Japanese Characters and Phonology

Characters

Hiragana

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Katakana

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Kanji

grade 1

kanji_one.png

1
一 hito ITI one
二 huta NI two
三 mi SAN three
四 yon SI four
五 itu GO five
六 mu ROKU six
七 nana SITI seven
八 ya HATI eight
九 kokono KYUU nine
十 too ZYUU ten
百 HYAKU hundred
千 ti SEN thousand
2
日 hi NITI day, sun, Japan
月 tuki GETU moon, month
火 hi KA fire
水 mizu SUI water
木 ki BOKU tree, wood
金 kane KIN metal, gold, money
土 tuti DO soil
3
上 ue ZYOU up
下 sita KA down
右 migi U right
左 hidari SA left
大 oo(kii) DAI big , university
中 naka TYUU middle, in, China
小 tii(sai) SYOU small
入 i(ru) NYUU enter, put in
出 de(ru) SYUTU go out, put out
4
男 otoko DAN man
女 onna JO woman
子 ko SI child, noun suffix
人 hito ZIN human being
口 kuti KOU mouth
目 me MOKU eye, item
手 te SYU hand, performer of an action
耳 mimi ZI ear
足 asi SOKU foot, suffice
5
白 siro HAKU white
赤 aka SEKI red
青 ao SEI blue
学 manu(bu) GAKU study, school
校 KOU school, proofread
先 saki SEN ahead
生 i(kiru) SEI life, be born, student
年 tosi NEN year
6
山 yama SAN mountain
川 kawa SEN river
花 hana KA flower
雨 ame U rain
田 ta DEN rice field
石 isi SEKI stone
貝 kai BAI shellfish
林 hayasi RIN forest
森 mori SIN thick woods
7
見 mi(ru) KEN see
立 ta(tu) RITU stand, establish
休 yasu(mu) KYOU rest
天 ame TEN heaven
気 KI gas, spirit
本 moto HON basis, book, this
犬 inu KEN dog
虫 musi TYUU insect
草 kusa SOU grass
8
車 kuruma SYA vehicle, wheel
名 na MEI name
正 tada(si) SEI right, correct
音 oto ON sound
早 haya(i) SOU early, quick
王 OU king
村 mura SON village
町 mati TYOU town
竹 take TIKU bamboo
9
空 sora KUU sky, air, empty
糸 ito SI thread
字 aza ZI character
夕 yuu SEKI evening
玉 tama GYOKU gem
文 fumi BUN writings, letter
力 tikara RYOKU power
円 maru(i) EN circle, yen

grade 2

joyo_grade2.png


引 hi(ku) IN draw, reduce
羽 ha(ne) U feather, wing
雲 kumo UN cloud
園 sono EN garden
遠 too(i) EN distant
何 nani KA what, how many
科 KA subject of study
夏 natu KA summer
家 ie KA house, family
歌 uta KA song, japanese poem
画 GA picture, draw up a plan
回 mawa(ru) KAI turn round, time
会 a(u) KAI meet, society
海 umi KAI sea
絵 KAI picture
外 soto GAI outside
角 kado KAKU angle, horn
楽 tano(sii) GAKU pleasure, comfortable, music


活 KATU active, live
間 aida KAN space in between
丸 maru GAN round
岩 iwa GAN rock
顔 kao GAN face
汽 KI steam
記 siru(su) KI write down
帰 kae(ru) KI return
弓 yumi KYUU bow (archery)
牛 usi GYUU cow
魚 uo GYO fish
京 KYOU capital, Tokyo, Kyoto
強 tuyo(i) KYOU strong
教 osi(eru) KYOU teach, religion
近 tika(i) KIN near, recent
兄 oni KEI older brother
形 kata KEI shape
計 haka(ru) KEI plan, compute


元 moto GEN origin
言 i(u) GEN say, speech
原 hara GEN plain, original
戸 to KO door, household
古 huru(i) KO old
午 GO noon, sign of the horse
後 noti GO after
語 kata(ru) GO word, language, tell
工 KOU manufacture, construction
公 ooyake KOU public
広 hiro(i) KOU wide
交 mizi(waru) KOU intercourse, cross
光 hika(ru) KOU light
考 kanga(eru) KOU think
行 i(ku) KOU go, act, line
高 taka(i) KOU high, amount
黄 ki KOU yellow
合 a(u) GOU combine, fit


谷 tani KOKU valley
国 kuni KOKU country
黒 kuro KOKU black
今 ima KON present, this
才 SAI talent, years old
細 hoso(i) SAI slender, minute
作 tuku(ru) SAKU make, work
算 SAN calculate
止 to(maru) SI stop
市 iti SI city, market
矢 ya SI arrow
姉 one SI older sister
思 omo(u) SI think
紙 kami SI paper
寺 tera ZI Buddhist temple
自 mizuka(ru) ZI self
時 toki ZI time
室 muru SITU room


