In Japanese and Korean there are two different counting systems. One used for counting as in 1,2,3 etc., the other used for counting objects as in 1 thing, 2 things, 3 things etc.
一日 いちにち one day
一日 ついたち the 1st (of the month)
*irregular pronunciation of 一 and 日
一年 いちねん one year
漢字は一つもわからない。I don't even know one kanji.
昨日は、一日中、ねていた。Yesterday I slept all day long.
きょうは四月一日です。Today is April 1st.
日本へ来てから一年です。One year has passed since I came to Japan.
The kanji for "2" or "2 things" is derived from the shape of the kanji for "1" or "1 thing".
二月 にがつ February
二人 ふたり Two people
*irregular pronunciation of 人
二日 ふつか the 2nd (of the month)
りんごが二つある。There are two apples.
二月はまださむい。It is still cold in February.
二人はまだ来ていない。Two people still haven't come.
今日は五月二日です。Today is May 2nd.
The kanji for "3" or "3 things" is derived from the shape of the kanji for "1" or "1 thing".
三月 さんがつ March
三日 みっか the 3rd (of the month)
三人 さんにん Three people
机の上にみかんが三つある。There are three tangerines on the desk.
桜は三月に咲く。Cherry blossoms bloom in March.
三月三日はひなまつりです。March 3rd is the last day of winter.
きょうしつに学生が三人いる。There are there students in the classroom.
This moving picture has been made simply for memorization purposes. Originally the kanji for "4" or "4 things" was a picture of four horizontal lines, derived from the shape of the kanji for "1" or "1 thing". However, in order to avoid the confusion that a combination of kanji made up out of independent strokes could lead to, the ancient kanji for "mouth" which bore the same pronunciation as "4" was used instead to express "4" or "4 things".
四階 よんかい four floors, fourth floor
四人 よにん four people
四月 しがつ April
昨日、りんごを四つ買った。 Yesterday, I bought four apples.
このたてものは四かいだてです。This building has four floors.
田中さんは四人家族です。There are four people in Tanaka san's family.
四月はあたたかい。April is warm.
This used to be the ancient Chinese character for the number 5 (in roman numerals this character is coincidentally the number 10). Over the years the form changed to become the present day kanji for "5".
五日 いつか the 5th (of the month)
五月 ごがつ May
五年 ごねん five years
昨日、りんごを五つもらった。Yesterday, i received five apples.
きょ年の三月五日に日本へ来た。I came to Japan last year on March 5th.
五月はゴールデンウィークがある。Golden Week is in May.
五年間、日本に住んでいる。I have been living in Japan for five years.
This picture has been created simply for memorization purposes. Originally this kanji was the Chinese character for "house" but it no longer carries this meaning.
六月 ろくがつ June
六カ国 ろっかこく six countries
六日 むいか the 6th (of the month)
*irregular pronunciation of 六
ケーキを六つに分ける。I divide the cake into six pieces.
六月は雨のきせつです。The rainy season is in June.
６カ国の学生がいる。There are students from six different countries.
明日は八月六日です。Tomorrow is August 6th.
Although this has no historical reference, the easiest way to memorize this kanji is to imagine it as an upside down european style number seven.
七月 しちがつ July
七人 ななにん seven people
七日 なのか the 7th (of the month)
いちごが七つ、のこっている。There are seven strawberries left.
七月はもうなつです。By July it is summer.
私のかぞくは七人かぞくです。There are seven people in my family.
七月七日はたなばたです。The Tanabata Festival is on July 7th.
This has no historical meaning, but a way to memorize this kanji is to imagine an octopus (octo, octa meaning 8) forming its arms into the shape of a number 8, and the circle forming the 8 separating into two parts and becoming two lines to form the kanji for "8".
八百屋 やおや greengrocers
八月 はちがつ August
八日 ようか the 8th (of the month)
*irregular pronunciation of 八
いちごを八つ食べた。I ate eight strawberries.
八百屋にはいろいろなやさいがある。There are many kinds of vegetables at the greengrocers.
八月はおぼんがある。The O-bon Festival is in August.
八日と四日のはつおんは難しい。The pronunciation of ようか and よっか are difficult.
九日 ここのか the 9th (of the month)
九月 くがつ September
九本 きゅうほん nine things (eg pens)
*本 is used when counting long, slender objects
かきを九つ買った。I bought nine oysters.
きょ年の六月九日に私は日本へ来た。I came to Japan on 9th June last year.
九月はもうあきです。By September it is autumn.
えんぴつが九本ある。There are nine pencils.
The kanji for "10" can be memorized by imagining all the numbers from one to ten arranged in the shape of a cross.
十日 とおか the 10th (of the month)
十月 じゅうがつ October
十本 じゅっぽん ten things (eg pens)
*本 is used when counting long, slender objects.
この子は十です。This child is 10 years old.
十一月十日は私のたんじょうびです。My birthday is on November 10 th.
十月はすずしい。October is cool.
ネクタイが十本ある。There are ten neckties.
This kanji can be mamorized by imaging a "hundred" written in numerals, turned on its side with a short line linkinh the 1 with the two 0s.
百貨店 ひゃっかてん department store
三百 さんびゃく tree hundred
六百 ろっぴゃく six hundred
漢字は一つもわからない。I don't even know one kanji.
昨日は、一日中、寝ていた。Yesterday I slept all day long.
今日は四月一日です。Today is April 1st.
日本へ来てから一年です。One year has passed since I came to Japan.
What you see first is the alteration in shape of the kanji for "person" (人=0031). Added to this is the kanji for "1" (一=0001). In ancient times, the idea of "1" group would usually refer to a large number of "people" assembled. Gradually the idea of a large number became that of a "thousand" and so this kanji keeps this meaning today.
千円 せんえん a thousand yen
三千人 さんぜんにん three thousand people
千葉県 ちばけん Chiba Prefecture
パンを千切って食べる。To tear off and eat pieces of bread.
こうつうひは千円ぐらいです。The transportation costs are about a thousand yen.
コンサートで三千人、あつまった。Three thousand people gathered for the concert.
ディズニーランドは千葉県にある。Disneyland is in Chiba prefecture.
This moving image has been created solely for memorization purposes.
万葉集 まんようしゅう The "Manyooshuu" (famous 8th century Japanese poetry)
一万円 いちまんえん ten thousand yen
万国 ばんこく all countries, nations
万葉集とは日本でいちばんふるいかしゅうのことです。The "Manyooshuu" is Japan's oldest antology of poems.
一ヶ月のしょくひはだいたい一万円ぐらいです。Food expenses for one month are around ten thousand yen.
1970年に大阪で万国はくらんかいが開かれた。The world's fair was held in Osaka in 1970.
This kanji means "yen" or "circle". The picture has been made only for memorization purposes and shows the currency mark for yen turning into the kanji symbol for yen.
円満 えんまん peaceful, harmonious, smooth, amicable
百円 ひゃくえん a hundred yen
円周率 えんしゅうりつ the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter
ひとがらが円い。The argument was satisfactorily settled.
