What's new

Welcome to Japan Reference (JREF) - the community for all Things Japanese.

Join Today! It is fast, simple, and FREE!

Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com

The Kanji Appreciation Thread

Buntaro

運動不足
Joined
27 Dec 2003
Messages
1,685
Reaction score
482
日本語 Class,

Another kanji for you is 川, pronounced (かわ) and meaning “river”. Take a look at the photos in this webpage, and you can get a feel of the kanji symbolizing three long strips of cloth ‘fluttering’ in the wake of river water.



In addition, the two kanji 川 and 口 can be combined into 川口 (かわぐち), a common family name in Japan. (The K-sound in 口 changes to a G-sound, which is a common type of euphonic change in the middle of a Japanese name or word.) There is also a town named 川口 just to the northwest of Tokyo (where I used to teach English).
 

mdchachi

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
6 Mar 2003
Messages
4,174
Reaction score
1,493
AND -- important fact -- the apartment building I used to live in Tokyo was called エクセレント川口.
 

Buntaro

運動不足
Joined
27 Dec 2003
Messages
1,685
Reaction score
482
日本語 Class,

I was wondering: Can you read and write the katakana エクセレント? Can you figure out the English equivalent for the word エクセレント?
 
Joined
21 Mar 2021
Messages
150
Reaction score
51
Yes I was actually gonna confirm here, if its really Excellent (I just love Katakana 😂🤣🤣 even more than Hiragana (but at this point I thankfully like all 3 systems))

Besides this Ill ask if 川口 means any other thing, besides family name
 

mdchachi

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
6 Mar 2003
Messages
4,174
Reaction score
1,493
Yes I was actually gonna confirm here, if its really Excellent (I just love Katakana 😂🤣🤣 even more than Hiragana (but at this point I thankfully like all 3 systems))

Besides this Ill ask if 川口 means any other thing, besides family name
You are correct. My landlord's name was Kawaguchi-san and the four-unit apartment he owned was indeed most excellent. :D
According to WWWJDIC it's only a surname (or place name).
waynes world thumbs up GIF
 

Toritoribe

松葉解禁
Moderator
Joined
22 Feb 2008
Messages
17,317
Reaction score
3,467
Besides this Ill ask if 川口 means any other thing, besides family name
As literally, 川口 かわぐち also means "the mouth of a river/estuary" other than a family name or location name.

However, this is almost an obsolete word, and 河口, reading かこう, is mostly used for this meaning nowadays. (河 also means "river", especially "large river.")

Confusingly enough, 河口 is also a family name, and the reading is かわぐち, not かこう, for this usage.

河口 かわぐち is rarely used as a location name. The only one exception is 河口湖 Lake Kawaguchi and 富士河口湖町河口 Kawaguchi, Fijikawaguchiko town in Yamanashi prefecture now.

Incidentally, the family name and location name is from "the mouth of a river/estuary." Kawaguchi clans used to live in these areas. (It's not the only one location. There are/were several Kawaguchi towns/villages in Japan.)

In conclusion:
川口 かわぐち: family name / location name / "the mouth of a river / estuary" as an obsolete word
河口 かわぐち: family name / location name (only as a lake and location in Yamanashi prefecture)
河口 かこう: the mouth of a river / estuary
 

Buntaro

運動不足
Joined
27 Dec 2003
Messages
1,685
Reaction score
482
日本語 Class,

You are correct, エクセレント is the katakana rendering of the English word “excellent” into Japanese. I am glad to see you are doing well with katakana.

I have been taking a closer look at the kanji 口 and katakana ロ. They are different. In both the word processing software on my computer and in the font that this forum uses, the kanji 口 has two small dots at the bottom two corners, whereas the katakana ロ does not. (At least in the fonts that I am using.)
 

Attachments

  • Nihongo2.png
    Nihongo2.png
    1.1 KB · Views: 34
Joined
21 Mar 2021
Messages
150
Reaction score
51
As literally, 川口 かわぐち also means "the mouth of a river/estuary" other than a family name or location name.

However, this is almost an obsolete word, and 河口, reading かこう, is mostly used for this meaning nowadays. (河 also means "river", especially "large river.")

