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Learn Japanese Kanji – Everyday Kanji (Outdoor signs)

Hi everyone!
Welcome to Everyday Kanji! In this series, we’re going to present pictures of kanji seen in various places in Japan taken by the team members at JapanesePod101.com. That’s right – kanji seen and used everyday!

The theme for this week is kanji found on signs outdoors. Let’s take a look!

Everyday Kanji week 14 - Outdoor Signs ①

若葉東公園 (Wakabahigashi kōen)… Try saying that three times fast!! Even if you aren’t familiar with 若葉東, you might know the word 公園!

若葉東公園 (Wakabahigashi kōen) is Wakabahigashi Park, a park located in Tokyo. The name 若葉東 can be divided into two parts: 若葉 (wakaba = young leaf), and 東 (higashi = east).

公園 (kōen) = park
● 公 (kō) = public
● 園 (en) = park

Place name:
若葉東 = Wakabahigashi
● 若 (waka) = young
● 葉 (ba) = leaf
● 東 (higashi) = east

Sample Sentence:
Wakabahigashi kōen no mae de machiawase shiyō!
Let’s meet up in front of Wakabahigashi Park!

Everyday Kanji week 14 - Outdoor Signs ②

よつや運動広場 (Yotsuya undō hiroba = Yotsuya Exercise Area/Playground
This sign combines two words, 運動 and 広場, to create 運動広場, which literally means “exercise area” and is similar to a playground.

運動 (undō) = exercise
● 運 (un) = to carry
● 動 (dō) = to move

広場 (hiroba) = space, area
● 広 (hiro) = wide, spacious
● 場 (ba) = place

よつや = the name of a district in Tokyo. In kanji it becomes: 四ツ谷

Sample Sentence:
Mainichi kodomo-tachi ga undō hiroba de asonde iru.
Children play everyday at the playground.

Everyday Kanji week 14 - Outdoor Signs ③

トンビに注意 (tonbi ni chūi) = Watch out for black kites (type of bird)
This sign was posted in an area with lots of トンビ, which are notorious for swiping food from unsuspecting victims.

If you followed our Everday Kanji series in the beginning, then you probably remember this word!

注意 (chūi) = caution
● 注 (chū) = annotation
● 意 (i) = idea

Extra: 食べ物を狙っています (tabemono o neratte imasu) = They are after food!
食べ物 (tabemono) = food
● 食 (tabe) = food
● 物 (mono) = thing
● 狙う (nerau) = to aim for

Sample Sentence:
Kaigai de wa suri ni neraware yasui node, chūi shite kudasai.
In foreign countries you are always being targeted by pickpockets, so be careful.

Everyday Kanji week 14 - Outdoor Signs ④

強風・突風に注意してください (kyōfū/toppū ni chūi shite kudasai) = Caution- Strong Wind

強風 refers to a strong wind (強い = tsuyoi = strong, 風 = kaze = wind), while 突風 refers to a wind that is both strong and sudden. Thinking of it as 突然の風 (totsuzen no kaze = a sudden wind) might help you remember the meaning!

強風 (kyōfū) = strong winds
● 強 (kyō) = strong
● 風 (fū) = wind

突風 (toppū) = sudden gust of wind
● 突 (to) = pierce, thrust
● 風 (fū ⇒ pū) = wind

注意 (chui) = caution
● 注 (chū) = annotation
● 意 (i) = idea

Sample Sentence:
Taifū ga chikazuite imasu. Kyōfū ni go-chūi kudasai.
A typhoon is coming. Please be careful of strong winds.

Everyday Kanji week 14 - Outdoor Signs ⑤

路上喫煙禁止(rojō kitsuen kinshi) is telling you what you can’t do on the street. The two kanji in the middle are the clue!

路上喫煙禁止 (rojō kitsuen kinshi) = Smoking on the street is prohibited. This phrase can be divided into three words: 路上 (street), 喫煙 (smoking), and 禁止 (prohibited).

路上 (rojō) = on the street
● 路 (ro) = street
● 上 (jō) = above

喫煙 (kitsuen) = smoking
● 喫 (kitsu) = smoking
● 煙 (en) = smoke, fumes

禁止 (kinshi) = prohibited
● 禁 (kin) = prohibit
● 止 (shi) = stop

Here are the same words used in a grammatical sentence:

Rojō de wa, kitsuen wa kinshi sarete iru.
Smoking on the street is prohibited.

★ If you think you can remember them all, try testing yourself with this video on Youtube! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ro06vmye4n0
★ Follow us on Twitter for future Everyday Kanji series!