Useful information about Kanji

Useful information about Kanji

There are many kanji used in Japan, about 4,000 in daily life.

Many non-Japanese feel difficult when studying kanji.

These are tips you should know more about kanji to be more efficient and effective.

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Kunyomi and onyomi

Most kanji have both kunyomi and onyomi.

This may be confusing to non-Japanese as reading of kanji differs depending on word for one kanji.

Eventually, you should learn all kunyomi and onyomi for one kanji. However, you don’t need to master all readings at first step.

You just need to know main reading of kunyomi or onyomi.

Even Japanese student learn a few kunyomi or onyomi and learn the rest and non-popular ones some years later at school.


Kanji itself has meaning

Each hiragana and katakana do not have meaning. On the other hand, Kanji itself has meaning. That means if you master more kanji, it will be easier for you to understand meaning of sentences including that kanji.


Kanji has grouping

There are many kanjis, more than 4,000 are used in Japan. However, kanjis are categorized into some groups by 部首 bushu.

If you know some 部首, that will be helpful to guess meaning of kanji. Please take note that you don’t need to master all 部首.

For example of ki-hen, (tree group), kanji in this group has tree(木) in kanji and it

has meaning related with tree.

林 is woods, place trees gather.

森 is forest, place with more trees than woods.

These are example of main 部首 and meaning of kanji in the group.


部首名(Grouping name)

Meaning of kanji in grouping Example
さんずい (sanzui) Related with water 海(sea) 洋(ocean) 泳(swim)
きへん (kihen) Related with tree 林(woods) 森(forest) 杉(cedar)
てへん(tehen) Related with hand or motion with hand 打(hit) 投(throw) 折(fold)
にんべん (ninben) Related with human (亻comes from 人) 仕(engage) 代(represent) 他(other)
かねへん (kanehen) Related with metal 銀(silver) 銅(copper) 鉄(steal)
くちへん (kuchihen) Related with mouth, motion with mouth 呼(call) 吸(suck) 叫(shout)
にくづき (nikuduki) Related with body 肌(skin) 肥(fat) 肺(lung)

You will see kanji in that group has something in common meaning. 

So if you do not know the meaning of kanji, you can guess meaning.


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1 Response

  1. Jean sanchez says:

    Sensei..i hope to see also for n4 kanji..thank you so much..

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