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Lesson Transcript

Hi everyone.
Welcome to the Japanese Kanji video series.
In this lesson, you'll learn the "one" radical.
Take a look at these kanji characters. Can you guess what they mean?
(pause for 4 seconds)
By the end of this lesson, you'll be able to grasp the meaning behind these kanji characters.
First off, can you spot the radical that's common in all of these kanji characters?
(pause for 4 seconds)
It's this part here. It's a single horizontal stroke.
This particular radical is called...
いち、which literally means one.
The "one" radical is used in some of the most common kanji characters. Let's take a look at it in more detail.
The "one" radical means exactly that, the number "one."
From left to right, the first kanji means "one," the second means "world" or "era," the third character means "above," and fourth character means "child."
As you can see in the first example, the "one" radical is also a kanji character on its own.
The second kanji is actually a reduction of another kanji meaning "leaf." The leaves and branches that grow on top of the tree are thought to represent a different "age" or "generation" of leaves and branches.
The one radical here unifies the leaves and branches from a generation. The meaning of this kanji can be interpreted as "world" or "epoch."
The third kanji is an ideogram which shows the concept of "up" or "above" by having one horizontal line above another.
The fourth kanji is a pictogram. The top portion represents the baby's head, while the lower portion represents its body wrapped in a blanket.
The "one" radical here, signifies the baby's arms spreading, or growing into a child. So the meaning of this kanji is "child."
Common positions
The "one" radical appears in many different positions. It commonly sits in the crown position...
like in the kanji for "world" or "era."
Another common position is at the bottom in the "foot" position...
as seen in the kanji for "above."
Okay. Now let's learn how to write this radical.
Stroke Order
The "one" radical is incredibly simple to write.
It has only *one* stroke.
The concept of "one" is represented by a single stroke that goes from left to right.
It's important to note that this horizontal stroke, rises ever so slightly as it approaches the right side.
And that's it! You're done!
Common Readings
When the "one" radical is on its own, the kanji can be read as...
イチ、イツ for the on reading
and ひと、ひとつ for the kun reading
When the "one" radical is part of another kanji...
for the "world" or "epoch" kanji
for the kanji meaning "above." And...
for the "child" kanji.
Lesson Review
In this lesson, you learned about the "one" radical.
The "one" radical looks like a single horizontal stroke and it signifies the concept of "one."
You also learned the kanji characters for "one," "world" or "epoch," "above," and "child," in which this radical appears.
It's most commonly found in the crown or bottom position.
And it's written with just one horizontal stroke going from left to right.
In the next lesson, you'll learn about another common radical used in some of the most common and basic kanji characters, the "word" radical.
See you in the next lesson. Bye!


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Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

JapanesePod101.com Verified
June 24th, 2016 at 06:30 PM
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Do you know any other kanji with the One Radical 一?
Click here to download the FREE Kanji e-book
Click here to buy the Full Version Kanji e-book

JapanesePod101.com Verified
June 6th, 2021 at 05:10 PM
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Hi ヴィシュヌ,

Thank you for your comment!

Yes, the kanji 字 (letter) is composed by 宀 which means roofs and 子 which means child.

It comes from "a child under roofs" then "a child educated in a house", so it means "letter", what a child learns in a house☺️

The origin is really interesting, isn't it?

Hope you enjoy learning Japanese with us:)



Team JapanesePod101.com

May 10th, 2021 at 10:55 PM
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Dear JapanesePod101.com Team,

The kanji "子" which means "child'', does it have any meaning related to the word ''漢字''? Look at the last character and it has the same 子 under the house radical.



January 16th, 2019 at 03:43 PM
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Hi Francesco,

Thank you for your comment!

We are so happy to hear that you are enjoying JapanesePod101.com!!

Exactly, the kanji "一” is read ひと or ひとつ for the kun reading.

This kun reading "ひと” is not the meaning of ”人” (person),

but the meaning of "one."

Like this, there are many cases that different kanji have the same on/kun reading.

You may well got confused at first.

Now, let's learn many more kanji and you will surely make other findings.

Learning kanji is fun!!



Team JapansePod101.com

November 20th, 2018 at 04:25 AM
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I'm confused about the "on" and "kun" reading of "一".

From what I've seen I thought that "一" is red "ichi". But since you said that "hito" is the "kun" reading how should it?

Furthermore also "亻" is red as "hito" as the kun reading!

Am I getting this wrong? Thanks for your help!

Keep up the good work, I'm really enjoying and liking the work you are doing here!

JapanesePod101.com Verified
December 23rd, 2016 at 06:17 PM
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Melanie san


Thank you for your post.


Yuki 由紀

Team JapanesePod101.com

December 13th, 2016 at 11:43 PM
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且 - Kanji meaning "as well as, also, and, while, moreover, besides, furthermore."

November 23rd, 2016 at 08:06 AM
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How can everyone access this kanji e-book?

without having to own any Apple products i mean :sweat_smile:.


JapanesePod101.com Verified
November 17th, 2016 at 06:33 PM
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Joshua san,


Yes, that is right.

Yuki 由紀

Team JapanesePod101.com

November 2nd, 2016 at 05:27 AM
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In the kanji for 'ten thousand'!