Shorthand kanji forms (called 略字:ryakuji in Japanese) are something you’re unlikely to come across in your Japanese studies (since they’re technically incorrect), and thanks to the everything-becoming-digital age are less useful than they once were.
As any learner knows, kanji are an inescapable and daunting aspect of learning Japanese. There’s more than 2000 of the little devils and each one has multiple pronunciations, multiple meanings, and a predefined stroke order. That’s a lot to learn, so it’s understandable that most teachers and books avoid…
Kanji is the most common stumbling block for Japanese learners. It’s easy to see why: there are 1,945 Joyo kanji, hundreds more non-Joyo kanji that are still very commonly used, and yet hundreds more kanji that are used in people’s names. And each of these intricate little characters has a specific order in which the strokes must be written, probably has multiple readings, might have multiple meanings, and can be mixed and matched with many other kanji to create compound words (熟語 : jukugo).
Basically, there is a reason that Japanese students are still studying kanji even in high school, and that reason is that kanji are as difficult as they are many.
Alright, I so started this blog about a month ago. Posts are starting to build up and I’m starting to feel at home here lately. I decided it was time to start dishing out some real content, otherwise I’m just another ranting Japanophile. So for the last week or so I’ve been hard at work on a top secret project, and now it’s done!
I present to the world the Nihonshock Japanese cheat sheet!
For this post I’ve collected 10 pairs of kanji that to untrained eyes might look almost or exactly the same. My intent is not to discourage learners by highlighting the difficult points of kanji (though there are certainly difficulties…), but rather to spark an interest in kanji…