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Learning Article : Conquer Your Fear Of Kanji

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Conquer Your Fear Of Kanji

Who invented such a complicated writing system, and why don't Japanese people use the Latin script? We’re living in the 21st century where everything has to happen fast and no one has time to learn thousands of signs, each with multiple readings and meanings. Rules, lists, exceptions, different styles of writing; the dictionary is full of various combinations of those many thousands of signs. Exactly how many are there, anyway?! Don't worry. I will help you conquer your fear of Chinese characters and embrace their utility and beauty.

Sep 10, 2016 12:00 AM
Comments · 4
I'm in a lovehate relationship with kanjis
September 3, 2016

Ioana-chan, the pleasure of learning kanji is never-ending :-)  Think of them as treasure chests hiding meaning and music. Not to mention how pretty they look, how there's poetry in their shape and how they can hide an other story behind the apparent meaning. 

My favorite illustration for this is the list of village (里) names from Sei Shonagon’s Makura no soushi (The Pillow Book - Heian literature masterpiece).


As for villages, there are: The village “The hill of rendezvous”. The village “Gazing”. The village “Waking up from one’s sleep”. The village “An other’s wife”. The village “Trust me!”. The village “The light of the setting sun”. The village “Take someone’s wife”. I wonder who is from this village - the seducer himself, or the husband whose wife has been taken? How amusing!

The meaning of each kanji is as follows >

逢坂 (meet+hill); ながめ(sight, view / hiragana); 寝覚め(waking up from one’s sleep); 人妻(an other’s wife); 頼め (trust me!); 夕日([the light of the] setting sun);妻取り(taking someone’s wife)

September 4, 2016

your article rose my curiousity about chinese character and led me to do some research and made me browsing wikipedia and sitting for hours.

the earliest writing chinese found written in a "dragon bone/oracle bones" from Shang dynasty that was used as traditional chinese medicine for malaria.

Xǔ Yǎhuì states:

"No one can know how many oracle bones, prior to 1899, were ground up by traditional Chinese pharmacies and disappeared into peoples' stomachs."

October 23, 2016
so if kanji was adopted and hiragana was born in heian period, what kind of writing system they used before heian period?
October 23, 2016
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