11 Kanji Characters With Cool Shapes and Meanings
* We were given permission to share this manga by Manga de Japan. More details about them below.
In 2019, American pop singer Ariana Grande got "七輪" tattooed on her palm, which gained attention online when it was revealed that "七輪" referred to a stove for cooking fish or roasting meat in Japanese. It’s also not uncommon to see people wearing T-shirts with strange or ridiculous kanji. Sure, they mean well, but disaster can be avoided with just a bit more research.
We want to help you avoid embarrassment, so with a bit of research, we’ve compiled a set of kanji characters that you can feel free to put on T-shirts and accessories, use as nicknames, etc.
The kanji with the most votes was "魅"—meaning "a mysterious power that can capture people's hearts!" "魅" represents a fascinating, slightly strange beauty. It is rarely used alone, and you can find it in compound words like “魅力” (fascination or charm).
From here, our selected kanji are sorted from the most to the fewest votes.
"覇" means unifying and governing the country through force or authority, indicating a powerful force sufficient to control its surroundings.
Different from "魅", “麗” means "a kind of pure, shining beauty." In everyday Japanese, it is often commonly seen in the term "綺麗" (kirei, beautiful). Visually, "麗" is in the shape of a neat square, proper and restrained, which is truly "綺麗"!
The original meaning of "舞" is a relaxed, traditional dance. Compared to the modern image of dancing, this kanji implies a more elegant and graceful dance with a leisurely tempo. You can often find this kanji in women’s names.
You can often find the kanji "暁" in comic books, and it refers to daybreak (i.e. the transition from nighttime to the early morning). The moment when the darkness breaks and becomes enveloped by light is fantastic!
"轟" refers to a roaring or booming sound, like the sound of dinosaurs, thunder, or cannons. and it's also used to make your name resound through the world! If you’re familiar with the manga My Hero Academia, Todoroki’s name is written using this kanji.
"愛" is "love" in English, and a great many people overseas are likely to have seen this character. "愛" is a familiar kanji for the Japanese and is frequently used in daily life. In anime and games, the helmet of the famous military commander Date Masamune shines with a big "愛".
"龍" means “dragon,” and specifically refers to the Eastern image of the dragon, with an animal head and snake body. The kanji is often used in boys’ names!
The Chinese character "迅" means "agile and very fast". The kanji appears to have a cross in the center, speed along with the wind at its back.
"粋" is often seen in recent T-shirt designs. It is one of the standards of beauty from the Edo period, referring to a simple elegance in temperament, attitude, and appearance, containing a certain temptation.
"梵" is a word in Buddhism that refers to the fundamental principle of the world’s existence and the truth of the universe. How cool is that?
Did you recognize any of these kanji?
Hey - why is there no "忍” (ninja) or "侍” (warrior)? Here’s why. To the Japanese, "cool kanji" tend to be more difficult to write (more strokes) and refer to abstract rather than physical concepts. Of course, feel free to use "忍" and "侍" as you wish, since their meanings are not strange or ridiculous.
If you’re looking to buy an omiyage (souvenir) with Japanese writing, please refer to this article!
*Note: we do not bear any responsibility for any bad tattoo-related decisions.
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100 of the Most Common Kanji Characters
With three different ways of writing, the Japanese language may seem intimidating to new students. It's true that memorizing the most common kanji symbols and other scripts takes time and practice. But once you've mastered them, you'll discover a means of written communication unlike anything you'll see in the English language.
There are three writing systems in Japanese, two phonetic and one symbolic, and all three are used in tandem.
Kanji is symbolic, or logographic. It is the most common means of written communication in the Japanese language, with more than 50,000 different symbols by some estimates. However, most Japanese can get by with using about 2,000 different kanji in everyday communication. A single kanji character can have multiple meanings, depending on how it is pronounced and the context in which it is used.
Hiragana and Katakana
Hiragana and katakana are both phonetic (or syllabic). There are 46 basic characters in each. Hiragana is used primarily to spell words that have Japanese roots or grammatical elements. Katakana is used to spell foreign and technical words ("computer" is one example), or used for emphasis.
Western characters and words, sometimes called romanji, are also common in modern Japanese. Typically, these are reserved for words derived from Western languages, especially English. The word "T-shirt" in Japanese, for example, consists of a T and several katakana characters. Japanese advertising and media frequently use English words for stylistic emphasis.
