What's new

The Kanji Appreciation Thread

leonmarino

Back
Joined
May 19, 2006
Messages
1,214
Reaction score
63
Hello all!!
Today I started practicing my Kanji again. I have finished the Japanese elementary school here in Holland many moons ago, but since then I've never really come to using it a lot and as a result my Kanji proficiency has worsened considerably.. :oops:

So I went to the JLPT Kanji Project site(GREAT site!!), and started at level 4. I still pretty much knew all the Kanji of that level (thank God!), but still found some interesting things I had totally forgotten about, like the subtle differences between 牛 (うし=cow) and 午 (うま=horse) and between 辛い(つらい=hard, bitter) and 幸い(さいわい=fortunately).

Also, I started making up easy ways to remember the Kanji, like I always did as a kid. For example, the Kanji 親(おや=Parent) can easily be memorized as 「木の上に立って見る」 (Standing on a tree and looking), the Kanji in blue making up the particles of the whole Kanji. I found a new one today for 辞書(じしょ=Dictionary), or at least for 辞: "because your tongue (舌) has a hard time (辛), you have to use the dictionary". I think it is a wonderful and funny way to learn Kanji, and the fact that Kanji's are many times made up of particles, each with separate meanings, is amazing I think. :)

I did use the "search thread" option before starting this thread (keyword="kanji"), but only found topics such as "Should Kanji be abolished?", "Kanji are driving me insane" and a lot of "Help me with.."-threads.. I didn't find one thread about the beauty of Kanji (I went all the way back to 2004), and I think that should be changed!!

So ladies and gentlemen!! What are your -positive- thoughts on Kanji? Are you as fascinated as I am? Have you encountered anything funny? Maybe interesting differences with the Chinese language? Are you also using funny ways to memorize them? What is your favorite Kanji? Is there anything else you like about Kanji?

Of the Kanji I studied today, I found 一緒(いっしょ=together) to be an interesting combo.. 「一つの糸によってつながれる者」, which roughly translates to: "those people that are connected by one thread".. Man, it's so beautifully poetic it makes me cry!! :cry:

I'm interested in hearing your opinion on this.. Although I meant this to be a "positive" thread, constructive criticism is always we come, there's always room for friendly discussions!! So start posting!! 👍
 

undrentide

Japa'n vagyok
Joined
Jan 18, 2006
Messages
3,621
Reaction score
306
I think it is nice and interesting way to memorize kanji.
And it reminds me of the famous どどいつ.
『「櫻」という字を分解すれば "二階の女が気に掛る" 』
櫻 is an old kanji for 桜, and 気にかかる is a pun for 木にかかる.
 

chickie

いいじゃないか
Joined
Sep 11, 2006
Messages
108
Reaction score
4
undrentide-san,
どどいつ!!イキですね!感動しました。

As I'm not good at kanji, I don't remember any good ones at the moment...:(
The only one I've come up with is "ハム" for "公".
Ridiculous, isn't it?
 

Uncle Frank

SECURITY-you SPAM/we BAN
Staff member
Admin
Joined
May 21, 2003
Messages
10,432
Reaction score
642
Amazing!

The thing that always bugged me about Kanji, was how SMALL they looked in a newspaper. Even with good eyesite, the complicated(many stroke) ones looked like black dots. I found a book on Kanji that showed the original and explained how it was a kind of picture for what it stood for; then showed how it changed to the modern version; very interesting.

Uncle Frank

☝
 

Niedy

猿が去る
Joined
Nov 11, 2006
Messages
123
Reaction score
1
A friend recently made up "to wash your bong stoned" for 磨 (which means "to wash" and consists of stone and hemp)... it might not make any sense in english... but in german cannabis and hemp is the same word... 😅

so yeah... we use little made-up sentences to remember kanji too... though usually they are in german and not japanese ^^; but we use the parts they are made of... the problem is... not always can u find a connection between the parts and the actual meaning... :eek:kashii:

another helpful thing is, when the onyomi of a part of a kanji is most of the time the same... like 義 (GI, justice) whenever this one is part of another kanji, its onyomi is always GI too 👍
 

leonmarino

Back
Joined
May 19, 2006
Messages
1,214
Reaction score
63
『「櫻」という字を分解すれば "二階の女が気に掛る" 』
櫻 is an old kanji for 桜, and 気にかかる is a pun for 木にかかる.
ほぉ!That's a good one indeed. But is it still in use? My electronic dictionary can't find どどいつ

The only one I've come up with is "ハム" for "公"..
Ridiculous, isn't it?
Well that's a good one too isn't it? Simplicity can be good, just like くノ一 (ku no ichi) ⇒ 女, right?

