Learn Japanese Online - JOI Teachers blog

Learn Japanese vocabulary, Kanji and phrases with this free blog with a YouTube video for audio learning, vocabulary lists and English Translation !
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Japanese language

The Japanese language or Nihongo, is a complex language with 3 writing methods (hiragana, katakana and kanji) as well as idioms, proverbs, and local dialects, and linguistic idiocynracies. The Japanese teacher blogs in this blog category goes into some of these aspects in detail.

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Japanese writing system and Chinese characters

The Japanese word kanji which means Chinese characters is taken from the meaning "Han characters". It forms a vital part of the Japanese writing system which also includes Hiragana alphabet and Katakana characters too.

There are a multitude of Chinese characters used in Japanese and it would not surprise you to know that some are uniquely formed by native Japanese and differ from the original Chinese characters. Much like many Chinese characters have regional differences within China and also in other nations that use the script, there are some characters of Japanese origin.

In this blog for Japanese language learners, Japanese teacher Kaori Ishibashi introduces this fascinating topic. Read the article and learn new Kanji and listen to Ishibashi sensei reading the blog and practice your Japanese listening too.

Japanese origin Kanji













To listen to this blog, please watch our Youtube video. 









Japanese origin Kanji

Kanji (or Chinese characters) reportedly came to Japan around the 4th and 5th century. However, there are some characters that were created in Japan. The Japanese origin Kanji characters are known as 'Kokuji' and there are over 2000 of them. Today I am going to introduce some of these.

First of all we have 'hatake' (畑) – meaning field or cultivated land. In the old days they used to burn weeds and wild grass to cultivate a field so the character is made by taking the character for rice field (田)and adding the character for fire (火).

Next the Kanji for work or 'hataraku'. By writing the character for a person (人) and character for move (動) you get the Kanji 'hataraku' (働く).

Then we have the character for sardines or 'iwashi'. It is written by writing the character for fish (魚) and writing the character for weak (弱). This is apparently because when sardines (鰯) are removed from the water, they soon become weak and spoil quickly.

And one more Kanji that was made in Japan is 'shitsuke' or discipline. You write the character for body (身体) and the character for beautiful (美). It is an easy Kanji character to understand, right - (躾)?

Try to look for some Kanji characters that were made in Japan too.


国字(こくじ)ideographs which originated in Japan







Hajimemashite, my name is Kaori Ishibashi.
I live in Ibaraki city, in Osaka prefecture, with my husband, son and daughter. Ibaraki city is in between Osaka and Kyoto and is in a very convenient location. Before I was married, I went to Canada and Spain as an exchange student. So I too love to study languages.
Since my children are still so young, I cannot readily go abroad, so I am really glad of the opportunity to communicate with people from various countries through JOI. Let's study Japanese together.

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