For everyday purposes, most writing contains kanji characters because it's the most efficient, expressive means of communication. Complete sentences written only in hiragana and katakana would be extremely long and resemble a jumble of letters, not a full thought. But used in conjunction with kanji, the Japanese language becomes full of nuance.
Kanji has its historical roots in Chinese writing. The word itself means "Chinese (or Han) characters." Early forms were first used in Japan as early as A.D. 800 and evolved slowly into the modern era, along with hiragana and katakana. Following Japan's defeat in World War II, the government adopted a series of rules designed to simplify the most common kanji characters to make them easier to learn.
Elementary school students have to learn about 1,000 characters. That number doubles by high school. Beginning in the late 1900s, Japanese education officials have added more and more kanji to the curriculum. Because the language has such deep historical roots, literally thousands more kanji have evolved over time and are still in use.
Common Kanji Characters
Here are 100 of the most frequently used kanji in Japanese newspapers. Newspapers give a great representation of the best and most useful kanji to learn because you are more likely to come across these characters in day-to-day use.
|人||human being, people|
|出||to go out|
|見||to see, to look|
|円||yen (Japanese currency)|
|代||to substitute, generation|
|回||to turn around, time|
|氏||courtesy name (Mr., Mrs.)|
|保||to maintain, to keep|
|表||to express, surface|
|発||to start, to emit|
|不||not, un-, in-|
Watch Now: 3 Tips to Help You Learn Japanese
7 Most Interesting Kanji characters
Column of Japanese Culture
Last updated : 1.1.2021
Author : Akira Katakami
7 Most Interesting Kanji characters
Kanji in itself and kanji in all its intricacies is interesting. From the way it works to the way it is read, written, and pronounced. Providing meaning to thousands of concepts even with the limitations of the available sounds in the language. As a logographic alphabet, many kanji are also very pictographic to the point where you may be able to guess what the character might stand for. Whereas others require a fairly sharp eye and attention to detail due to their close similarity to other characters.
Here are 7 of the most interesting kanji.
1 : 雨 (Rain)
This kanji meaning rain is regarded as a favorite for many new learners of the Japanese language due to its uncanny resemblance to a window with raindrops falling against the glass. It is actually also one of the very first kanji a child will learn in school under the kyōiku kanji.
2 : 愛 (Love)
This kanji is made up by combining 受 which means receive and 心 which means heart, effectively symbolizing the giving away of someone’s deep affection to another. The combination of radicals like this is quite common but only a few are this logical. This kanji only has 13 strokes and is taught in the fourth grade of the kyōiku kanji.
3 : Taito
With the 84 strokes required to write this kanji properly, it has a reputation for being one of the most complicated characters on record. It is said to be an old Japanese surname that is no longer in use today. It is made up of three 雲 that mean cloudy and three 龍 meaning dragons, effectively giving the definition of the appearance of dragons flying.
4 : 人 (Person)
This kanji is one of the easiest to write, memorize, and is one of the most frequently used characters in the whole alphabet. It only has two strokes and it can actually be read five different ways. It is another great example of the more pictographic characters in kanji because it looks like a person standing up.
5 : 森 (Forest)
What makes this kanji interesting is that it is made up of three 木 which means tree or wood which is highly appropriate for the name of a place where one would find quite a lot of trees. It has four different readings and is also included in the first grade of the kyōiku kanji.
6 : 鬱 (Depression)
This kanji is known for being fairly difficult to write. Many find it hard to write all 29 strokes in a neat and balanced way. As a result this word, when handwritten or typed, is usually done in hiragana. However, it is a fairly common kanji so it’s best to at least be familiar with reading or writing it.
7 : 凹凸 (Unevenness)
This kanji is another example of what may stand out to a new learner of the Japanese language and become a favorite. It is unusual in the sense that it almost doesn’t look like it is a kanji character and more like Tetris blocks. It also very accurately represents the concept of a bumpy surface.
Symbols cool kanji
Diman was indignant. - Like ice cream, like candy. Suck, in short. How long will we wait here.Japanese recommended cool kanji tattoo. ~ One character ~
These feelings of power and impunity are truly incomparable pleasure. Such entertainment is the lot of the highest people, the chosen rulers of the world, the fat man stated, looking at the. Girl's thighs speckled with scarlet stripes.
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And then the last vibrations subside inside. The guy again transfers all attention and tenderness to you. And you want him again, but he is already inside, and the sweet movement begins again. The remains of sperm that have not gone into the uterus from the shocks periodically flow out.
The excitement is incredibly strong, you feel hungry again and again you frantically want to finish.