ai / itoshii
ji / samurai
tou / katana
zoku / yakara
ka / hana
kai / umi
ku / sora
sei / hoshi
ou / sakura
on / oto
ka / natsu
kou / hikari
mu / yume
fu / kaze
ko / tora
ya / yoru
kei / megumi
rai / kaminari
shou / katsu
kou / niji
bu / mu / takeshi
yu / tomo
ha / nami
sui / mizu
dou / michi
ryoku / midori
un / kumo
kou / isao
bu / mai
riki / chikara
ki / hime
shi / ko
History of Kanji
Kanji means Chinese letter or character.
The script was invented by the Chinese and adopted by the Japanese around the middle of the 6th century AD.
Kanji are ideographs meaning that the whole character conveys a meaning rather than just a sound(as in the case of hiragana and katakana letters).
Kanji were originally drawn as pictures from nature but gradually transformed to more generalized representations.
By the end of year nine Japanese students will have learned 1945 kanji as prescribed by the Japanese Ministry of Education (the Jouyou Kanji).
There are many many more less commonly used kanji totaling over 5000.
Kanji originally came from China about 3000 to 4000 years ago.
The ancient Chinese drew pictures of various things around them.
These pictures have gradually simplified and have taken on a square shape to make them easier to write.
After many years, numerous Kanji was made by people.
Chinese Kanji came to Japan about 2000 years ago. Until then, we had no letters.
The origin of Kanji
Shokei characters are pictographic sketches of the object.
"Shokei" means "to make, imitate, represent an object".
There are about 600 Shokei characters and we study in elementary schools.
Shiji characters are simple ideographs.These character represent an abstract concept (numbers, position, etc).
"Shiji" means "instruct, direct". This characters are also taught at elementary schools.
Kaii characters are a combination of "Shokei Moji" and "Shiji Moji". "Kaii" means "bring together the meaning".
We study "Kaii Moji" in elementary schools.
Keisei characters are phono-semantic and making up about 80 percent of the characters.
One component represents the meaning of the entire character( "Kei"), while the other component represents its pronunciation("Sei").
This characters are also taught at elementary schools.