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Pairing Off Single Kanji with -中

As we’ve seen with 家中 (iejū: all over the house, the whole family), you can sometimes add the suffix -中 even to kanji standing alone:

話し (hanashi: talk, speech)     話し中 (hanashichū: in the midst of
                                                       speaking; busy (phone))
                                                       talk + during

In the following word, you might think another singleton teamed up with -中:

戦中 (senchū: during the war)     war + during

In this case, however, is an abbreviation of 戦争 (sensō: war). Japanese people also use 戦争中 (sensōchū) as a way of saying “during the war.”

Finally, we come to this great word:

忙中 (bōchū: during the busyness of work)   busy + during

How Japanese this is! It assumes that busyness refers to work.

For More on Japanese and Busyness …

The compound 忙中 abbreviates a charming (and very formal) expression: 御多忙中 (gota-bōchū: while you are so busy, in the midst of your work). Here, is the kanji for the honorific go-, which usually appears in hiragana.

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