How to Wow! In Japanese 日本語A look at Japanese Grammar 文法Kanji, oh Kanji! 漢字Japanese Culture & Interests 文化What's leftover 残り物Main Page ホームページ

Go to the previous page! All the Kanji on the Level 3 Test: #2 Go to the next page!
Go to a printer friendly version of this page


The Kanji Readings & Meanings
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

1) i - mind, heart, attention

When you stand [] you are at attention; When it is day [] you are awake and attentive; and your heart [] is mindful

意味 i mi - meaning
注意 chuu i - warning, caution, be careful
用意 you i - preparation, prepare
意見 i ken - opinion, view

1) i - more, with, through, on account of

This one doesn't seem to have a concrete meaning, but is used with other kanjis

以下 i ka - below, less than, under
以上 i jou - more than, over, this is all
以心伝心 i shin den shin - telepathy, mind reading

1) gen, 2) gon - speech, statement 3) iu - to say 4) koto - word, expression

Sound waves coming from a mouth.  

A lot of 'word' related kanji have this character as part of the kanji - 日記 nikki (diary); shi (poem); hanashi (a story)

言葉 koto ba - word, language
独り言 hitori goto - soliloquy, talking to yourself
方言 hou gen - dialect

1) ka, 2) ke, 3) ya, 4) ie - house

Think of the top part as a roof

家族 ka zoku - family
作家 sakka - writer, novelist, author
愛猫家 ai byou ka - lover of cats

1) kyuu, 2) isogu - to hurry

When you hurry your heart beats faster

救急車 kyuu kyuu sha - ambulance
特急 tokkyuu - limited express train
オリエント急行 oriento kyuu kou - Orient Express

1) ken, 2) inu - dog

A dog is man's [] big, [] best friend

小犬 ko inu - puppy
番犬 ban ken - watch dog
愛犬家 ai ken ka - lover of dogs

1) mai, 2) imouto - younger sister

Japanese makes a distinction between younger and older [ ane] sisters and brothers

姉妹 shi mai - sisters (elder & younger)
従姉妹 itoko - cousin (female)
姉妹都市 shi mai to shi - sister cities

1) shiki, 2) shoku, 3) iro - color

Some color names have this kanji with it (see examples)

青色 ao iro - blue
黄色 ki iro - yellow
十人十色 juu nin to iro - 10 people 10 colors, different strokes for different folks

1) on, 2) in, 3) ne, 4) oto - sound

Sound is standing [] on the sun [] - don't confuse it with [] i (heart, attention)

音楽 on gaku - music
発音 hatsu on - pronunciation
福音 fuku in - the Gospel, good news

1) in - member, official

An official is just a shell [] with a mouth []

委員 i in - committee member
会員 kai in - member, membership
社員 sha in - company employee

1) in - institution, academy

This one is used for buildings and institutions (see examples)

病院 byou in - hospital
医院 i in - (doctor's) clinic
大学院 dai gaku in - graduate school

1) in, 2) nomu - to drink

'To drink' is similar to 'to eat' [] - looks like a man on the right leaning on a bar having a drink [By Dean]

飲み物 nomi mono - something to drink, a drink
飲み水 nomi mizu - drinking water
飲み放題 nomi hou dai - all you can drink

1) gyo, 2) uo, 3) sakana - fish

Think of the bottom lines as being water

人魚 nin gyo - mermaid
金魚 kin gyo - goldfish
飛魚 tobi uo - flying fish

1) dou, 2) ugoku - to move

Heavy [] + power [] = to move

運動 un dou - exercise, movement
動物 dou butsu - animals
感動 kan dou - deeply impressed, moved, touched

1) gyuu, 2) ushi - cow, bull

Don't confuse this with [] go (noon)

牛乳 gyuu nyuu - milk
牛肉 gyuu niku - beef, cow meat
ushi - cow

1) ka, 2) uta - a song 3) utau - to sing

This has a distinctive shape. Think of several mouths singing songs

国歌 kokka - national anthem
歌詞 ka shi - lyrics, words to music
歌舞伎 ka bu ki - Kabuki, Japanese play
短歌 tan ka - Tanka, 31 syllable Japanese poem

1) sha, 2) utsusu - to copy, take (a photo)

It looks like a 5 but it is only a copy of a photograph

写真 sha shin - photograph
写真家 sha shin ka - photographer
写生 sha sei - sketching, drawing from life

1) ei, 2) utsuru - to be reflected, 3) utsusu - to project on a screen, reflect

Reflected light comes from the center [] of the sun []

映画 ei ga - movie
映画館 eiga kan - the movies, cinema
放映 hou ei - televising

1) kai, 2) umi - sea, ocean

The 3 little marks to the left mean water and [] is 'every.' So every water comes from the ocean.

日本海 nihon kai - Japan Sea
北海道 hokkaidou - Hokkaido, the most northern big island of Japan
海岸 kai gan - beach, coast

1) bai, 2) uri - sale 3) uru - to sell

It is interesting in that 'to buy' also has the reading 'bai'

発売 hatsu bai - new product for sale, sale
売り物 uri mono - something for sell
売買 bai bai - selling & buying

Back to Level 3 Kanji
By Clay & Yumi Boutwell