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Kanji | Kanji

eve-kushner's picture
Apr.09.2010
As we saw last week, 刺 (SHI, sa(su), sa(saru), sa(shi), sashi, toge: to stab, pierce, prick, sting; thorn; business card) primarily means “to stab,” so it plays a role in many brutal words. Examining this kanji, you can quickly have your fill of stabbings, puncture wounds, and the like: 刺し傷 (...
eve-kushner's picture
Apr.02.2010
Let’s start with a quiz. The kanji 刺 primarily means “to stab.” Given that, what do you think the following words might mean? 刺身     The second kanji means “body.” 刺青     The second kanji means “blue.” 名刺     The first kanji means “name.” I’ll block the answers with Alberto’s haiku calendar...
eve-kushner's picture
Mar.19.2010
Take a look at the following sentence to see if you recognize anything: 政府は過激派グループの活動を注意深く監視した。 Whenever I confront unknown kanji, I try to identify components and patterns. In this case, one thing jumps out at me—this sentence is soggy! Five of the 12 kanji contain the “water” radical, ! In...
eve-kushner's picture
Mar.12.2010
It’s always exciting when a foreign language teaches you about your own, and that’s the case with the following word: 激賞 (gekishō: enthusiastic praise)     intense + praise Sample Sentence with 激賞 … I’ve long known 賞 (SHŌ) as “award” or “prize,” as in アカデミー賞, “Academy Award.” When I saw “praise” in...
eve-kushner's picture
Mar.05.2010
We start with Alberto’s haiku calendar for March. It’s lovely, as always, but there’s one difference this time; he’s the one who wrote the haiku! お疲れさまでした! (Otsukaresamadeshita! Good job!)  Now we’ll return from the ethereal haiku world and come back down to earth with a thud! In an ongoing...
eve-kushner's picture
Feb.26.2010
If you had to draw “violent,” what images would you use? Maybe you’d think back to the board game Clue: Colonel Mustard committed the murder in the billiard room with a rope, whereas Mrs. Peacock used a lead pipe in the conservatory. Or maybe your mind would turn to machine guns, bombs, and other...
eve-kushner's picture
Feb.12.2010
As you may know, 知恵 (chie: to know + wisdom) is “wisdom” or “intelligence.” And we’ve seen that 袋 (TAI, fukuro) can mean “bag.” Given that, what do you think the following represents? 知恵袋 (chiebukuro)     wisdom (1st 2 kanji) + bag My cynical side takes over and imagines a wind bag who won’t shut...
eve-kushner's picture
Feb.05.2010
We start with Alberto’s haiku calendar for February, another beauty:  Wow, this haiku features some complex kanji! Alberto will tell us about the poem in the comments section. Meanwhile, here’s the scoop on the least familiar characters: 嶺 (RYŌ, REI, ne, mine: peak, summit) 且 (SHO, SHŌ, SO, ka(tsu...
eve-kushner's picture
Jan.29.2010
Recently I’ve shown you koala and kangaroo pictures, and in the past I’ve posted pictures of dogs, giraffes, and yaks. By this point, you should be an expert in animal identification. Based on the breakdowns below, see if you can figure out which animal each compound represents: 袋熊 (fukuro-guma...
eve-kushner's picture
Jan.22.2010
What do you think the following word means? 虚誕 (kyotan) The first kanji, 虚 (KYO, KO, muna(shii)), means “empty” or “false,” as we saw long ago. You may recognize 誕 from 誕生日 (tanjōbi: birthday, to be born + to be born + day), where 誕 means “to be born, birth.” So 虚誕 is a false birth?! No, 誕 has...