ... Mushroom cloud from the nuclear explosion over Nagasaki rising 18 km into the air. ... The orthography of a language is the set of rules of how to write correctly in the writing system of a language. ... A glyph is a carved figure or character, incised or in relief; a carved pictograph; hence, a pictograph representing a form originally adopted for sculpture, whether carved or painted. ...


Kanji lists include:


Education kanji (kyōiku kanji 教育漢字): 1,006 characters

Characters that Japanese children are required to learn in elementary school (881 prior to 1981). The specific grade-level breakdown of the Education kanji is known as the Gakunen-betsu kanji haitōhyō 学年別漢字配当表), or the "Gakushû Kanji". Japanese writing Kanji 漢字 Kana 仮名 Hiragana 平仮名 Katakana 片仮名 Uses Furigana 振り仮名 Okurigana 送り仮名 Romaji ローマ字 The title given to this article is incorrect due to technical limitations. ...


Daily-use kanji (jōyō kanji 常用漢字): 1,945 characters

These consist of all the kyōiku kanji, plus an additional 939 more difficult kanji taught in secondary school. These are taught during primary and secondary school in Japan. In publishing for the general public, characters outside this category are often given ruby. The jōyō kanji were introduced in 1981, and they replaced an older list of 1850 characters known as the General-use kanji (tōyō kanji 当用漢字). The tōyō kanji list was introduced in 1946. The jōyō kanji (常用漢字) are the 1,945 kanji issued by the Ministry for Japanese Education on October 10, 1981. ... Primary or elementary education is the first years of formal, structured education that occurs during childhood. ... High School also refers to the highest form of classical riding, High School Dressage. ... Ruby characters, also called ruby, rubi or furigana, are sometimes used in the typography of ideographic languages, especially Japanese and Chinese. ... This article needs cleanup. ...


Name kanji (jinmeiyō kanji 人名用漢字): 2,232 characters

These consist of the Daily-use kanji, plus an additional 287 kanji that are no longer used for words, but are still found in people's names. Over the years, the Minister of Justice has on several occasions added to this list, based upon requests from parents. Sometimes the phrase jinmeiyo kanji refers to all 2232, and sometimes it only refers to the 287 that are only used for names. The jinmeiyō kanji (人名用漢字) are a set of 290 kanji known as the name kanji in English. ...


JIS Kanji: 6,355 characters

These define what characters should be available for use on computers. The JIS standard has been through numerous revisions; JIS X 0208:1997 (http://www.io.com/~kazushi/encoding/jis.html#kanji90) is the most recent version. This article is about Japanese Industrial Standards in general; see JIS encoding for the character encoding used in representing the Japanese language for computer software and communication. ... This article is about Japanese Industrial Standards in general; see JIS encoding for the character encoding used in representing the Japanese language for computer software and communication. ...


Gaiji: Up to 80,000 characters

Gaiji (外字), also known as "external characters", are rare kanji that are not represented in existing Japanese encoding systems. These include variant forms of common kanji that need to be represented alongside the more conventional glyph in reference works, and can include non-kanji symbols as well. The characters for Kanji, lit. ... A character encoding is a code that pairs a set of characters (such as an alphabet or syllabary) with a set of something else, such as numbers or electrical pulses. ... A glyph is a carved figure or character, incised or in relief; a carved pictograph; hence, a pictograph representing a form originally adopted for sculpture, whether carved or painted. ...


Gaiji can be either user-defined characters or system-specific characters. Both are a problem for information interchange, as the code-point used to represent an external character will not be consistent from one computer to another (in the former case) or from one operating system to another (in the latter).


Gaiji were nominally prohibited in JIS X 0208-1997, while JIS X 0213-2000 actually used the range of code-points previously allocated to gaiji, making them completely unusable. Nevertheless, they persist today with NTT DoCoMo's "iMode" service, where they are used for pictorial characters NTT DoCoMo, Inc. ... The title given to this article is incorrect due to technical limitations. ...


Unicode allows for optional encoding of gaiji in private use areas. In computing, Unicode is the international standard whose goal is to provide the means to encode the text of every document people want to store in computers. ... Unicode reserves 1,114,112 (= 220 + 216) code points, and currently assigns characters to more than 96,000 of those code points. ...


(The upper limit of possible characters is disputed. The highest estimates have been 80,000 by 19th century European scholars, but the consensus has been closer to 40,000. Because of standards that have been enforced since World War II, the issue of Gaiji are mostly associated with older texts.)


Miscellaneous

The ideographic iteration mark (々) is used to indicate that the preceding kanji is to be repeated, functioning similarly to a ditto mark in English. It is pronounced as though the kanji were written twice in a row, for example 色々 (iroiro "various") and 時々 (tokidoki "sometimes"). This mark also appears in personal and place names, as in the surname Sasaki (佐々木). Another frequently used symbol is ヶ (a small katakana "ke"), pronounced "ka" when used to indicate quantity (such as 六ヶ月, rokkagetsu "six months") or "ga" in place names like Kasumigaseki (霞ヶ関). The ideographic iteration mark (々 kurikaeshi, lit. ... Ditto may mean of several things: ditto marks like are used to mean repeat the above info here likewise, ditto means I agree (I repeat your sentiment), or use the same answer from the last question (as in what do I do with item one?, throw it away... what about... Yamada Tarō, a common Japanese name (male) A modern Japanese name (日本人名) consists of a family name, or surname, followed by a given name. ... Katakana (片仮名, literally: fragmentary kana) are a Japanese syllabary, one of four Japanese writing systems (the others are hiragana, kanji and rōmaji). ... Kasumigaseki (霞が関, 霞ヶ関)is a district of Tokyo, Japan, located in Chiyoda Ward. ...