社 yasiro SYA company, society, Shinto shrine
弱 yowa(i) SYAKU weak
首 kubi SYU head, neck, leader
秋 aki SYUU autumn
週 SYUU week
春 haru SYUN spring
書 ka(ku) SYO write
少 suku(nai) suko(si) SYO few
場 ba SYOU place
色 iro SYOKU color, eros
食 kuu ta(beru) SYOKU eat, food
心 kokoro SIN mind, heart
新 atara(si) SIN new
親 oya SIN parent, relatives, intimate
図 e ZU drawing
数 kazu SOU number
西 nisi SEI west, Spain
声 koe SEI voice


星 hosi SEI star
晴 ha(reru) SEI clear sky
切 ki(ru) SETU cut
雪 yuki SETU snow
船 hune SEN ship
線 suzi SEN line
前 mae ZEN in front, before
組 ku(mu) SO organize, assemble
走 hasi(ru) SOU run
多 oo(i) TA multi-
太 huto(i) TAI great, thick
体 karada TAI body
台 DAI stand, pedestal
地 TI ground, place
池 ike TI pond
知 si(ru) TI wisdom
茶 TYA tea
昼 hiru TYUU daytime


長 naga(i) TYOU long, chief
鳥 tori TYOU bird
朝 asa TYOU morning, dynasty
直 tada(tini) TYOKU straight, put straight
通 too(ru) TUU pass (through), communicate
弟 otouto TEI younger brother
店 mise TEN store, shop
点 tuke(ru) TEN spot, mark
電 DEN electricity
刀 katana TOU sword
冬 fuyu TOU winter
当 ata(ru) TOU the present, hit
東 higasi TOU east
答 kota(eru) TOU answer
頭 atama TOU head
同 ona(zi) DOU same
道 miti DOU way
読 yomu DOKU read


内 uti NAI inside
南 minami NAN south
肉 NIKU flesh
馬 uma BA horse
売 uru GAI sell
買 ka(u) BAI buy
麦 mugi BAKU wheat
半 naka(ba) HAN half
番 tuga(i) BAN turn, number
父 titi HU father
風 kase FUU wind, breeze
分 wakeru BUN part, understand
聞 ki(ku) BUN hear
米 kono BEI meter, rice, USA
歩 aru(ku) HO walk
母 haha BO mother
方 kata HOU direction, way
北 kita HOKU north


毎 -goto MAI every
妹 imooto MAI younger sister
万 yorozu MAN ten thousand
明 o(kari) MEI bright, clear
鳴 na(ku) MEI cry, sound
毛 ke MOU hair
門 kado MON gate
夜 yo YA night
野 no YA field, wild
友 tomo(dati) YUU friend
用 moti(iru) YOU employ, things to do
曜 YOU day of the week
来 ku(ru) RAI come
里 sato RI village, league, ri (3.9 km)
理 kotowari RI reason, basic principle, manage
話 hana(su) WA speak

grade 3

grade3_kanji.jpg


悪 waru(i) AKU bad
安 yasu(i) AN cheap
暗 kura(i) AN dark
医 i(yasu) I medicine, doctor
委 yuda(neru) I commit
意 I mind, meaning
育 soda(tu) IKU raise
員 IN member
院 IN institution
飲 no(mu) IN drink
運 hako(bu) UN carry, move, fortune
泳 oyo(gu) EI swim
駅 EKI station
央 OU center
横 yoko OU sideways, arbitrary
屋 ya OKU house, small shop
温 otata(ka) ON warm
化 ba(keru) KA change into
荷 ni KA load
界 KAI world, bounds
開 hira(ku) KAI open


階 KAI floor, story
寒 samu(i) KAN cold
感 KAN sense, feel
漢 KAN Chinese, fellow
館 yakata KAN public building
岸 kisi KAN shore
起 o(kiru) KI rise
期 KI term, expect
客 KYAKU visitor, customer
究 KYUU kiwa(meru) study exhaustively
急 KYUU iso(gu) urgent, hurry, sudden
級 KYUU grade
宮 KYUU miya royal palace, Shinto shrine
球 KYUU tama ball
去 KYO sa(ru) go away
橋 hasi KYOU bridge
業 GYOU work, business, industry
曲 ma(garu) KYOU musical composition, curve
局 KYOKU bureau, limited part
銀 GIN silver
区 KU divide into sections, district, ward