ふうふ円満。 He settled (the matter) amicably through negotiation.
さいふに百円入っている。 There are a hundred yen in the purse.
円周率は3.14です。 The ratio of the circumference of a circle to ts diameter is 3,14.
The original idea behind the kanji for "year" is that it takes a year for a tree to produce fruit. Over time the kanji showing the shape - of a tree and a fruit, transformed to the kanji 年 of today.
年末 ねんまつ the end of the year
今年 ことし this year
年賀状 ねんがじょう New Year's card
年をとる。To get old.
年まつは忙しくなる。It gets busy at the end of the year.
今年のはるから大学生になる。I will become a university student this spring.
年賀状はゆうびんきょくで買える。You can buy New Year cards at the post office.
This moving image has been created solely for memorization purposes. Note that the Japanese word for "woof" is ワン ("wan").
番犬 ばんけん watchdog
盲導犬 もうどうけん guide dog
野良犬 のらいぬ stray dog
田中さんはかわいい犬をかっている。Tanaka san has a cute dog.
どろぼうが入らないように番犬をかっている。He keeps a watchdog to deter burglars from enter from entering.
目のふじゆうな人のために盲導犬がいる。Guide dogs are for blind people.
このへんは野良犬がおおい。There are lots of stray dogs around here.
This kanji is derived from the pictorial representation of an arrow in mid-flight.
矢印 やじるし arrow, signpost
弓矢 ゆみや bow and arrow
弓と矢はセットになっている。A bow and arrow make a set.
矢じるしの方にまがってください。Please turn in the direction indicated by the signpost.
弓矢はスポーツてんどうっている。Bows and arrows are sold at sport shops.
This kanji is derived from the pictorial representation of a bow.
弓変 ゆみへん 弓 used as the left radical of a kanji
弓矢 ゆみや bow and arrow
弓道 きゅうどう (Japanese) archery
漢字の弓は弓のかたちからできている。The kanji for "arrow" is derived from the shape of an arrow.
弓へんにたてのぼうを一本ひくと「引く」という漢字になる。 If you add one vertical pole to the radical 弓, then the kanji 引 (to pull) is created.
ヨーロッパの弓矢は小さくてもつよい。Even though European bows and arrows are small, they are strong.
弓どうは日本のさむらいのスポーツだった。Archery was a Samurai sport in Japan.
This kanji means "sun" or "day etc. It's a good example of a kanji which is derived from a picture.
平日 へいじつ weekday
日曜日 にちようび Sunday
祭日 さいじつ national holiday
「ひ」の漢字は読み方が多い。There are many redaings for the kanji 日.
一月一日は元日とよぶ。January 1st is called New Year's Day.
日曜日は会社がやすみのところがおおい。A lot of companies are closed on Sundays.
祭日は電車の時間が平日とちがう。On national holidays, train times are different from normal weekdays.
This is a typical example of a kanji which is derived from a picture. The meaning as can be seen from the picture is "moon". The cloud has no actual meaning in this character but has been added simply to make the link between the picture and the kanji easier to understand. This kanji also has the meaning of "month" (as in a "lunar" month). Below is the kanji for "evening" (0093). It is another good example of a kanji derived from a picture. The way that the kanji for "moon" and "evening" can be compared is through the respective presence and absence of a cloud in the pictoriall representations.
今月 こんげつ this month
月曜日 げつようび Monday
三日月 みかづき new moon, crescent moon
今夜は月とほしがきれいに見える。The moon and stars can be seen clearly tonight.
今月からガスりょう金があがる。The gas rate is from Monday to Friday.
今日は三日月です。There is a new moon today.
In Japanese and Korean there are two different counting systems, One used for counting as in 1, 2,3 etc. the other used for counting objects as in 1 thing, 2 things, 3 things etc. As can be seen from the picture, this kanji was originally created for counting things.
材木 ざいもく wood, lumber
木曜日 もくようび Thursday
植木 うえき garden plant
このつくえは木でつくられている。This desk is made from wood.
かぐをつくるために山から材木をとってくる。I'll go and get some wood from the mountain in order to make the furniture.
あのみせは木曜日がやすみです。That shop over there is closed on Thursdays.
植木に水をやる。I water the garden plants.
The kanji for "yama" is derived from the scene of three mountains.
山登り やまのぼり mountain climbing
富士山 ふじさん Mt. Fuji
火山 かざん volcano
私のしゅみは山にのぼることです。My hobby is to climb mountains.
つぎのやすみに山登りに行こうとおもう。I am thinking about going mountain climbing next holiday.
富士山は日本で一ばんたかい山です。Mount Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan.
あの山は火山活動がかっぱつです。That volcano over there is still active.
The kanji for "kawa" is derived from the image of a flowing river.
川で魚をつる。To fish in the river.
大雨で河川がはんらんする。Rivers overflow due to heavy rain.
川原でバーベキューをしよう。Let's have a barbecue by the dry riverbed.
なつになるとすみ田川で花火大かいがある。 In the summer there is a huge fireforks display at the Sumida River.
The kanji for "rice field" is derived from the image of a group of rice fields linked together.
田んぼ たんぼ rice field
水田 すいでん rice paddy
田畑 たはた fields, a farm
お米をつくるために田をたがやす。 He tills the fields in order to grow rice.
田んぼでお米をつくられている。Rice is grown in the rice fields.
水田でお米をつくる。To grow rice in the rice paddy.
田畑とは田んぼと畑のことです。The kanji 田畑（たばた）refers to fields and rice fields.
The kanji for "fire" comes from the pictorial representation of a bonfire.
火事 かじ fire
火曜日 かようび Tuesday
花火 はなび fireworks
子供の火あそびはきけんです。 It is dangerous for children to play with fire.
ふゆになるとかじがおおくなる。The amount of fires goes up in winter.
火曜日に新宿であいましょう。Lets meet in Shinjuku on Tuesday.
花火を見に行きましょうか。Lets go and see the fireworks.
The kanji for "water" can be memorized through imagining water coming out of a tap as seen in the picture. Originally this kanji was derived from the image of three drops of water.
水着 みずぎ swimsuit
水曜日 すいようび Wednesday
水泳 すいえい swimming
水を飲む。To drink water.
きのう、水着をかった。Yesterday I bought a swimsuit.
水曜日はやすみです。Wednesday is a holiday.
子供のとき、水泳をならった。I learnt to swim whenjI was a child.
This kanji means "gold" or "money". It can be remembered in the following way: If the kanji for "king" (王 = 0036) is put together with the kanji for "person" (人 = 0031) this makes the kanji for "all" (全=0412). The king in the picture is holding two yellow bags full of gold. Thus, to remember this kanji kanji remember the phrase "All people (including the king) want GOLD".
黄金 こがね gold
貯金 ちょきん savings
金曜日 きんようび Friday
みちにお金がおちている。Some money has been dropped in the street.
あきになるといねが黄金いろにそまる。In autumn the rice plants are dyed a gold colour.
