Archive for the 'On Kanji' Category

Kanji Blog Post #151

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Onward: April 30, 2010
Today I have a mix of news: the good, the bad, and the ugly. I was on the radio again this week, … More

Kanji Blog Post #150

Friday, April 16th, 2010

A Murder Mystery and More: Part 3, April 16, 2010
Today we’ll do things backward. Try your hand at a bevy of quizzes, all involving More

Kanji Blog Post #149

Friday, April 9th, 2010

Interspecies Stabbings: Part 2, April 9, 2010
As we saw last week, (SHI, sa(su), sa(saru), sa(shi), sashi, toge: to stab, pierce, prick, sting; thorn; business card) primarily means “to stab,” so it … More

Kanji Blog Post #148

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

How to Stick It to Someone: Part 1, April 2, 2010
Let’s start with a quiz. The kanji primarily means “to stab.” Given that, what … More

Kanji Blog Post #147

Friday, March 19th, 2010

Radically Wet: Part 4, March 19, 2010
Take a look at the following sentence to see if you recognize anything: 政府は過激派グループの活動を注意深く監視した。 Whenever I confront unknown kanji, I try to … More

Kanji Blog Post #146

Friday, March 12th, 2010

A Japanese Stimulus Package: Part 3, March 12, 2010
It’s always exciting when a foreign language teaches you about your own, and that’s the case with the following word … More

Kanji Blog Post #145

Friday, March 5th, 2010

Death by Acronym: Part 2, March 5, 2010
We start with Alberto’s haiku calendar for March. It’s lovely, as always, but there’s one difference this time … More

Kanji Blog Post #144

Friday, February 26th, 2010

The Violence of Water: Part 1, February 26, 2010
If you had to draw “violent,” what images would you use? Maybe you’d think back to … More

Kanji Blog Post #143

Friday, February 12th, 2010

Bag of Tricks: Part 3, February 12, 2010
As you may know, 知恵 (chie: to know + wisdom) is “wisdom” or “intelligence.” And we’ve seen that (TAI, fukuro)More

Kanji Blog Post #142

Friday, February 5th, 2010

Your Mother as a Bag: Part 2, February 5, 2010
We start with Alberto’s haiku calendar for February, another beauty. Wow, this haiku features some complex kanji! Alberto will tell us about the poem in the comments section. Meanwhile, here’s the scoop on the least familiar characters: … More

Kanji Blog Post #141

Friday, January 29th, 2010

It’s in the Bag: Part 1, January 29, 2010
Recently I’ve shown you koala and kangaroo pictures, and in the past I’ve posted pictures of dogs, giraffes, and yaks. By this point, you should be an expert in animal identification. Based on the breakdowns below, see if you can figure out… More

Kanji Blog Post #140

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Happy Birthday to Whom? January 22, 2010
What do you think the following word means?

虚誕 (kyotan)

The first kanji, (KYO, KO, muna(shii)), means “empty” or “false,” as we saw long ago. You may recognize from … More

Kanji Blog Post #139

Friday, January 15th, 2010

Locating Your Longings: Part 4, January 15, 2010
When you long for something or someone, do you think of that longing as having a particular location? Do you store it somewhere, such as your heart, mind, soul, or journal? I don’t feel as if my yearnings have specific addresses; they seem all-pervasive. But the following word hints at the idea that… More

Kanji Blog Post #138

Friday, January 8th, 2010

Great Expectations: Part 3, January 8, 2010
明けましておめでとうございます!Akemashite omedetō gozaimasu! Happy New Year!). We’ve seen that this 明け means “to open, begin.” What I hadn’t seen until last week was this version … More

Kanji Blog Post #137

Friday, December 18th, 2009

Hoping Against Hope: Part 2, December 18, 2009
Around the holidays, people like to hear old stories again, whether they involve Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer or the Ghost of Christmas Past. This time of year also fills people with hope, so much so that adults temporarily suspend fears of pedophilia and let their children sit on strange men’s laps to spout off consumerist fantasies…. More

Kanji Blog Post #136

Friday, December 18th, 2009

The Wishing Star: Part 1, December 11, 2009
I’d never thought about it before, but I’ve just realized that the English expression “looking forward” has two meanings: “gazing into the distance” and “happily anticipating.” One kanji captures both meanings. We usually interpret (BŌ, MŌ, nozo(mu)) as meaning … More

Kanji Blog Post #135

Friday, December 4th, 2009

Loose Ends: December 4, 2009
Time for the final page of Alberto’s beautiful haiku calendar! Now that we’re at the last haiku of the year, I’d like to thank Alberto for the work he contributes to Kanji Curiosity. He puts an enormous amount of effort into … More

Kanji Blog Post #134

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

Wanderlust: Part 4, November 27, 2009
Let’s start with a quick quiz. From past weeks you already know this kanji: (TO, wata(ru), wata(su): to cross, extend, cover, range, span; to ferry across; build across; hand over, hand in, transfer) … More

Kanji Blog Post #133

Friday, November 20th, 2009

Special Delivery: Part 3, November 20, 2009
I’ve discovered two new ways of offending the Japanese: 渡し箸 (watashibashi: resting one’s chopsticks across the top of one’s bowl)     to cross over + chopsticksMore

Kanji Blog Post #132

Friday, November 13th, 2009

Will We Cross That Bridge When We Come to It? Part 2, November 13, 2009
In any society, a bridge is perhaps the most visible symbol of trust. And this kind of trust seldom comes into question. When most of us see a bridge, we assume it can handle the cars, trains, and gale-force winds bearing down on it. Lately, though, people in my neck of the woods realize that … More