苦 kuru(sii) KU suffering, bitter
具 GU implement
君 kimi KUN ruler, familiar title, you
係 kaka(ru) KEI connect, person in charge
軽 karu(i) KEI light (i.e. not heavy)
血 ti KETU blood
決 ki(meru) KETU decide
研 to(gu) KEN grind, research
県 KEN prefecture
庫 KO storage chamber
湖 mizuumi KO lake
向 mu(ku) KOU turn toward
幸 siawa(se) KOU good fortune, happiness
港 minato KOU port
号 sake(bu) GOU number, designation, sign
根 ne KON root
祭 matu(ru) SAI festival
皿 sara plate
仕 tuka(eru) SI serve, do
死 si(ne) SI die
使 tuka(u) SI use


始 hazi(meru) SI begin
指 yubi sa(su) SI finger, point
歯 ha SI tooth
詩 SI poetry
次 tugi ZI next
事 koto ZI thing, matter
持 mo(tu) ZI hold
式 SIKI style, ceremony
実 mino(ru) ZITU real
写 utu(su) SYA copy
者 mono SYA person
主 nesi SYU main, lord
守 mamo(ru) SYU protect
取 to(ru) SYU take
酒 sake SYU alcoholic drink
受 u(keru) ZYU receive
州 SYUU state
拾 hiro(u) SYUU pick up
終 o(waru) SYUU end
習 nara(u) SYUU learn, custom
集 atu(maru) SYUU gather


住 su(mu) ZYUU live
重 omo(i) ZYUU heavy, duplicate
宿 yado SYUKU lodge
所 tokoro SYO place, particle of nominalization
暑 atu(i) SYO hot
助 tasu(keru) ZYO help
昭 SYOU invite
消 ki(eru) SYOU extinguish, spend
商 okina(u) SYOU trade
章 SYOU chapter, badge
勝 ka(tu) SYOU win, excel
乗 no(ru) ZYOU ride, get on
植 u(eru) SYOKU plant
申 mou(su) SIN report, speak humbly
神 kami SIN god, mind
身 mi SIN body, one's person
真 ma SIN true, reality
深 huka(i) SIN deep
進 susu(mu) SIN advance
世 yo SEI world, age
整 totono(eru) SEI put in order


昔 mukasi SEKI former times
全 matta(ku) ZEN whole
相 ai SOU phase, mutual, minister
送 oku(ru) SOU send
想 SOU conceive
息 iki SOKU breath
速 haya(i) SOKU quick
族 ZOKU family
他 hoka TA other
打 u(tu) DA strike
対 aite TAI opposite, oppose
待 TAI ma(tu) wait
代 ka(waru) DAI substitute, generation, charge
第 DAI ordinal number prefix
題 DAI title, topic, problem
炭 sumi TAN coal, charcoal
短 mizika(i) TAN short
談 DAN talk
着 ki(ru) TYAKU put on , arrive, stick
注 soso(gu) TYUU pour, concentrate
柱 hasira TYOU pillar


丁 hinoto TYOU town subsection, miscellaneous counter
帳 TYOU notebook
調 sira(beru) TYOU tone, investigate, prepare
追 o(u) TUI chase
定 sada(meru) TEI fix
庭 niwa TEI courtyard, garden
笛 hue TEKI flute
鉄 kurogane TETU iron
転 koro(garu) TEN turn
都 miyako TO metropolis (of Tokyo)
度 tabi DO degree, time
投 na(geru) TOU throw, send in
豆 mame TOU bean
島 sima TOU island
湯 yu TOU hot water
登 nobo(ru) TOU climb
等 hito(sii) TOU equal, class
動 ugo(ku) DOU move
童 DOU child
農 NOU farming
波 nami HA wave


配 kuba(ru) HAI distribute
倍 BAI times, double
箱 hako box
畑 hata field
発 ta(tu) HATU start, emit, open up
反 so(ru) HAN counter
坂 saka HAN slope
板 ita HAN board, plate
皮 kawa HI skin
悲 kana(sii) HI sad
美 utuku(sii) BI beautiful
鼻 hana BI nose
筆 hude HITU brush, writing
氷 koori HYOU ice
表 omote HYOU express, surface, table
秒 BYOU second
病 ya(mu) BYOU illness
品 sina HIN article; grade of excellence; classification
負 ma(keru) HU bear, lose
部 -be BU section, department, part
服 HUKU clothes, submit


福 HUKU fortune
物 mono BUTU thing
平 tai(ra) HEI flat, calm
返 kae(su) HIN return
勉 tuto(meru) BEN endeavor
放 hana(tu) HOU let go
味 azi MI taste
命 inoti MEI order, life
面 omo MEN face
問 to(u) MON question
没 BOTU sink
薬 kusuri YAKU drug
由 YUU reason
油 abura YU oil
有 a(ru) YUU have
遊 aso(bu) YUU play
予 YO in advance
羊 hituzi YOU sheep
洋 YOU ocean, western
葉 ha YOU leaf
陽 hi YOU sun