子供のときから貯金している。I have been saving money since I was a child.
このみせは金曜日はいつもこむ。This shop is always crowded on Fridays.
This kanji means "ground" or "land" and has two different resdings. When pronounced as tsuchi it means "soil" or "earth" whereas if it is read as tochi it means "land" (as in to buy/ rent land etc).
土偏 つちへん 土 used as the left radical of a kanji
土曜日 どようび Saturday
土地 とち land
土をほる。To dig in the ground.
土へんには『地』や『坂』などがある。The radical 土 is used in kanji like 地 (earth, ground) and 坂 (slope).
先しゅうの土曜日にえいがを見に行った。Last Saturday I went to see a film.
この土地に大きなビルがたつ。A large building is built on this land.
The following combination can be used to memorize the kanji for "nani" (lit. what?) - a PERSON uses his/her MOUTH to ask a QUESTION.
The kanji 何 ("nani") is used when forming question words as in 何人 ("How many people?"), 何日 (What day is it?) etc.
何色 なにいろ what colour?
何人 なんにん how many people?
何時 なんじ what time?
何いろがおすきですか。What colour do you like?
ごきょうだいは何人ですか。How many brothers and sisters do you have?
何じにいえを出ますか。What time do you leave home?
The kanji for "katana" is derived from the image of a sword.
小刀 こがたな knife, penknife
日本刀 にほんとう Japanese sword
短刀 たんとう dagger
さむらいがこしに刀をさす。The samurai warrior sticks the sword inton his stomack.
小刀で木をけずる。To whittle at a piece of wood with a penknife.
日本刀はよくきれる。Japanese swords cut very well.
短刀とはみじかい刀のことです。The kanji 短刀（たんとう）refers to a small sword.
This kanji means "person" or "people" and is derived from the pictorial representation of a person. 人 is used a lot to create the left-hand side or other kanji. If 人 is used within other kanji, generally these other kanji are relsted in meaning to "person" or "people". For example, the kanji for "what?" below is made up of a combination of a person (人) who askes a question (ie what?) by opening his/her "mouth". The pictorial representation of the kanji 何 below is only partly from the original.
人気 にんき popular
人手 ひとで worker, helper
人生 じんせい human life
あの人は日本人です。That person over there is Japanese.
おもてさんどうはわかものに人気がある。Omotesando is a popular (place) with young people.
この人ずうでは人手がたりない。With this number of people, there aren't enough workers.
ともだちと人生についてかたりがあった。I had a chat with my friend about life.
The kanji for “mouth” is taken from the shape of an open mouth. This is another good example of pictorial representation usage in kanji. This kanji not only means “mouth” but can also mean “hole” or “means of access”. In public places it is used in combinations with other kanji to express “entrance” (入口), “exit” (出口) etc.
河口 かこう mouth of a river
口笛 くちぶえ whistle
出口 でぐち exit
ひとことも口をきかない。He doesn't speak one single word.
この川の河口にはみなとまちがある。There is a harbour town by the mouth of the river.
口笛をふきながらかえった。I whistled on my way home.
出口はあちらです。The exit is over there.
The kanji for "woman" comes from the pictorial representation of a woman kneeling on the floor.
女の子 おんなのこ girl
女性 じょせい woman (used mainly in conversation)
女優 じょゆう actress
あそこに女の人が立っている。There is a girl standing over there.
女の子がうまれた。A baby girl was born.
この服は女性ようです。This piece of clothing is women's wear.
あの女優はとても人気がある。That actress is very popular indeed.
The original pictorial representation of the kanji for "man" comes from the image of a man using a lot of "strength" (力= 0052+see piture below) working in a "rice field" (田=0024).
男の子 おとこの boy
男性 だんせい man (used mainly in conversation)
男女 だんじょ men and women
むこうから男の人があるいてくる。There is a man walking towards us from over there.
男の子はげんきがいいのが一ばんです。The most important thing for a boy is that he is full of energy.
男性ようのトイレは三がいです。The men's bathroom is on the third floor.
男女とは男と女といういみです。The word だんじょmeans "men and women".
The kanji for "kokoro" is derived from a pictorial representations of the human heart.
心臓 しんぞう heart (medical term)
親心 おやごころ parental affection
心配 しんぱい worry, anxiety
心をこめて、つくった。I put my heart (and soul) into making this.
心臓のおとが聞こえる。The sound of a heartbeat is audible.
親心とは親が子供をおもうきもちです。The kanji 親心 （おやごころ）refers to the feelings parents have for children.
親は子供を心配する。Parents worry about children.
Historically speaking, the kanji for "king" is one of the first kanji ever made. The thinking behind the formation of "王" is as follows. The top horizontal line represents the crown. The middle line represents the king·s arms which are outstreched over the land (represented by the third line) over which he reigns.
王様 おうさま king (colloquial)
王女 おうじょ princess
あのくにの王様はりっぱなお方です。The king of that country is a honourable person.
あのくにの王女はとてもうつくしい。The queen of that country is very beautiful.
This kanji means "study". The original pictoria representation has been simpIified to this picture which represents a child sitting at a desk under a big roof, the Iater signifying an important building such as a school.
学校 がっこう school
学生 がくせい student
大学 だいがく university
この学校で人生について学んだ。(Students) learn about life at this school.
学校でべんきょうする。I study at school.
この学校は学生が500人い上いる。There are more than 500 hundred students at this school.
いい大学に入りたい。I want to enter a good university.
This kanji has two meanings . One meaning is "the front of something" for example in the picture this would refer to the metal tip of the spear. The other usage of this kanji is time-related and here it takes on the meaning of "before" for example in the picture the back foot was placed on the ground "before" the front foot. When 先 is used in relation to time it takes on a past meaning.
行き先 いきさき one's destination, the end of one's journey
先月 せんげつ last month
先生 せんせい teacher
先に行ってください。Please go on ahead.
行き先を知らない。I don't know the destination.
先日、きょうとに行った。I went to Kyoto last month.
日本ごの先生になりたい。I want to become a Japanese teacher.
This kanji holds meanings of "to be born", "to live", "raw"; "grow up"; "life" and so on. It is also used with other kanji to imply a person, for example 学 (0037) meaning "study" and 生 together become 学生 which means "student". The pictorial representation is of a budding flower.
生野菜 なまやさい raw vegetables
高校生 こうこうせい high school student
生活 せいかつ life (style)
子供がもうすぐ生まれる。The child will soon be born.
生野菜はしんせんならばしんせんなほどおいしいです。The fresher raw vegetables are, the tastier they are.
むすこは高校生です。My son is a high school student.
やっと、日本の生活になれた。I have at last gotton used to life in Japan.
This picture has been made simply for memorization purposes. To remember this kanji imagine a garden with a tree which is next to a "roof" (signifying a building) under which a teacher and student are "exchanging" ideas etc. The meaning of this kanji when put together with 学 (0037) means "school". On its own this kanji is rarely used but when used with other kanji it is common for the meaning to be "school" related.
