One of the best Japanese Kanji dictionaries.

Kanji Tools Column

Kanji for Shadow and Shade – “Kage”

Kanji for Shadow and Shade – “Kage”

In Japanese, “shadow” and “shade” are pronounced in the same sound– 「かげ」“kage.” However, the Kanji characters used are not the same. 影 means shadow, and 陰 means shade. But these characters have many other essential meanings that play important roles in the Japanese language. Let’s take a look.
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Kanji Fonts – Some basics you need to know for using Kanji

Kanji Fonts – Some basics you need to know for using Kanji

When you try to study Kanji by yourself, you will notice that the shape of the characters differs so much by the fonts and get confused from which you should learn. There are countless numbers of Japanese fonts, but in this article, I will introduce the major fonts that will help you to read and write Japanese text.

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Kanji for Love – 愛 and 恋

Kanji for Love – 愛 and 恋

There are two Kanji characters for love in Japanese – 愛, and 恋. However, the nuance is quite different. Let’s take a closer look at these characters.

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Kanji used for “Happy Birthday!”

Kanji used for “Happy Birthday!”

in Japanese, it has to be a combination of Kanji and Hiragana. It is written 「お誕生日おめでとう!」.

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Kanji for Rice, 米 is Japanese soul food!

Kanji for Rice, 米 is Japanese soul food!

Rice is a staple food in Japan. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries(MAFF), about 8,607,000 tons of rice were produced in 2013. Its Kanji is 米(kome), and sometimes called お米(okome). However, there is a confusing word ご飯(gohan), meaning both “cooked rice” and “meal.” You need to guess which meaning the speaker is using by the context. By the way, the unit used to count the bowl of cooked rice is 膳(zen) or 杯(hai).

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Kanji for Cat, adored neighbors

Kanji for Cat, adored neighbors

Cats are loved in Japan the same as in many other countries.

The Kanji for cats is 猫.

In this article, let me introduce words and idioms using 猫, breeds familiar to Japanese people, and a traditional cat figurine.

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Kanji for Dragon, an auspicious mythical creature

Kanji for Dragon, an auspicious mythical creature

There are three characters representing dragons: 竜, 龍, and 辰. 竜 and 龍 simply indicate the mythical creature; on the other hand, 辰 is a concept in the zodiac used in Asia.

Let’s see what the dragons in Japan look like and where you can find them (…well, not real ones ), and take a look at a mythological tale used in comics and video games.

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Kanji for Sakura, cherry blossoms

Kanji for Sakura, cherry blossoms

Kanji for cherry blossoms is 「桜」 and is pronounced “Sakura.” Cherry blossoms grow wild in a wide area in the temperate zones in the northern hemisphere, not just in Japan. However, the flower has always been special to Japanese people and has a strong relationship with Japanese culture valuing impermanence. Some say that Sakura is the national flower of Japan, although not officially recognized by the government.
In this article, let’s see the relationship between Sakura and Japan.

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Kanji for fire and flame, 火 and 焔

Kanji for fire and flame, 火 and 焔

Kanji for fire is 「火」. It is a simple word, but therefore, there are many Kanji compounds, proverbs, and idioms. Let’s see how the Kanji is used in Japanese.

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Kanji for Kawaii – a word that doesn’t only mean “cute”

Kanji for Kawaii – a word that doesn’t only mean “cute”

If you want to use Kanji to write “kawaii,” it will be「可愛い」. The word doesn’t only mean “cute”. Let's see why.
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