[Japanese]What is Kanji? 漢字 / かんじ meaning

漢字 かんじ kanji meaning japanese


There are three kinds of characters in Japanese.

  • Hiragana(ひらがな)
  • Katakana(カタカナ)
  • Kanji(漢字)


Next to katakana, let's learn Kanji!



What is Kanji?


Kanji is a writing system that comes from China. 


It is said that there are about 50,000 over kanji in total, but Japanese people usually use is about 3,000 kanji.



Kanji example

月 水 山 川 空 雪

学 机 麗 番 例 在



In Japan, we learn about 2100 kanji in 9 years of elementary and junior high school.


There are multiple ways to read kanji.


  • 音読み・・・"on" yomi is based on the way of reading in Chinese.
  • 訓読み・・・"kun" yomi is the Japanese original reading.






  • 音読み(On yomi):う(u)
  • 訓読み(Kun yomi):みぎ(migi)
  • mean:right




  • 音読み(On yomi):さ(sa)
  • 訓読み(Kun yomi):ひだり(hidari)
  • mean:left



Example sentence

右(kun yomi)

migini magarimasu.
Turn right.


右(on yomi)

kono zukei wa sayuutaishou desu.
This shape is symmetrical.



Let's slowly and slowly learn when to read "on-yomi" and when to "kun-yomi" while memorizing various kanji and words.




Kanji Lists


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