学校 がっこう school
校長 こうちょう school principal
高校 こうこう high school
学校にパソコンがおいてある。Personal computers are kept at the school.
ここは校長先生のおへやです。This is the school principal's room.
高校に入ったらサッカーぶに入ろうとおもう。I am thinking about joining the soccer team when I go to high school.
This Kanji originally meant a neckline of Kimono. In older days, the neckline has a pattern so the kanji "文" meant pattern. The ancient Kanji was used as a pattern. Since letters are used in a pattern to form words, this kanji is used to express "文字".
文集 ぶんしゅう collection of writings
文化 ぶんか culture
いんれき七月のことを文月といった。The kanji 文月 （ふみづき）is used to refer to the 7th month of the lunar calendar.
そつぎょうきねんの文集。A collection of writings in commemoration of graduation.
日本の文化にきょうみがある。She is interested in Japanese culture.
This kanji can be memorized as being the image of a child (子) practising letter writing at ”home” (signified by the roof shape over 子 ). 字 can be sometimes found in kanji which are study related as in 学 (0037)
赤字 あかじ figures in the red, deficit
漢字 かんじ Chinese characters, kanji
文字 もじ letter, character
赤字のはんたいは黒字です。The opposite of figures in the red (deficit) is figures in the black.
明日は漢字のテストです。There is a kanji test tomorrow.
日本の文字はひらがなとカタカナと漢字です。The writing systems used in Japanese are hiragana, katakana and kanji.
The kanji for "ko(domo)" is derived from the pictorial representation of a child.
子供 こども child
女子学生 じょしがくせい female student
お菓子 おかし sweets
子をそだてる。To bring up a child.
子供がこうえんであそぶ。The children play in the park.
この学校は女子学生の方がおおい。This school has mostly female students.
お菓子を食べたい。I want to eat sweets.
The kanji for "ue" is a representation of an "upward" position. It can a I so be memorized through the gesture portrayed in the picture of a teacher demonstrating the kanji "ue".
年上 としうえ older, senior
上半期 かみはんき first half of a year
上手 じょうず skillful, good at
*irregular pronunciation of 手
つくえの上に本がある。There is a book on the desk.
わたしは田中さんより年上です。I am older than Tanaka san.
上半期の大セールです。It's the big half year sale.
山田さんはりょうりが上手です。Yamada san is good at cooking.
The kanji for "shita" is a representation of a "downward" position. It can also be memorized through the gesture portrayed in the picture of a teacher demonstrating the kanji "shita".
下着 したぎ underwear
下り電車 くだりでんしゃ outbound train
地下鉄 ちかてつ subway
いすの下にけしゴムがおちている。An eraser has been dropped under the chair.
下着うりばは二かいです。The underwear department is on the second floor.
もうすぐ、下り電車がくる。The outbound train will soon come.
地下鉄で学校へ行く。I go to school by subway.
Originally the kanji for "naka" is derived from the representation of the central section of a pole. However, it is easier to remember it as being derived from the gesture shown in the picture. In this way it is easy to remember the word "onaka" (stomach) and "senaka" (back). The word "se" is used to describe the back of something or someone etc.
背中 せなか back (of body)
中止 ちゅうし suspension, interruption, discontinuation
ポケットの中にさいふが入っている。The wallet is in the pocket.
かれは背中にほくろがある。He has a mole on his back.
雨でははなびたいかいが中止になった。Due to rain the huge firework display was suspended.
一日中、あそんでいた。She played all day long/She did nothing all day long.
This picture has been made solely for memorization purposes. To memorize the kanji for "ookii" imagine somebody describing something which is "big".
大学 だいがく university
大使館 たいしかん embassy
大人 おとな adult
*irregular pronunciation of 大 and 人
おすもうさんはからだが大きい。The sumo wrestler is of big build.
ゆうめいな大学に入りたい。I want to enter a famous university.
東京にいろいろなくにの大使館がある。There are embassies of various countries in Tokyo.
どうきゅう生の山田さんはぼくたちよりずっと大人っぽい。My classmate Yamada san is much more adult like than us.
This kanji can be mamorized by imagining someone picking up something which is very small using only 3 fingers.
小遣い こづかい pocket money
小川 おがわ stream, brook
小学校 しょうがっこう elementary school
おとうとはからだが小さい。My younger brother has a small build.
お小遣いは一ヶ月に五百円です。I get five hundred yen per month for pocket money.
こうえんに小川がながれている。A stream flows through the park.
This kanji originates from the aerial view of a cart or wagon the image of which is then turned.
車椅子 くるまいす wheelchair
電車 でんしゃ train
自動車 じどうしゃ car (lit: automobile)
東京は車がおおい。There are many cars in Tokyo/There is a lot of trafffic in Tokyo.
あねは車椅子に乗っている。My older sisiter in in a wheelchair.
まい日、電車でかいしゃへ行く。Every day I go to work by train.
とよたしは自動車のこうじょうがおおい。There are many car plants in Toyota city.
This kanji is derived from the pictorial representation of a gate.
門限 もんげん lockup time
専門 せんもん speciality
門出 かどで departure, setting out, starting out in life
わらう門にはふくきたる。Fortune comes to av merry house.
このりょうは門限がきびしい。The lockup time at this dormitory is very rigit.
日本語学校をそつぎょうしたら専門学校に行こうとおもう。After I have graduated from the Japanese language school, I am thinking of going to a vocational school.
人生の門出をいわう。To wish a person good luck on the threshhold of life.
This is the kanji for "base" etc. As can be seen from the picture, the tree has roots an it is the portrayal of these that make this kanji 本 different from the kanji for "tree" (木=0021). As well as meaning "base", 本 can also mean "starting point" as in Nihon (日本) which literally translates into "starting point of the sun" (land of the rising sun). The word Japan comes from the old reading of the kanji 日本.
一本 いっぽん one (counter for tall, long, slender things)
本屋 ほんや bookstore
日本 にほん、にっぽん Japan
本をただす。To trace the origin.
えんぴつが一本しかない。I only have one pencil.
えき前に本屋がある。There is a bookstore in front of the station.
日本へ来たばかりです。I have only just arrived in Japan.
This kanji is derived from the pictorial representation of a man expressing the idea of "power".
力仕事 ちからしごと manual labour, heavy work
能力 のうりょく ability
馬力 ばりき horse power, energy, power
ボールを力いっぱい、なげた。He threw the ball with full force.
力仕事はわたしにまかせてください。Please leave the heavy work to me.
じぶんの能力のげんかいをしった。I know the extent of my abilities.
このエンジンは馬力がない。This engine has no power.
This kanji can be memorized as the image of a person performing a karate chop over three planks of wood, the first of which splits inro "half".
半濁音 はんだくおん semi-voiced sound, p sound
半分 はんぶん half
半年 はんとし half a year
半ば、じょうだんでいった。I said it half jokingly
半濁音とは「ぱ、ぴ、ぷ、ぺ、ぽ」のことです。A semi voiced sound in Japanese are, for example, the sounds "pa, pi, pu, pe, po".
