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Lesson Transcript

ひろこです (Hiroko desu.)
Hiroko here.
Welcome to japanesepod101.com Kanji corner brought to you by japanesepod101.com. Start speaking Japanese in minutes. Get your free lifetime account at japanesepod101.com. It’s a grove!
Lesson 1.
Japanese Kanji and Trees. What’s the Connection?
In today’s video lesson, you will learn a simple trick that will make today’s kanji super easy.
Believe it or not, thinking of a tree is all you need to reach kanji perfection.
Okay let’s try today’s kanji. The meaning of this kanji is tree. Now we are going to have a trick for memorizing this kanji in just a minute but let’s first look at the readings.
There are two readings in Japanese kanji. One is the On readings and the other one is the Kun readings. Long story short, the On readings come from Chinese and the Kun readings come from Japanese.
The On reading for this kanji is モク (moku) and ボク (boku). And the Kun reading for this kanji is き (ki) and こ (ko)
Now remember the trick that I was telling about? Let’s look at that now. I need the blue pen for that.
So this first stroke indicates the ground and this part is the actual tree and this part is the root of the tree.
Now let’s look at how to draw this kanji. Pay attention to the stroke order. Start from the left 1, top to bottom, 2, 3 and 4. Let’s try it again. 1, 2, 3, and 4.
Now let’s look at some sample words and phrases.
Ta-dah!
The On reading for this kanji is moku and boku. First we have moku 木ようび (moku-yōbi) which means Thursday. Next we have boku 木とう (bokutō) which means wooden stick.
The Kun reading for this kanji is ki and ko. First we have ki つみ木 (tsumiki) which means wooden block. Next we have ko 木かげ (kokage) which means shade under tree.
Get the lesson notes for this kanji lesson at japanesepod101.com, visit us at japanesepod101.com and sign up for your free lifetime account and start speaking Japanese in minutes.
Thank you for watching ありがとうございました (Arigatō gozaimashita.)

Kanji

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244 Comments

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JapanesePod101.com
Wednesday at 6:30 pm
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みなさんこんにちは! How's your kanji study going? Let us know!

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JapanesePod101.com
February 7th, 2019 at 9:18 pm
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Hi Mako,


Thank you for studying with us!


Feel free to let us know if you have any questions.👍


Sincerely,

Cristiane (クリスチアネ)

Team JapanesePod101.com

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Mako Goss
February 4th, 2019 at 2:00 am
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Thank you so much for the Japanese

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Mako Goss
February 4th, 2019 at 1:59 am
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My grandma is Japanese.

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JapanesePod101.com
July 26th, 2018 at 5:32 pm
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Hi Abhishek Patel,

Thank you for the comment!


That's a difficult question to answer.

There are three types of scripts for Japanese writing system, Kanji, hiragana and katakana. (We call "kana" for both hiragana and katakana.)

Kanji characters are ideograms and originally came from China about 1600 years ago. Before that, there was no script for writing a traditional Japanese language called 大和言葉(Yamato kotoba). Kanji was used as the only script in Japan for years. And later hiragana and katakana syllabaries were invented as Japanese original scripts to write Yamato kotoba more efficiently. On-reading originally came from Chinese, while kun-reading came from Yamato kotoba. That's why we use three scripts mixed up and the Japanese writing system (including kanji) is such complicated.


I know it is challenging to master kanji. Hope our website helps you.

Please let us know if you have any questions.


Keep studying with JapanesePod101.com

Cheers,

Miki(美希)

Team JapanesePod101.com

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Abhishek Patel
July 21st, 2018 at 6:18 pm
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Hi This is Abhishek. This is very confusing.I thought there is just Kanji with some simple letters like Katakana and Hiragana.But its more complicated .Why do we have to use Onyomi and Kuyumi reading in Kanji?

Also there is Boku and Moku and Ki and Ko and so on.Its like Kanji is never ending.Can you explain?Can we just use the symbol to write?Thanks

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JapanesePod101.com
June 26th, 2018 at 4:34 pm
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Hi Simran,

Thank you for your comment!


I can say mastering kanji is challenging even for the Japanese.

Hope the following video would help you😄


Ask a Japanese Teacher! ON or KUN reading?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZUqtPDX_Gk


Keep studying with JapanesePod101.com

Cheers,

Miki(美希)

Team JapanesePod101.com

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Simran
June 3rd, 2018 at 4:03 pm
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Hey..so how to know when to use which pronunciation ..😅 Plz advice

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JapanesePod101.com
May 4th, 2018 at 9:25 pm
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Hi Nandini,

Thank you for your comment!


Some kanji have more than one meaning and reading. Our Kanji Time would help you.

Kanji Time

https://www.japanesepod101.com/lesson-library/kanji-time/


Basically, you have to memorize how each word is read. However, there is a little tip.

If kanji is followed by okurigana(hiragana supporting kanji), it must be read in kun.

For example,

歩道を 歩く。

=I walk on the sidewalk.

歩く(aruku) which has okurigana "く", so "歩" is read in kun.


If kanji doesn't have okurigana, mostly it is read in on. But please note that some kanji are read in kun without okurigana.

It must be challenging to memorize readings for many kanji. Hope our website helps you👍


Keep studying with JapanesePod101.com

Cheers,

Miki(美希)

Team JapanesePod101.com

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Nandini
April 7th, 2018 at 4:53 pm
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Some kanji have more than one on and kun readings. How do I figure out which one to use when? Do all the readings have the same meaning?

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JapanesePod101.com
April 6th, 2018 at 2:35 am
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Hi Nicole,


Thank you for posting!


To get started with hiragana and katakana, we suggest this awesome series that will help you remember all the characters in few hours:

https://www.japanesepod101.com/lesson-library/how-to-write-in-japanese-hiragana-and-katakana/


Also, make sure to download our FREE kana practice worksheet here: https://www.japanesepod101.com/japanese-alphabet/


In case of any questions, please feel free to contact us. :)


Sincerely,

Cristiane (クリスチアネ)

Team JapanesePod101.com