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Kanji: how many years ago?

Buntaro

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Hi everybody!

The question just came up. How many years ago did the Japanese people borrow kanji from China?

I know that the word 'borrow' is misleading. If I remember correctly, all letters in Japan in the beginning were written in Chinese -- Japanese people could not write in their own language, so they wrote in Chinese. Then, gradually, they started using Kanji to write their own language.

But how many years ago was that?
 

Amigo

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About 1700 years ago.

They came from China and through Korea.
Chinese and Japanese languages have the advantage to use in certain way similar writing. Like many European languages with the alphabet. That's a good thing, isn't that?
Many Korean people can understand many kanjis as well.
Kanjis are hard to learn but quite practical for the daily life. You can write a lot of things in a little space and make it faster and easier to read.
In my opinion, Kanjis are quite useful. European countries should use it too in some cases. As well as Japan, China... use Romaji in some cases in theirs countries.

To me, the perfect language is the one that combine both "phonetic characters" and "ideographic characters". And, by the way, Japanese is the only language in the world that do it.
 

Kirakira1232

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Recorded Japanese history started around 4th or 5th Century AD. So approximately 1600 years ago. Contact with China is thought to have begun early 400 AD.
 
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