ケーキを半分にきる。I cut the cake in half.
日本へ来てからもう半年になる。It has been half a year since I came to Japan.
This kanji is originally derived from the kanji for "sword" 刀(0030) which is used to cut some kind of fruit or vegetable etc into two parts. This kanji means "to divide" as in the word "wakeru" and is aIso used to express "minute", the idea being that a minute is a way of "dividing" time.
五分 ごふん five minutes
気分 きぶん feeling
春分 しゅんぶん vernal (spring) equinox
田中さんはフランスごが（分）わかる。Tanaka san understands French.
あと五分だけまってください。Please wait just another five minutes.
今日は気分がいいです。Today I am feeling good.
春分の日には昼と夜のながさがおなじになる。On the vernal equinox, daytime and night time are of the same length.
This kanji is derived from the pictorial representation of an eye and, as is common with a lot of kanji, the image has then been rotated to an upright position.
目薬 めぐすり eye lotion, eye drops
目次 もくじ table of contents
目的 もくてき aim, purpose
ウサギの目はあかい。The eyes of a rabbit are red.
目がつかれているので目薬をさす。I put in some drops because my eyes were tired.
目次を見れば、だいたい分かる。You'll get the general idea if you look at the table of contents.
先生にあう目的で来た。She came in order to meet the teacher.
This kanji is derived from a pictorial representation of an ear. The lengthening of the right hand side vertical line of the kanji can be seen as representing the ear lobe.
耳元 みみもと close to the ear
中耳炎 ちゅうじえん tympanitis (inflamation of the middle ear)
耳鼻科 じびか study of the nose and ears, otorhinology
先生のはなしに耳をかたむける。She listens to what the teacher is saying.
耳元でささやく。To whisper into someone's ear.
子供が中耳炎になった。The child has an inflammation of the middle ear.
子供を耳鼻科につれて行く。She is taking the child to the otorhinologist.
The kanji for "te" is derived from the pictorial representation of a hand.
手袋 手ぶくろ glove
手紙 てがみ letter
歌手 かしゅ singer
ねこの手をかりたいほどいそがしい。To be very busy and shorthanded.
手袋をはめて学校へ行く。I put on my gloves and went to school.
ははに手紙を出した。I sent a letter to my mother.
子供のとき、歌手になりたかったです。When I was a child I wanted to be a singer.
The kanji for "ashi" (foot) is derived from the combined pictorial representations of a "mouth" and "body". The kanji can also be used to express "to be enough" and is used in words such as "satisfaction" (満足). The importance of the "mouth" image in this kanji therefore comes from the idea that "when one eats (ie: using the "mouth") one feels satisfaction".
足跡 あしあと footprints, footmark, tracks
遠足 えんそく excursion, outing
一足 いっそく a pair (of footwear)
へやが足のふみばもないほどちらかっている。The room was so messy that there wasn't even a place to stand.
これはとりの足跡です。There are the tracks of a bird.
明日は遠足です。Tomorrow we are going on an outing.
くつが一足もない。He doesn't even have one pair of shoes.
The kanji for "ushi" is derived from the pictorial representation of a cow.
子牛 こうし calf
牛肉 ぎゅうにく beef
牛乳 ぎゅうにゅう milk
牛を見たことがない。I've never seen a cow.
子牛が草を食べている。The cows are eating grass.
ぶた肉より牛肉の方がすきです。I like beef more than pork.
けんこうのために毎日牛乳を飲んでいる。In order to stay healthy, I drink milk everyday.
The kanji for "mushi" comes from the pictorial representation of an insect.
昆虫 こんちゅう insect
虫歯 むしば decayed tooth
弱虫 よわむし weakling, coward
とりが虫を食べる。Birds eat insects.
ファーブルは昆虫の本を書いた。Fabre wrote books about insects.
あまいものの食べすぎで虫歯になった。He got a decayed tooth because he ate too many sweet things.
弱虫はきらいです。I don't like cowards.
The kanji for "ame" is derived from the pictorial representation of rain and cloud. The Japanese reading of this kanji is also "ama". "Ama" originally means "sky" (see*) and was originally used to signify "rain" also as it came from the sky. In time the word rain changed from "ama" to "ame". *The expression "ama no gawa" today (literally "river in the sky") refers to the Milky Way
雨上がり あめあがり just after the rain
雨天 うてん rainy weather
雨具 あまぐ rainwear
とつぜん、雨がふって来た。All of a sudden it started raining.
雨上がりの空ににじがでる。A rainbow appears in the sky just after the rain.
遠足は雨天ちゅうしです。The excursion was suspended due to rainy weather.
雨がふりそうなので雨具をもって行った方がいい。It looks like it's going to rain, so you'd better take some rainwear.
The kanji for "take" is derived from the pictorial representation of bamboo.
竹の子 たけのこ bamboo shoot, bamboo sprout
竹馬 たけうま stilts
竹輪 ちくわ kind of fish paste, tube-shaped fish paste cake
あの人は竹をわったようなせいかくです。That person is of straightforward and openhearted character.
明日、竹の子料理を食べた。Yesterday I ate a bamboo shoot based meal.
子供の時はよく竹馬で遊んだものだ。When I was a child I used to play a lot on stilts.
おでんには竹輪が入っている。Fish paste cakes can be found in oden (kind of Japanese hotchpotch)
The kanji for "kome" is derived from the pictorial representation of wheat or crops.
糯米 もちこめ glutinous rice
米国 べいこく USA
玄米 げんまい unmilled rice, brown rice
日本の米は水田でつくられている。Japanese rice is grown in paddy fields.
せきはんには、もち米をつかう。Glutinous rice is used to make "sekihan" (rice boiled with red beans).
米国とはアメリカのことです。The kanji 米国（べいこく）refers to America.
玄米にはビタミンがおおくふくまれている。There are lots of vitamins in brown rice.
The kanji for "kai" is derived from the pictorial representation of a shell. In olden times "shells" would be used instead of money and hence today we still find 貝 in a lot of kanji used to express "money", or "riches" as in for example 財産 ( ざいさん) which means "fortune".
貝塚 かいづか shell mound, kitchen midden
貝殻 かいがら shell
真珠貝 しんじゅがい pearl oyster
貝にはアサリやサザエなどがある。Among shells there are the short necked clam and turban shell.
貝塚でむかしの人のせいかつが見えてくる。You can find out about primative people's lives through kitchen middens.
うみべで貝殻をひろう。To pick up shells on the beach.
真珠貝に真珠が入っている。A pearl oyster contains a pear.
Originally this kanji was derived from the pictorial representation of rocks and stones.
軽石 かるいし pumice
石油 せきゆ petroleum, oil
化石 かせき fossil
きれいな石をひろった。I picked up a beautiful stone.
かる石はかるくて、水にうく。Pumice is light and floats.
おもに西アジアから石油を輸入している。Oil is mainly imported from West Asia.
川できょうりゅうの化石を見つけた。A dinosaur fossil was found by the river.