Confusingly enough, 河口 is also a family name, and the reading is かわぐち, not かこう, for this usage.

河口 かわぐち is rarely used as a location name. The only one exception is 河口湖 Lake Kawaguchi and 富士河口湖町河口 Kawaguchi, Fijikawaguchiko town in Yamanashi prefecture now.

Incidentally, the family name and location name is from "the mouth of a river/estuary." Kawaguchi clans used to live in these areas. (It's not the only one location. There are/were several Kawaguchi towns/villages in Japan.)

In conclusion:
川口 かわぐち: family name / location name / "the mouth of a river / estuary" as an obsolete word
河口 かわぐち: family name / location name (only as a lake and location in Yamanashi prefecture)
河口 かこう: the mouth of a river / estuary
Great thanks a lot
 

Buntaro

運動不足
Joined
27 Dec 2003
Messages
1,685
Reaction score
482
日本語 Class,

I thought it might be fun seeing some of these kanji in combinations. The following are kanji that you will see at train stations in Japan. (Tokyo has the best transit system in the world, so if you go to Tokyo, you will get around by train and see these these kanji in the process.)

北口 (きたぐち) means “north entrance” (to a train station).

西口 (にしぐち) means “west entrance”.

東口 (ひがしぐち) means “east entrance”.

Here is a kanji that might be new for you:. 南, means “south” and is pronounced (みなみ). 南口 (みなみぐち) means “south entrance”.



Here is a ‘famous’ TV commercial from 1978. It is for ヨドバシカメラ, a well-known camera store near Shinjuku Train Station in Tokyo. (Shinjuku Station is the busiest train station in the world.). At 11 seconds into the video, you can hear them say, “Shinjuku Nishiguchi…) You can hear the announcer say “Shinjuku Nishiguchi” at 20 seconds into the video and you can also see the kanji 西口 on the screen at that time.

 
Last edited:

Buntaro

運動不足
Joined
27 Dec 2003
Messages
1,685
Reaction score
482
日本語 Class,

Here is another one of my favorite kanji, because it is simple yet conveys the idea perfectly. The kanji 水 is pronounced (みず) and means “water”. The the kanji 川 means “river”, which of course is made of water. Take your hand, dip it into a river, and try to grab a part of it by squeezing it your hand. 水 is a picture of someone putting their hand into a river and trying to grab some water with their hand. 水 is the pinched-in-hand form of 川.
 

Toritoribe

松葉解禁
Moderator
Joined
22 Feb 2008
Messages
17,317
Reaction score
3,467
Well, again, I don't know where you got that explanation from, but the etymology of the shape of 水 is "water stream", and it has nothing to do with "hand."

漢語多功能字庫 Multi-function Chinese Character Database - 水

Judging from your explanations of several kanji so far, your reference seems more likely a method of remembering kanji by its shape like Heisig's method, and it seems to me that you are confusing these methods with the real etymology of kanji.
 

Jhopesstrawberry

𝒜𝒾𝓃𝓉 𝑒𝓋𝒶 𝒷𝑒𝑒𝓃 𝒶𝓃𝑜𝓉𝒽𝒶 𝒷𝓇𝑒𝑒𝒹😜
Joined
4 Apr 2021
Messages
285
Reaction score
243
Does anyone know any beginner level Kanji. I just learned hiragana and a decent amount of katakana and want to move on to some Kanji. What would be suggested I do?
 
Joined
21 Mar 2021
Messages
150
Reaction score
51
Well, again, I don't know where you got that explanation from, but the etymology of the shape of 水 is "water stream", and it has nothing to do with "hand."