I found a book on Kanji that showed the original and explained how it was a kind of picture for what it stood for; then showed how it changed to the modern version; very interesting.
Yeah I know what you mean.. At school we were told that 火 (fire) was actually derived from the shape of a camp fire, 目 (eye) from the shape of an eye, 川 (river) from the streams of the river etc.. I was actually discussing this with a friend the other day, and he didn't believe a word of it, saying it was all a coincidence.. I was brain-washed from my early ages that it was like that, but does anyone have more "scientific" proof of this? 😅

A friend recently made up "to wash your bong stoned" for 磨(which means "to wash" and consists of stone and hemp)... it might not make any sense in english... but in german cannabis and hemp is the same word... 😅
Hahaha!! That's pretty good actually!! I memorized 「磨」 by picturing someone washing rice in a house (the 广 is the roof) upon a table made of stone (石) with his bare hands.. Somehow the 林 look like two hands to me!! :roflmao:
But yeah, washing hemp is a good one too..:oops:
 

cheapshot

Sempai
Joined
Nov 30, 2004
Messages
220
Reaction score
1
this method of remembering the kanji is explored in its entirety by James Heisig and his book, "Remembering the Kanji".

if you enjoy making stories (or more correctly mnemonics) to remeber the kanji, have a look at his method.

here is also a very good website that works in conjunction to the book. i believe that it is in no way affiliated with James Heisig though.
http://kanji.koohii.com/
 

twinklestar

Suspended
Joined
Nov 15, 2006
Messages
58
Reaction score
2
At school we were told that 火 (fire) was actually derived from the shape of a camp fire, 目 (eye) from the shape of an eye, 川 (river) from the streams of the river etc.. I was actually discussing this with a friend the other day, and he didn't believe a word of it, saying it was all a coincidence.. I was brain-washed from my early ages that it was like that, but does anyone have more "scientific" proof of this ?

Great thread dedicates to Kanji.:)


Here is the source .... en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oracle_bones.
 

epigene

相変わらず不束者です
Joined
Nov 10, 2004
Messages
4,305
Reaction score
160
どどいつ is written 都々一 in kanji. And, yes, the "dodoitsu" on 櫻 has been around for God-knows-when (at least, heard it first in my childhood). This is a type of poetry like haiku and waka but more folksy, read with singsong rhythm (can be accompanied by shamisen) and almost always about romantic love.
Dodoitsu history

Difference with the Chinese language? How about 国字 or characters that were invented in Japan:
Kokuji

My contribution from a Japanese TV commercial for a hair-growth lotion:
髪は長~い友だち (The three strokes at top right fly away in the commercial.) 😅
 

Elizabeth

先輩
Joined
Apr 22, 2003
Messages
9,526
Reaction score
130
Yeah I know what you mean.. At school we were told that 火 (fire) was actually derived from the shape of a camp fire, 目 (eye) from the shape of an eye, 川 (river) from the streams of the river etc.. I was actually discussing this with a friend the other day, and he didn't believe a word of it, saying it was all a coincidence.. I was brain-washed from my early ages that it was like that, but does anyone have more "scientific" proof of this? 😅
According to the very thoroughly documentated tome _A Guide to Remembering Japanese Characters_ by Dr. Kenneth Hanshall, 目 does derive mostly from an earlier pictograph originally oval shaped and tilted but still with two center strokes occasionally also found in a more rectangular and horizontal form.

火 was described as a stylized derivative of a flame with sparks most resembling three pointy fingures on the top side of a crown, as a radical usually showing up as the hash marks at the bottom of 然.

Pictograms are by defination a direct representation of the said object. If eye looked more like a roof or fire a person crouching by the side of a cliff I would be more likely to question their source. Some information we are fed in school does turn out reliably, thank heavens. 😅
 
Last edited:

undrentide

Japa'n vagyok
Joined
Jan 18, 2006
Messages
3,621
Reaction score
306
As epigene san already shown the good website explaining about どどいつ, I'm introducing another website which has a nice collection of どどいつ, some are very old and traditional, others are quite new.
たちはな亭

leonmarino said:
At school we were told that 火 (fire) was actually derived from the shape of a camp fire, 目 (eye) from the shape of an eye, 川 (river) from the streams of the river etc.. I was actually discussing this with a friend the other day, and he didn't believe a word of it, saying it was all a coincidence.. I was brain-washed from my early ages that it was like that, but does anyone have more "scientific" proof of this ?
Not really scientific but here are two nice sites.
漢字のなりたち
Short animation showing how the kanji was made from a picture(?).