The kanji for "ito" (thread) comes from the image of a part of a spinning machine. 糸 is often incorporated in kanji which incorporate the meaning of "connecting" or "binding together".
糸口 いとぐち thread end, beginning, clue
毛糸 けいと woolen yarn
製糸 せいし silk reeling
はりに糸をとおす。To thread a needle.
なぞをとく糸口が見いだせない。I cannot get a start on how to solve this riddle.
毛糸でセーターをあむ。To knit a sweater from wool.
ここは製糸こうじょうです。This is a silk mill.
The kanji for "kusa" meaning "grass" or "plant" is derived from the image of the sun 日 appearing from behind a plant. The top 3 strokes of this kanji often appear in kanji related to plants or flowers. (eg 花(0069) = flower).
草花 くさばな grass, herb
草原 そうげん grasslands, grass, covered plains, savannah
雑草 ざっそう weed
牛が草を食べている。The cows are eating grass.
草花が一めんに広がっている。The grasslands spread over a wide reach.
草原で牛がかわれている。Cattle are raised in the grass covered plains.
にわに雑草がしげっている。The garden is covered in weeds.
The kanji for ”tsuno” (horn, antler) comes from the image of a pair of antlers of a reindeer etc. 角 also is used when expressing the tip or edge of something. Thus, the meaning of "corner" (かど) is also expressed through this kanji.
角偏 つのへん 角 used as the left radical of a kanji
角度 かくど angle
三角形 さんかっけい triangle
つくえの角に足をぶつける。I hit my leg against the corner of the table.
角へんには「解」や「触」などがある。The left hand radical of 角 is used for example in the kanji 解 and 触.
This kanji means ”flower" and the origins of the kanji are that as a person 人(0031) gets old they become bent in shape as ヒ. The linking of the person 人 with the image of old age ヒ makes the kanji 化(0421) which is used to express "change" as in 変化 (to change) or 化粧 (make-up, ie "changing" appearance) etc. Above 化 there are the top 3 strokes from the kanji 草 indicating that a "plant" can "change" into a "flower".
花嫁 はなよめ bride
花見 はなみ cherry blossom viewing
花瓶 かびん vase
なつにひまわりの花が咲く。Sunflowers bloom in the summer.
花嫁と花むこがしあわせそうです。The bride and groom look very happy.
さくらがさいたら、お花見に行こうとおもう。I'm thinking of going cherry blossom viewing once the cherry blossoms have bloomed.
きれいな花を花瓶にさす。She put some beautiful flowers in a vase.
This kanji expresses the idea of "tea" and is made up of the three components of "tree", "person" and "plant". It can thus be remembered as a type of "plant" which is in the form of a "tree" the leaves of which are picked by "people".
紅茶 こうちゃ black tea, tea
日本茶 にほんちゃ Japanese freen tea
茶道 さどう tea ceremony
お茶を飲みたい。I want to drink some tea.
紅茶を入れる。To make tea.
まんじゅうには日本茶があう。Japanese green tea goes very well with manju (steamed yeast bun with bean-jam filling)
茶道はむろまちじだいにはじまった。The art of the tea ceremony started in the Muromachi Period (1392-1573)
The kanji for "niku" can be remembered as being the image of a side cut of meat.
肉屋 にくや butchers shop
豚肉 ぶたにく pork
肉屋のコロッケはとてもおいしい。The croquettes at the butchers shop are really tasty.
豚肉はビタミンがほうふです。Pork is a rich source of vitamins.
The kanji for "migi" can be remembered in the following way. When eating (hence the "mouth" image) chopsticks are always held in the "right" hand.
右手 みぎて right hand
左右 さゆう right and left
右折 うせつ to turn to the right
次の角を右へ曲がってください。Please turn right at the next corner.
ボールを右手でもった。I held the ball in my right hand.
おうだんほどうは左右をよく見てわたろう。When crossing the road, be sure to look both left and right
This image has been made solely for memorization purposes. to remember the kanji for "hidari" ("left") imagine a capital H turned on its side.
左足 ひだりあし left leg or foot
左利き ひだりきき left-handed
左折 させつ turning to the left
その角を左に曲がる。Turn left at that corner.
左足をこっせつした。I broke a bone in my left leg.
田中さんは左利きです。Tanaka san is left-handed.
そのじゅうじろを左折してください。Turn left at the crossroads.
The kanji 外 originates from the idea that " a part of the moon which becomes separated will be on the outside". The 夕 of 外 can be seen as being the kanji for "moon", 月 minus one stroke.
外 is used when expressing the state of being outside a building etc or on the outside of a group.
外側 そとがわ the outside, outer
外来語 がいらいご a word of foreign origin, adopted word
外国 がいこく foreign country
めがねを外す。To take off one's glasses.
パンの外側がこんがりやき上がった。The outside of the bread was beautifully browned.
外来語はカタカナで書く。Words of foreign origin are written in katakana.
外国へ行ったことがない。I have never been abroad.
The kanji for "uchi" can be seen as illustrating the state of being "inside" 内 is used when expressing the state of being inside a building etc or part of a group.
内側 うちがわ inside, inner
国内 こくない country interior, domestic
家内 かない one's own wife
かれの心の内をさっした。I guessed what was in his heart.
内側がしっとりやき上がったパン。The inside of the baked bread was moist.
このチケットは国内だけでうられている。This ticket is only sold domestically.
家内はいま、いえにおりません。My wife is not at home at the moment.
This kanji means "front" and is made up of a combination of three ancient kanji namely the three strokes at the top which used to mean "house", 月 which used to mean ”gate” and リ which used to mean "sword". The kanji 前 is derived from the idea that people used to cut or trim the hedges etc which they had in "front" of their house (ie near the front gate) as opposed to round the back.
前歯 まえば front teeth
名前 なまえ name
前半 ぜんはん the first half
前の方にすわってください。Please sit at the front.
ボールがあたって、前歯がぬけた。The ball hit him and knocked out his front teeth.
ここに名前を書いてください。Please write your name here.
このしあいは前半でしょうぶがきまった。It was decided who would win this match in the first half.
The kanji for "later", "after" etc is derived from a combination of three parts. Firstly the 彳 communicates the action of one person "following" another. The 幺 part is a variation of 糸 ("thread" = 0066) and conveys the idea that as with thread there is always a part which follows it. Finally as seen in the image 夂 represents the image of two people walking "backwards".
食後 しょくご after a meal
後半 こうはん the latter half, the second half
午後 ごご afternoon, pm
今、いそがしいから、後で食べる。I'm busy now so I'll eat later.
食後のデザート。The dessert after a meal.
今から後半がはじまる。The second half is starting now.
今日は午後からはれるそうです。Apparantly it will get sunny from this afternoon.
This picture hasbeen created simply for memorization purposes and so the kanji meaning "to enter" can be remembered by imagining a man with long legs "entering" a room.
入学 にゅうがく entering a school, school entrance
輸入 ゆにゅう import
入口 いりぐち entrance
７時ごろ、おふろに入る。I take a bath at about seven.