The Japanese government provides the Kanji kentei (日本漢字能力検定試験 Nihon kanji nōryoku kentei shiken; "Test of Japanese Kanji Aptitude") which tests the ability to read and write kanji. The highest level of the Kanji kentei tests about 6000 kanji. The kanji kentei (漢字検定, sometimes shortened to simply kanken), is a test of Chinese character ability. ...


Related topics

Japanese writing Kanji 漢字 Kana 仮名 Hiragana 平仮名 Katakana 片仮名 Uses Furigana 振り仮名 Okurigana 送り仮名 Romaji ローマ字 The title given to this article is incorrect due to technical limitations. ... Kanji Reference: Index by Concept This index method groups together Kanji that describe things that deal with the same concept, for example kanji for numbers or kanji for directions. ... Kanji Reference: Index by Group This index method groups together Kanji that share strokes between them (particular the left-hand side stokes), for example the Kanji 試 and 計 would be grouped together. ... Kanji Reference: Index by Stroke Count This index method groups together Kanji that are written with the same number of strokes. ... 漢字 in Traditional Chinese and other languages. ... The title given to this article is incorrect due to technical limitations. ... Gothic typeface (ゴシック楷書) font is the second most commonly used style of Japanese printing for Kanji. ... The expression Sino-Japanese refers to borrowings from the Chinese language as traditionally pronounced by speakers of Japanese. ... Han unification is the process used by the authors of Unicode and the Universal Character Set to map multiple character sets of the CJK languages into a single set of unified characters. ...

References

  • DeFrancis, John (1990). The Chinese Language: Fact and Fantasy. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 0824810686.
  • Hannas, William. C. (1997). Asia's Orthographic Dilemma. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 082481892X (paperback); ISBN 0824818423 (hardcover).
  • Kaiser, Stephen (1991). Introduction to the Japanese Writing System. In Kodansha's Compact Kanji Guide. Tokyo: Kondansha International. ISBN 4-7700-1553-4.
  • Mitamura, Joyce Yumi and Mitamura, Yasuko Kosaka (1997). Let's Learn Kanji. Tokyo: Kondansha International. ISBN 4-7700-2068-6.
  • Unger, J. Marshall (1996). Literacy and Script Reform in Occupation Japan: Reading Between the Lines. ISBN 0195101669

External links

  • Japanese Kanji to Romaji Hiragana Converter & Translator (http://www.j-talk.com/nihongo/) A site that translates Kanji into Kana with translation rollovers.
  • Japanese Kanji Dictionary (http://www.j-talk.com/nihongo/search/kanjisearch.php) Search for Kanji by stroke count, reading etc..
  • Kanji alive (http://kanjialive.lib.uchicago.edu) A free, searchable, web-based tool to help beginning and intermediate level Japanese language learners read and write kanji.
  • The JLPT Kanji (http://www.jlpt-kanji.com) project lists the full Jōyō kanji required for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test
  • Dictionary of Kokuji (http://homepage2.nifty.com/TAB01645) Japanese only
  • Jim Breen's WWWJDIC (http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/wwwjdic.html) Online Kanji and Japanese Dictionary
  • Rikai.com (http://www.rikai.com/perl/Home.pl) A web-mediator that adds kanji readings to Japanese web-pages
  • Kiki's Kanji Dictionary (http://www.kanjidict.com/)
  • Scott Alprin, Teaching Kanji with components: using an element-based approach in class (http://www.sabotenweb.com/bookmarks/about/scott.html)
  • Kanji Word Families (http://www.kotoba-project.com/kanjiintro.html): Study method based on thesis that kanji evolved from seven primordial concepts.
  • The Modern Japanese Writing System (http://www.pinyin.info/readings/texts/unger2_introduction.html#modern_japanese): an excerpt from Literacy and Script Reform in Occupation Japan, by J. Marshall Unger
  • Kanji-a-day (http://www.kanji-a-day.com): Downloadable kanji list (xls) available (http://www.kanji-a-day.com/level2/kanji2.xls)
  • 500 Print-friendly Kanji Flash Cards (http://www.nuthatch.com/kanjicards/500.html)
  • Japanese -> English / English -> Japanese online translator. (http://world.altavista.com/tr) Includes English -> Kanji / Kanji -> English.
  • Office XP IME (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=ceed31cd-15a9-4b86-afe5-e77a095599f3) Required in order to use Japanese input method in Microsoft Office XP.
  • Moji (http://moji.mozdev.org): a kanji dictionary extension for the Mozilla Firefox web browser.
  • Kanji dictionary (http://www.manythings.org/kanji/q/)

  Results from FactBites:
 
Top Literature - Kunyomi (4078 words)
Kun'yomi are characterized by the strict (C)V syllable structure of yamatokotoba.
Most noun or adjective kun'yomi are two to three syllables long, while verb kun'yomi are more often one or two syllables in length (not counting trailing hiragana called okurigana, although those are usually considered part of the reading).
Kun'yomi are quite capable of forming compound words, although they are not as numerous as those with on'yomi.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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