Directions in Japanese Quick Kanji Lesson

Directions in Japanese Quick Kanji Lesson

Quick Kanji Lesson

Directions in Japanese

A quick kanji lesson.

Here are a few kanji showing various directions in Japanese. Learn these useful characters when asking for directions or looking at a map. Only the most used readings are given.

On: ジョウ
Kun: うえ

Meaning: up; above

上手(じょうず) skilled; good at; clever
上着(うわぎ) coat; outer garment
その上(うえ)  in addition; furthermore


On: ゲ
Kun: した

Meaning: down; below

靴下(くつした) socks [lit. shoes under] 地下(ちか) underground; basement
年下(としした) junior; younger; young


On: サ
Kun: ひだり

Meaning: left

左手(ひだりて) left hand
左足(ひだりあし) left leg
机の左 (つくえ  ひだり )to the left of the desk


On: ユウ
Kun: みぎ

Meaning: right

右目(みぎめ) right eye
右(みぎ)ページ right page (of a book)
右手(みぎて) right hand


On: ゼン
Kun: まえ

Meaning: before; in front; previous

名前(なまえ) name
前書(まえが)き preface [lit. before the writing] 二年前(ふたねんまえ) two years ago


On: ゴ
Kun: うし・ろ

Meaning: behind; after

最後(さいご) the last; the end; conclusion
後(うし)ろ behind
後書(あとが)き postscript; afterword [lit. after the writing]


On: トウ
Kun: ひがし

Meaning: east

中東(ちゅうとう) the Middle East
東(ひがし)アジア East Asia
東京 (とうきょう )Tokyo

You may recognize the kanji for “east” 東 higashi in Tokyo
東京 toukyou. This is because Tokyo means “east capital.”

Nearly all kanji have at least two readings. In this case, 東 can be pronounced higashi or tou. The first, higashi, is the native Japanese pronunciation, or kun reading. Tou is the Chinese or on reading.

In general, when a kanji character is paired with another kanji, you use the on reading as in toukyou.


西

On: セイ
Kun: にし

Meaning: west

西口(にしぐち) west entrance
関西(かんさい) Osaka and surrounding area; Kansai
西(にし)ドイツ (historical) West Germany
大西洋(たいせいよう) the Atlantic


On: ナン
Kun: みなみ

Meaning: south

東南(とうなん)アジア Southeast Asia
南極(なんきょく) the South Pole; Antarctic
南米(なんべい) South America


On: ホク
Kun: きた

Meaning: north

北海道(ほっかいどう) Hokkaido (most northern part of Japan)
北(きた)アメリカ North America
北京(ぺきん) Beijing (China)
南北戦争(なんぼくせんそう) the (US) Civil War

Directions in JapaneseDownload a graphic

 

Happy Thanksgiving Day Japanese Vocabulary Lesson

Happy Thanksgiving Day Japanese Vocabulary Lesson

To those in the US, Happy Thanksgiving!

We decided to make a quick video with Thanksgiving related words in Japanese. This is a special video since my son edited it for us–thank you Makoto!
 
Here are the words in the video, plus a few extra.
Turkey
七面鳥
shichimenchou
[Turkeys aren’t native to Japan. There are a few ideas why turkeys are called 七面鳥 (literally, seven faced bird). One is cooking a turkey is a lot of work and 七面倒 shichimendou means “great trouble” or “difficulty.” Another possible origin is the bird’s face has a variety of colors. Thus it has seven faces. Who knows?]

Pumpkin Pie
パンプキンパイ
panpukin pai
[This is a loan word from English and therefore written in katakana]

Family
家族
kazoku
[家 house + 族 tribe]

Feast
ごちそう
gochisou
[ごちそうする means to treat someone (buy a meal for someone); ごちそうさま is often said after a meal as thanks for the good food.]

Pumpkin
かぼちゃ
kabocha
[From Portuguese “Cambodia abóbora”]
 

 

Now, let’s look at Yumi’s words in the video:

こんにちは、みなさん
konnichi wa, minasan
Hello, everyone.
[You can say みんな or みなさん but みんなさん is not considered correct]

パトロンのみなさん、いつもありがとうございます。
patoron no minasan, itsumo arigatou gozaimasu.
As always, thank you so much, Patreon supporters!
[literally: Patreon’s everyone; always; thank you]
[Since the action (the sense of thankfulness) is on-going, we wouldn’t use the past tense ありがとうございました]

Thanksgiving Dayは日本語で、感謝祭といいます。
Thanksgiving Day wa nihongo de, kanshasai to iimasu.
Thanksgiving Day in Japanese is called “kanshasai.”
[While Japan doesn’t have a “Turkey Day,” there is 勤労感謝の日 kinrō kansha no hi Labor Thanksgiving Day. Today it is a day to commemorate labor, production, and general human well-being, but it was based on an ancient harvest festival known as 新嘗祭 niinamesai.]

今日はその感謝祭に関する日本語を勉強していきましょう。
kyou wa sono kanshasai ni kan suru nihongo wo benkyou shite ikimashou.
Today, let’s use Thanksgiving Day to study Japanese.
[Literally: today; this Thanksgiving Day; concerning; Japanese language; study; to deliberately do (していく shows doing something deliberately. The いく as an auxiliary verb means “to continue” with purpose.)]

それでは、あしたは家族で楽しい感謝祭をお過ごしください。
sore dewa, ashita wa kazoku de tanoshii kanshasai o osugoshi kudasai.
Well, then. Tomorrow, please enjoy spending Thanksgiving Day with your family.

食べ過ぎないでね。
tabesugi naide ne.
Don’t eat too much!
What Superpower Do You Want? Japanese Superpowers?

What Superpower Do You Want? Japanese Superpowers?

FLASH JAPANESE LESSON

Japanese Superpowers in Japanese

 

What superpower would you like to have? X-Ray vision? Ability to fly? Teleport? All of the above?

Well, sorry. That’s not happening, but I can help you with Japanese superpowers, that is, how to say common superpowers in Japanese.

 

① 透視能力

     toushi nouryoku
     X-Ray Vision


② 予知能力

     yochi nouryoku
     precognition; knowing the future


③ 念力

     nenriki
     telekinesis; mind-over-matter
     the ability to move or manipulate objects with only the mind


④ 瞬間移動

     shunkan idou
     teleportation


⑤ 怪力

     kairiki
     superhuman strength