今年から小学校に入学する。She will enter elementary school this year.
ブラジルからコーヒーを購入している。Coffee is imported from Brazil.
入口はあちらです。The entrance is over there.
This picture has been made simply for memorization purposes and means to "leave" or "go out". It can be memorized by imagining somebody happy to be leaving work or school for the day and jumping for joy!
出口 でぐち exit
出席 しゅっせき attendance
外出 がいしゅつ going out
いつも、７時半ごろ家を出る。I always leave home at around 7:30.
出口が見つからない。I can't find the exit.
けっこんしきに出席する。I will attend the wedding ceremony.
外出する時はカギをかけてください。Please lock up when you go out.
This moving image has been made solely for memorization purposes.
立場 たちば standpoint
国立 こくりつ national
立派 りっぱ splendid
むすめがはじめて立った。My sister got up first.
あい手の立場をよくかんがえて話そう。Let's discuss this taking into consideration the opposing point of view.
東大は国立です。ToDai (abbreviation of Tokyo Daigaku) is a national university.
まごは立派にせいちょうした。Our grandchild has grown up into a fine adult.
The kanji for "tomaru" can be memorized as being like the view from below a person's feet of a person stopping in mid-walk.
通行止め つうこうどめ Road Blocked, Closed to Traffic No thoroughfare
禁止 きんし prohibition
コンビニの前で止めてください。Please stop in front of the convenience store.
このどうろはじこのため、通行止めです。This road is blocked due to an accident.
This kanji means "go". The original pictorial idea for this kanji is that of a path which leads to a crossroad, and it is down this path that people "go".
銀行 ぎんこう bank
急行 きゅうこう express (eg a train that bypasses many stations)
旅行 りょこう travel, trip
ひろしま行きのとっきゅう。The limited express train bound for Hiroshima.
銀行でりょうがえする。To exchange (money) at the bank.
急行にのって行けば、はやくつく。If you go by express train, you'll arrive there faster. 旅行はすきです。I like travelling.
The kanji 来 has its origins in the image of a tree 木 (0021) signifying where the speaker is and 2 people 人(0031) in the distance who are "coming" towards the tree. Later, this kanji was simplified to the kanji for "come" (来) that we use today.
来年 らいねん next year
来日 らいにち coming to Japan
ともだちがあそびに来る。My friends came over to visit.
来年、くにへかえるつもりです。I'm going back to my home country next year.
アメリカのだいとうりょうが来日した。The American president came to Japan.
This kanji means "station" and is derived from the following: The left half of this kanji (馬) means "horse" (0200 + see picture below) while the right half (尺) means "stopover" (As an aside, the top part of 尺 is 口 and used to mean "post town" - the kanji 口 today means "mouth". The bottom part of 尺 shows the distance between 2 stations. It is a kanji in its own right, rarely used today and refers to an ancient measuring system known as shaku.) Therefore the kanji for "station" (ie a place people stop at during a journey) was made from the idea that people travelling on "horseback" would make a "stopover" during their journey (for example at a post town).
新宿駅 しんじゅくえき Shinjuku station
駅員 えきいん station employee
駅長 えきちょう station master
新宿駅はいつもこんでいる。Shinjuku station is always crowded.
駅員とは駅につとめている人です。A station employee is a person who works at a station.
駅長がはたをふる。The station master waves his flag.
The kanji 社 is used to express "society" as in the word shakai 社会 (会 - 0256) or "company" as in the word kaisha (会社). In short it expresses the idea of a place where people assemble. The modern kanji 社 is derived from the following: the left-hand side ネ is the ancient kanji for "altar" 示 which became C. In time ネalso came to express the idea of "god" as in for example, 神 (0482) The right-hand side 土 (0028) is the modern kanji for "land" or "ground"• The two parts of ネ and 土 put together to make 社 originally make yashiro which incorporates the meaning of "shrine" as in 神社 - jinja, this being a place in ancient times where people used to come together, rather like a church. Today the modern kanji 社 still retains the idea of a place where people gather or assembled.
神社 じんじゃ shrine
会社 かいしゃ company
社会 社会 society
社というのはかみがまつってあるところといういみです。The kanji 社（やしろ）refers to a place where people worship God.
京都には神社やおてらがたくさんある。In Kyoto there are many shrines and temples.
会社へ行く時はいつも電車がこんでいる。Whenever I go to work the train is always crowded.
新聞やニュースで社会の出来ごとをしる。You get to know what is happening in society through the TV news and newspapers.
This kanji means "east" and is made up of a combination of the kanji for "tree" (木 = 0021) and "sun" (日 = 0019) and thus represents the sun coming up from behind a tree. It may be possible that there was a wood or forest towards the east when this kanji was created and that it was from this image that the kanji was derived.
東洋 とうよう the East, Orient
東京 とうきょう Tokyo
*literally means "east of the capital" and refers to when the capital city was moved east of the country
東口 ひがしぐち east exit
たいようは東のそらからのぼる。The sun rises in the east.
日本は東洋のくにです。Japan is a country in the Orient.
さとうさんは東京にすんでいる。Sato san lives in Tokyo.
ゆうびんきょくへ行くには東口から出てください。If you are going to the post office, please take the east exit.
This kanji means "west" and is an image of the sun setting in the west and disappearing into the horizon.
西口 にしぐち west exit
西洋 せいよう the West, Occident
関西 かんさい Kansai (region)
わたしのいえは名古屋の西の方です。My house is in the west of Nagoya.
西口にはトイレがない。There are no toilets at the west exit.
西洋とはヨーロッパやアメリカのことです。The kanji 西洋（せいよう）refers to Europe and America.
関西にはおおさかやきょうとやなら、こうべなどがある。The Kansai region includes Osaka, Kyoto, Nara and Kobe.
This kanji means "south". It can be remembered by imagining a southern cross on top of a house.
南極 なんきょく the South Pole
南米 なんべい South America
南口 みなみぐち south exit
南のそらにほしが見えはじめた。Stars first appear in the southern part of the sky.
南極に行ってみたい。I would like to go to the South Pole some day.
南米にはブラジルやペルーがある。Brazil and Peru are in South America.
６じごろ、新宿駅の南口で待っていってください。Please go and wait at the South Exit of Shijuku station at around 6 o'clock.
This kanji means "north". It can be memorized by imagining a compass dividing into two and forming the two parts of the kanji for "north". OriginaIIy this kanji represented two peopIe standing back to back and meant "opposite". How the kanji came to mean "north"· is as follows: People's natural tendency is to want to face somewhere which is warm, in other words the south. The "opposite" of this therefore would be "north".
北口 きたぐち north exit
北海道 ほっかいどう Hokkaido
北上 ほくじょう going north
北極星は北の空に見える。Polaris is visible in the northern sky.
銀行へ行くには北口から出てください。Please use the north exit for the bank.
来しゅう、北海道へ旅行に行く。I am going on a trip to Hokkaido next week.
かんれいぜんせんが北上する。The cold front is moving northwards.