篆書でGO!
Introducing some interesting 篆書 an ancient style of kanji which is now mainly used for 印鑑 (seal).
Some of them really look like picture than letters!
 

leonmarino

Back
Joined
May 19, 2006
Messages
1,214
Reaction score
63
Difference with the Chinese language? How about 国字 or characters that were invented in Japan:
Kokuji
Wow!! That's great. I wonder how the Chinese write 匂い, if the Japanese invented this Kanji.. And I didn't expect 笹 to be a Japanese one either, as it is the main food of the Panda's I believe, which are typically Chinese!! All the Kanji for liters and meters are pretty interesting too.. Thank you very much for the link!! 👍
My contribution from a Japanese TV commercial for a hair-growth lotion:
髪は長~い友だち (The three strokes at top right fly away in the commercial.) 😅
I didn't know about the commercial, but it's a good way to remember this Kanji, thanks.

Speaking of which, is there word for this way of remembering things? In Dutch we call it "ezelsbruggetje" which translates to "little donkey bridge".. Like, how Dutch kids are told to remember the order of multiplying, division, addition and subtraction is by the sentence "Mr. Van Dale wacht Op Antwoord": the V is the first letter of "vermenigvuldigen", the D is the first letter of division etc.. (By the way, the sentence means "Mr. Van Dale is waiting for an answer.")

Sorry for the lengthy and probably incomprehensibel explanation, but is there a word for that way of remembering things in English or Japanese?
 

leonmarino

Back
Joined
May 19, 2006
Messages
1,214
Reaction score
63
Not really scientific but here are two nice sites.
漢字のなりたち
Short animation showing how the kanji was made from a picture(?).
篆書でGO!
Introducing some interesting 篆書 an ancient style of kanji which is now mainly used for 印鑑 (seal).
Some of them really look like picture than letters!👍
Wow, those sites are great!! Thanks a million. The Tensho look interesting to say the very least.. I want to learn and write those kind of Kanji, but I guess I'll stick to ordinary Kanji for the moment!! 😅
 

undrentide

Japa'n vagyok
Joined
Jan 18, 2006
Messages
3,621
Reaction score
306
Sorry for the lengthy and probably incomprehensibel explanation, but is there a word for that way of remembering things in English or Japanese?
Here are what I can think of (it was so long time ago when I learnt them...)

ルート2 (√2) = 1.41421356
ひとよひとよにひとみごろ 
(ひと1よ4ひと1よ4に2ひと1み3ご5ろ6)

ルート5 (√5) = 2.23620679
ふじさんろくにおーむなく (富士山麓にオウム鳴く)
ふ2じ2さん3ろく6に2おー0む6な7く9

Periodic table (周期律表)
http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%91%...9C.9F.E8.A1.A8
H 水素 
He ヘリウム
Li リチウム
Be ベリリウム
B ボロン(硼素)
C カーボン(炭素)
N 窒素
O 酸素
F フッ素
Ne ネオン
すいへいりーべぼくのふね(水兵リーベ僕の船) = salor loves my boat
すい(素)へい (He)リー(Li)べ(リリウム)ぼ(ロン)く()の()ふ(ッ素)ね(オン)
*This only covers the first ten, but I found on the net it is followed by ソーまがるシップスクラーク that covers up to K (Pottasium)
 

Cue

今北産業
Joined
Jun 6, 2006
Messages
441
Reaction score
24
I'm introducing another website which has a nice collection of どどいつ, some are very old and traditional, others are quite new.
たちはな亭
Wow, undrentide san, that site is familiar! I mean, I've often visit there actually. But not for Dodoitsu... I go there to read/find information on Onmyouji... They have so much helpful info on Onmyouji comics...
(Sorry for off-topic, I just couldn't resist... heheh..)

Okay.
Um, is anyone here heard of this song?

♪憂鬱の鬱という字は、木を書いて、缶を書いて、その 横にまた木を書いて、その下にワ冠を書いて、その下に 米という時を斜めにして右と下と左を囲んで、その下に カタカナのヒを書いて、右にちょんちょんちょんと書く のよ~
(sung by Kamon Tatsuo)

But still, I can't write this Kanji, "utsu". orz
 

Qutiepie

Suspended
Joined
Nov 15, 2006
Messages
71
Reaction score
4
Difference with the Chinese language? How about 国字 or characters that were invented in Japan: Kokuji

My contribution from a Japanese TV commercial for a hair-growth lotion:
髪は長~い友だち (The three strokes at top right fly away in the commercial.)

This personal webpage list of Japanese created kanji,I recognized 2 for certain we adopted in everyday Chinese language.One means tonage for Western metric,and the other is a word component for bladder.It's not complete,I think there should more Japanese-made characters.


