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TitleKanji 2
File Size3.4 MB
Total Pages18
Table of Contents
                            Top
A brief history of Kanji
Why do Japanese kanji have more than one pronunciation?
Six ways of classifying Kanji
	Formation (4)
	Usage (2)
10 Basic Strokes
Basic Rules of Stroke Order
3 ways to end a stroke
Radicals by category
	1. hen
	2. tsukuri
	3. kanmuri
	4. ashi
	5. kamae
	6. tare
	7. nyou
	8. one stroke
	Kanji elements
	Kanji Radical Elements Cheat Sheet
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 2

Introduction to Kanji

A brief history of Kanji

Chinese characters, along with the Chinese culture, came to Japan in the fourth or
fifth century, at a time when the Japanese language had as yet no writing system. The
Chinese characters were adopted to represent in writing the Japanese spoken
language.

At the beginning, the Chinese characters were used phonetically to represent similar
Japanese sounds, regardless of the meaning of each Chinese character. For example,

��“yama” which means mountain in Japanese, came to be written as . The Chinese
pronunciation of these two characters was ya-ma, however, the meaning is not at all
related to mountain.

���� ya-ma mountain

At a later stage, the Chinese characters were used ideographically, regardless of their
Chinese pronunciations, to represent Japanese words of the same or related meaning.

�For example, “yama” came to be written as � , though in Chinese was
pronounced “shan”.

���� yama mountain

That is why many kanji have so-called Chinese readings and Japanese readings.

�������� E.G
�san (on-yomi, meaning “sound”) Chinese reading

� yama �
� � (kun-yomi, meaning “explanation”) Japanese reading

Kanji came to be used to express nouns, main parts of verbs, adjectives and adverbs.

Page 9

Basic Rules of Stroke Order 書き順 (かきじゅん)

A kanji must be written according to a fixed stroke order so that it will look neat and
well-balanced. Here are the basic rules of stroke order. Note that these are the basic rules
of stroke order. There are exceptions to these rules.
At the beginning of the study of kanji it may see burdensome to have to learn the
meaning of each character, two or more pronunciations, and correct stroke order as well.
However, stroke order is quite systematic, so if you make an effort to learn it correctly in
the beginning, you will find that you will know how to write the stroke order of most of
characters you later encounter. Note, that neat handwriting is valued in Japan. People
who write sloppily may be considered to be uneducated or stupid.

1. From top to bottom



2. From left to right

行 例

3. When two or more strokes cross, horizontal strokes usually precede vertical ones

十 本

4. Center first, then left and right

小 楽

5. A vertical line running through the center is written last

中 車

Page 10

6. A horizontal stroke that goes through the entire kanji is written last

子 母

7. Outer frame first, but bottom line last

口 国

8. Right-to left diagonal stroke precedes left-to-right

人 文

9. Nyo, , , (two of the radicals which wrap around the lower left of a kanji)
are written last

道 延

10. Nyo, , (these two nyo, or wrapping kanji) are written first



11. First the vertical stroke then the short horizontal stroke which adjoins it on the right



12. A dot at the north-east corner is written last

犬 代

Page 17

grave
slide

grave
slide

ceremoni
al slide door hand holy stool

broken
stool figure

stirring
rod T-cliff direction heaven

crooked
heaven sun moon tree fail stop bad

stool next
to table compare fur

family
name spirit

water fire fish tail claw father double X (xx) dog (ne)lly king origin
communi-

ty devil wing

mysteriou
s melon

10,000
eggs sugary life

double
moon rice field

running
man

shore
breaker battle tent white

covered
stool

plate eye heavenly slide stone
“two”
small

my box
home

two
branch

tree
cave stand

Nellyʼs
got a
knife

genera-
tion giant

demented
dog five

stabbed
finger

wide eye
snake mother cow

20 upside
down
boxes

attentive
mother

sideways
eye fang

bamboo rice small pie flattened mountain sheep feathers rake
three

brach tree ear brush meat self

my grave broken sun tongue boat clothes good color
seven
cliffs bug blood go west

4

5

6

Page 18

servant see say fish leg house bean hog clam red leg car bitter
under-
ground
clothes

rice slide empty rice field

gold leader gate emperor rain blue alleyway mountain horns excuse equal

noise clam with leaf hat wind food neck goods horse tall demon dragon admirable fish

7

9+

6

8

bird hemp

standing
on a holy

hand
grenade

yellow black none tooth

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