漢語多功能字庫 Multi-function Chinese Character Database - 水

Judging from your explanations of several kanji so far, your reference seems more likely a method of remembering kanji by its shape like Heisig's method, and it seems to me that you are confusing these methods with the real etymology of kanji.
Thank you
 
Joined
21 Mar 2021
Messages
150
Reaction score
51
Does anyone know any beginner level Kanji. I just learned hiragana and a decent amount of katakana and want to move on to some Kanji. What would be suggested I do?
Im begginer so I dont know much

But some basic to remember (and often used)

私 (Watashi) ー I
人 (Hito) ー Person
日 (Hi) ー Day (or Sun)
日々 (Hibi) ー Days
大 (Oo/Dai) ー Large/Big
木 (Ki) ー Tree
水 (like a post above) (Mizu) ー Water
事 (Koto) ー Thing/Event
日本 (Nihon) ー Japan

Some of these may have more than a pronunciation and/or meaning, but you dont have to know all at once (I put the most usual pronunciation and meaning of them)
 

Buntaro

運動不足
Joined
27 Dec 2003
Messages
1,685
Reaction score
482
日本語 Class,

You mentioned the kanji 私. It is pronounced (わたし) and means “I” or “me”. The origin of this kanji requires a bit of cultural explanation. The right side of 私 is a profile view of a person’s nose. When a westerner points to themself, they point to their heart. Not so with Japanese. When a Japanese person points to themself, they point to their nose. (It is said the nose is near the center of a person’s consciousness, so it makes sense — at least to a Japanese person — to use a person’s nose to symbolize a person’s consciousness or existence. ) It is for this reason a nose (not a person’s heart or something like that) was chosen to symbolize when I am talking about myself.

By the way, I noticed you typed “Watashi” in Romaji (ABC’s). Are you able to type hiragana on your computer or cell phone?
 

Attachments

  • Body-Language.png
    Body-Language.png
    196.1 KB · Views: 26

Toritoribe

松葉解禁
Moderator
Joined
22 Feb 2008
Messages
17,317
Reaction score
3,467
漢語多功能字庫 Multi-function Chinese Character Database - 私

As in the ancient forms of 私, the right components (旁) were different from the present form. It's said that it's originally from "private land." In the first place, 私 doesn't mean "I/me" in Chinese.

Hope you realize how useless it is to analyze the etymology of kanji, i.e., Chinese characters by the present form of it and a modern Japanese custom.

Setting apart from the reliability of the explanation, I'm interested in how 仏, 弘 or 払 are explained in your reference. Do they also have something to do with "nose"?
 

Buntaro

運動不足
Joined
27 Dec 2003
Messages
1,685
Reaction score
482
日本語 Class,

Jhopesstrawberry can read hiragana, so go right ahead and type in hiragana. One of the biggest challenges for a beginning student is to stop writing in Romaji and start writing in hiragana. As a matter of fact. I took first semester Japanese in college years ago, but I suffered terribly (and almost failed the class) because I never mastered hiragana during the semester and I hated being forced to read hiragana in the textbook. All beginning students students must 'bite the bullet' and master hiragana (and katakana) as soon as possible. (Feel free to ask for advice on how to master kana as quickly as possible.)

Let’s look at a couple of kanji that use 木 (き) which means “tree”.

Here is a kanji composed of two trees, 林 (はやし) which means “woods” (a group of trees smaller than a forest).

Here is a kanji composed of three trees, 森 (もり) which means “forest”.

森本 (もりもと) is a common Japanese “last name”.
 
Last edited:

Buntaro

運動不足
Joined
27 Dec 2003
Messages
1,685
Reaction score
482
Does anyone know any beginner level Kanji.

I have two pieces of advice.

1. Read all of my posts in this thread.

2. Do not be in a hurry to learn kanji. Take your time and only lean one kanji at a time. Years ago, I tried to learn ten kanji a day. That did not work for me, and I doubt it would work for you.
 
Joined
21 Mar 2021
Messages
150
Reaction score
51
漢語多功能字庫 Multi-function Chinese Character Database - 私

As in the ancient forms of 私, the right components (旁) were different from the present form. It's said that it's originally from "private land." In the first place, 私 doesn't mean "I/me" in Chinese.

Hope you realize how useless it is to analyze the etymology of kanji, i.e., Chinese characters by the present form of it and a modern Japanese custom.

Setting apart from the reliability of the explanation, I'm interested in how 仏, 弘 or 払 are explained in your reference. Do they also have something to do with "nose"?
Thanks
 
Joined
21 Mar 2021
Messages
150
Reaction score
51
Yes, I realized in time that some Japanese Kanji changed form or meaning from original Chinese, so some explanations wont apply like that nowadays
 
Top Bottom