I want to see this hair lotion commercial with 3 flying strokes in the air,is it downloaded on youtube.com ?
 

leonmarino

Back
Joined
May 19, 2006
Messages
1,214
Reaction score
63
Here are what I can think of (it was so long time ago when I learnt them...)
Wow!! I knew about the square root of 2, but 5!? ..Have you ever used it? I like that sort of word-play, just like 「いいくに」=1192which was the year of.. Some Bakufu right? I can't really remember!! 😅
Okay.
Um, is anyone here heard of this song?
♪憂鬱の鬱という字は、木を書いて、缶を書いて、その 横にまた木を書いて、その下にワ冠を書いて、その下に 米という時を斜めにして右と下と左を囲んで、その下に カタカナのヒを書いて、右にちょんちょんちょんと書く のよ~
(sung by Kamon Tatsuo)
That's a helluva nice way to remember it.. I need to get the melody of that song too!! I once read a Manga about a student who remembered everything he needed to know for the exam by incorporating the material into his lyrics. Which is, I think, a brilliant idea. Thank for your input Cue, 鬱 is probably the first Kanji I'll memorize with 29 (!!) strokes.👍

This might be a bit off-topic, but.. Does anyone know what is "correct"?
    • 一日一善
    • 一日一膳
I always thought the first one is correct, but my dear laptop automatically yields the second one (with the 月) when I push the Henkan-key. Is it possible that both are correct? That there is difference in nuance? I kind of understood that 膳 has to do with food, and 善 means goodness..
 

Glenn

一切皆苦
Joined
Jan 8, 2004
Messages
7,684
Reaction score
198
According to Mike Cash's old user title, 一日一膳 is correct.

But still, I can't write this Kanji, "utsu". orz
Well, I don't write it exactly like it's described, but I can. The sacred wine container part I write like an X with four dots in the crotches.
 

Mikawa Ossan

気づいたらカッパだ
Joined
Sep 17, 2005
Messages
4,902
Reaction score
199
According to Mike Cash's old user title, 一日一膳 is correct.
I thought I'd look it up for kicks, but it's not included in my dictionary below.

『四文字熟語新辞典』「新装版」
吹野安編
旺文社
1987
 

Cue

今北産業
Joined
Jun 6, 2006
Messages
441
Reaction score
24
I think 善 is correct.
大辞泉
It means to do at least one good thing in a day.
I'm not sure if it comes from Budhism or Shintoism...

And I believe Mike is just making fun by using the other kanji.
(We often use different kanji just to be fun. )
I found a very funny and helpful site, that has correct definition and its misuse of Japanese words and phrases.
私の勘違い
# 447 has "Ichinichi Ichizen" but other posts are just too funny! :LOL:

PS. Leon, yeah, I was looking for the song for you but couldn't find it. I had his CD with that song many years ago(more than 10 years I guess), but I sold it...
 

Supervin

先輩
Joined
Feb 22, 2006
Messages
309
Reaction score
17
ルート2 (√2) = 1.41421356
ひとよひとよにひとみごろ 
ルート5 (√5) = 2.23620679
ふじさんろくにおーむなく (富士山麓にオウム鳴く)
Pretty cool. Props to you. I guess having multiple ways of counting numbers in Japanese pays off in math. 👍

Apart from Pythagoras' constant, what was root 5 used for? Or was it that you had to memorize the square roots of the first couple of integers?
 

Glenn

一切皆苦
Joined
Jan 8, 2004
Messages
7,684
Reaction score
198
I think 善 is correct.
大辞泉
It means to do at least one good thing in a day.
I'm not sure if it comes from Budhism or Shintoism...

And I believe Mike is just making fun by using the other kanji.
Ah, thanks for that, Cue. That makes a lot more sense than "one meal a day." I guess it's not always the case that things being simpler means they're a replacement (like 輛 -> 両). :oops:
 

Cue

今北産業
Joined
Jun 6, 2006
Messages
441
Reaction score
24
Right, Glenn. Because you know Chinese language so well, it's only natural for you to think that way. (Sometimes Chinese/Taiwaneese use very complicated kanji , or so I heard.) ^^;
 

Glenn

一切皆苦
Joined
Jan 8, 2004
Messages
7,684
Reaction score
198
Er... I don't know it that well (hardly at all, I'd say). Well, I know this: 我不会说中文!/我不會說中文!
 

Supervin

先輩
Joined
Feb 22, 2006
Messages
309
Reaction score
17
Sometimes Chinese/Taiwaneese use very complicated kanji , or so I heard. ^^;
Yeah, there are characters like 齉,龜,龘,鸞,龞,鸚,癵,戇,钀,饢,鬱,麤,鱻,爩,爨,灥,籲,鶘,鸝,籱 ,靐,麤,龗 and so on, but some are used very rarely. 龜, for example, is used often, but has been simplified to 亀 in Japanese.
 
Top