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Most of the examples include kanji not learned yet (probably), but I think it is good for you to be exposed to kanji that you will later study. My suggestion is to look carefully at each kanji spending time reading the pronunciations and then carefully copying the examples to paper. Think of it as art and it can be fun, really!
The pronunciations in italics are the ''Chinese'' pronunciations and the boldface are the native Japanese readings. The pronunciations in
red are recommended to learn as they are the most useful

The Kanji Readings, Meanings & Examples

1) jitsu, 2) nichi, 3) hi, 4) ~ka (suffix for counting days) - the sun, day

Don't ask me why it isn't round!

1) gatsu (month names), 2) getsu (other times), 3) tsuki - month, the moon

This is a sun () with legs -- the moon runs faster around the earth, therefore it needs legs

1) ka, 2) hi - fire, light

Think of it as sparks coming from a person

1) sui, 2) mizu - water

It looks like water flowing down a narrow river

1) moku, 2) boku, 3) ki - tree, wood

This is a tree with 2 low hanging branches

1) kin, 2) kon - gold; 3) kane - money

Think of gold being buried under the roof of a house

1) do, 2) to, 3) tsuchi - earth, ground, soil

It's a cross in the ground

1) hon - book, counter for long, slender objects

Just as the kanji is made from ki () so is a book made from trees

1) kyuu, 2) yasu(mi or mu) - rest, vacation

This is a picture of a person (left) resting against a tree

1) go - word, speech, a language 2) katari - narration, 3) kata(ru) - to tell, to speak

I know this one looks difficult, but learn it! It is actually fun to write. You may recognize the parts. To the left is () which means to speak. The top right is () which you have learned to be 5 and the bottom is () which means mouth

1) nen, 2) toshi - year

1) go - noon

Be careful to not confuse this one with ushi (cow)

1) zen, 2) mae - before, in front of, previous

Remember: there is a month in there

1) go, 2) kou, 3) ushi(ro) - behind; 4) nochi - after

1) ji, 2) toki - time

The sun is very important in telling time:

1) kan, 2) ken, 3) aida - interval, space 4) ma - interval, room, time

The is the kanji that means 'gate.' So in the interval of the gate there is a sun.

1) mai - every...

Every time you draw this kanji say, 'every'

1) sen, 2) saki - previous, ahead

It has two legs so it always walks ahead

1) kon, 2) kin, 3) ima - now, the present

It looks like someone with a hat is eating with his mouth wide open now

1) ka, 2) nani, 3) nan - what, how many

This is a useful one

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Clay & Yumi Boutwell

Last updated:
Monday, October 02, 2000