The kanji for "morning" is made up of three main components. Firstly there are the top three strokes of the kanji for "grass" or "weed" (草) which divide into two and appear above and below the kanji for "sun" (日 ). Added to this on the right hand side is the kanji for "moon" (月).
朝日 あさひ morning sun
朝食 ちょうしょく breakfast
今朝 けさ morning
朝になるとあかるくなる。It gets brighter in the morning.
朝日をあびるのはきもちがいい。It feels good to bask in the morning sun.
朝食はパンとサラダとめだまやきだった。I had bread, salad and fried eggs for breakfast.
今朝、ともだちからでんわがあった。I had a phone call from my friend this morning.
The kanji for "noon" can be seen as being made up of the following components. Firstly, in the middle there is the 日 kanji which is used here meaning 一日 ("ichi nichi" = "one day"). Above this "day" symbol comes the "sun" and its rays which settle directly above the 日 symbol indicating "noon". The stroke below 日 can be seen as signifying the earth.
昼寝 ひるね afternoon nap
昼休み ひるやすみ lunch break
昼食 ちゅうしょく lunch
今日は昼からはれるそうです。Apparently it will get sunny from noon today.
今日はとてもねむいのでいえへかえったら、ひるねをしようとおもう。I'm really sleepy today so I think I will go home and have a nap.
昼休みはよくともだちと外へ食事に行く。I often go out to eat with my friends during my lunch break.
昼食はいつもははがつくってくれるおべんとうです。Lunch is always a べんとう (lunchbox) prepared by my mother.
The kanji for "ban" (evening) is made up as follows: The kanji 免 has the pronunciation "ban" . The 日 kanji which is added to it, is used to signify 一日 ("ichi nichi" = "one day"). Thus 晩 is made up from the idea that "in one day (日), there is one evening (晩 = pronunciation "ban").
晩御飯 ばんごはん supper, dinner
今晩 こんばん tonight
朝晩 あさばん morning and evening
あさっての晩、かぞくで食事に行く。I am going out to dinner with my family the day after tomorrow.
今日は６じごろ、晩御飯を食べようとおもう。I'm thinking about having dinner at around six today.
今晩、ともだちがうちへあそびに来る。My friends are coming over to the house tonight.
なつでも朝晩はひえる。Even in the summer, the temperature drops in the morning and evening.
The kanji for "evening" is like the kanji for "moon"/"month" 月, a type of pictorial representation of the moon. Here though the representation of the moon is time-related, specifically to how it is viewed in the evening. 訓読み：ゆう
夕方 ゆうがた evening
夕食 ゆうしょく supper, dinner
一朝一夕 いっちょういっせき in a day, in a short time
夕方から雨がふるそうです。Apparently it will rain from this evening.
そろそろ、夕食のじゅんびをする。I'll start preparing dinner soon.
このしごとは一朝一夕にはできないとおもう。I don't think I can do this job in a day.
The kanji for "direction" or "way" is derived from a pictorial representation of a person indicating the direction in which he/she will move by the bend in the fore knee.
〜方 〜かた how to 〜
方法 ほうほう method, means
先生方がいらっしゃいます。The teacher are present.
このカメラのつかい方を教えてください。Please show me how to use this camera.
この方法で大じょうぶだとおもう。I think it will be OK if we use this method.
The animals used in the Chinese calendar were also used a long time ago to express time. However as there are 24 hours in a day, the 12th hour would be expressed by the animal which fell directly haifway on the calendar, this being the horse which could be written as 午 in kanji. The Chinese pronunciation of 午 is "go". 午 is now used as in 午前 （"gozen"）literally meaning "before 12 o'clock" ie "morning", or 午後, literally meaning "after 12 o'clock" ie "afternoon".
午前 ごぜん morning, a.m.
午後 ごご afternoon, p.m.
正午 しょうご high noon
午前中にそうじとせんたくをする。I'll do the cleaning and laundry in the morning.
今は、午後４じです。It is now 4 o'clock in the afternoon.
正午は昼の１２じのことです。High noon is at 12 midday.
This moving image for "taberu" has been made solely for memorization purposes. It combines the kanji for "person" (人) together with "good" (良) and thus can be remembered as "EATING is something which is GOOD for a PERSON"
The kanji 良 can be memorized as imagining somebody giving the "thumbs up" sign.
食べ物 たべもの food
食事 しょくじ meal
外食 がいしょく eating out
昨日はかぞくでおすしを食べに行った。Yesterday I went out with my family to eat sushi.
たなかさんのすきな食べ物はやき肉です。Tanaka san's favourite food is grilled meat.
このレストランで食事してみたい。I'd like to try a meal at this restaurant.
子供の時は、よくかぞくで外食した。When I was a child, we would often go out to eat as a family.
The kanji for "kau" (to buy) can be remembered in the following way. As stated earlier, the kanji for "shell" (貝) was also used when referring to money or riches.
The kanji for "to buy" can therefore be remembered as imagining someone buying something for the price of four (variation of the kanji 四=4) shells (買).
買い物 かいもの shopping
売買 ばいばい buying and selling
買収 ばいしゅう bribery, purchase
こんど、ビデオを買おうとおもう。I'm thinking about buying a video at the moment.
昨日、ともだちとしんじゅくで買い物した。Yesterday I went shopping inShinjuku with my friend.
売買とは売ったり、買ったりすることです。The kanji 売買 （ばいばい）refers to buying and selling.
こんど、あの会社は駅のちかくの土地を買収するらしい。That company is apparently going to buy the land near the station.
The kanji for "to see" can be remembered as the 目 (0055) kanji on a pair of legs.
見本 みほん sample, specimen
見学 けんがく study by oservation, class, observation, field trip, study trip
見物 けんぶつ sightseeing
昨日、テレビを見ながら、食事した。Yesterday I had dinner while watching TV.
よく分からないので、見本を見せてください。Please show me a sample, as I don't really understand.
こんど、あさくさを見学する。Next time we are going on a study trip to Asakusa.
ちちと二人できょうとのおてらを見物した。I visited the temples of Kyoto with my father.
Although the kanji for ”to hear" incorporates the 門 (0050) which can mean "gate", here it is actually a pictorial representation of both hands held up and around the ears 耳 (0056). So the kanji 聞 is a pictorial representation of somebody trying to listen intently by cupping their hands around their ears.
新聞 しんぶん newspaper
あるきながらウォークマンでおんがくを聞く。I listen to my walkman while I walk.
今朝、いえで新聞を読んだ。I read the newspaper at home this morning.
The kanji for "to write" can be seen as being made from the kanji for "hand" and "quill" and a representation of an "inkwell".
書留 かきとめ registered letter
書店 しょてん book shop
書道 しょどう calligraphy
本に名前を書いてください。Please write your name in a book.
書留はあんしんです。It's safer to send it registered.
書店とは本屋のことです。The kanji 書店 (しょてん) refers to a bookshop.
さとうさんは書道の先生です。Sato san is calligraphy teacher.