様 sama YOU mode, formal title
落 o(tiru) o(tosu) RAKU fall
流 naga(reru) RYUU flow, current, style
旅 tabi RYO travel
両 RYOU both
緑 midori RYOKU green
礼 REI etiquette, rite
列 RETU row
練 ne(ru) REN train
路 RO road
和 yawa(ragu) WA harmonious, peace, Japan

grade 4

kanji_4.png


愛 ito(sii) AI love
案 AN proposal
以 mot(te) I to the … of, by means of
衣 koromo I garment
位 kurai I rank, position
囲 kako(mu) I enclose
胃 I stomach
印 sirusi IN mark, seal
英 hanabusa EI distinguished, England
栄 saka(eru) EI flourish, glory
塩 sio EN salt
億 OKU hundred million
加 kuwa(eru) KA add
果 ha(tasu) KA fruit
貨 takara KA money, goods
課 KA section, lesson
芽 me GA bud
改 arata(meru) KAI reform
械 KAI mechanical contrivance
害 GAI harm


街 mati GAI city quarter
各 onoono KAKU each
覚 obo(eru) KAKU perceive, commit to memory
完 KAN complete
官 KAN government, government official
管 kuda KAN pipe, exercise control
関 kaka(waru) KAN concern, barrier
観 KAN view
願 nega(u) GAN wish, ask a favor
希 KI raise, apsire
季 KI season
紀 KI era
喜 KI yoroko(bu) happy
旗 hata KI flag
器 utuwa KI vessel, instrument
機 hata KI machine, aircraft, opportunity
議 GI discuss, legislative body
求 moto(meru) KYUU seek
泣 na(ku) KYUU cry
救 suku(u) KYUU save


給 KYUU supply, pay
挙 a(geru) KYO nominate, noteworthy act, raise
漁 GYO fish
共 tomo KYOU joint
協 KYOU cooperate
鏡 kagami KYOU mirror, optical intstrument
競 kiso(u) KYOU compete
極 kiwa(meru) KYAKU extreme, pole
訓 KUN instruct
軍 GUN army
郡 GUN county
経 KEI path, diameter
型 kata KEI type
景 KEI scene
芸 GEI art
欠 ka(keru) KETU lack
結 musu(bu) KETU marriage
建 ta(teru) KEN build
健 suko(yaka) KEN robust
験 KEN test


固 kata(meru) KO solid, firm
功 KOU merit
好 kono(mu) KOU like, favorable
候 KOU season, seasonable weather
航 KOU navigate
康 KOU healthy
告 tu(geru) KOKU notify
差 sa(su) SA difference
菜 na SAI vegetable
最 motto(mo) SAI most
材 ZAI timber, material
昨 SAKU yesterday, last
札 huda SATU note, paper money
刷 su(ru) SATU print
殺 koro(su) SATU kill
察 SATU inspect, guess
参 mai(ru) SAN participate, visit a holy place
産 u(mu) SAN give birth, produce
散 ti(ru) SAN scatter
残 noko(ru) ZAN remain, ruthless


士 SI military man, man of learning
氏 uzi SI family, courtesy title
史 SI history
司 SI officiate
試 tame(su) SI try
児 ZI child
治 osa(meru) ZI govern, cure
辞 ya(meru) ZI word, resign
失 usina(u) SITU lose, slip
借 ka(riru) SYAKU borrow
種 tane SYU variety, seed
周 mawa(ri) SYUU periphery
祝 iwa(u) SYUKU celebrate, congratulate
順 ZYUN order, obey
初 hazi(mete) SYO first
松 matu SYOU pine
笑 wara(u) SYOU laugh
唱 tona(eru) SYOU sing
焼 ya(ku) SYOU burn
象 SYOU phenomenon, elephant


照 te(rasu) SYOU illuminate
賞 ho(meru) SYOU prize
臣 ZIN retainer
信 SIN believe, message
成 na(ru) SEI become, achieve
省 kaeri(miru) SYOU ministry, save, introspect
清 kiyo(i) SEI clear
静 sizu(ka) SEI quiet
席 SEKI seat
積 tu(mu) SEKI accumulate
折 o(ru) SETU break off, fold
節 husi SETU joint, season
説 to(ku) SETU explain, theory
浅 asa(i) SEN shallow
戦 ikusa SEN war
選 era(bu) SEN choose
然 ZEN modifier forming suffix, so
争 araso(u) SOU contend
倉 kura SOU storehouse
巣 su SOU nest


束 taba SOKU tie up, bundle
側 gawa SOKU side
続 tuzu(ku) ZOKU continue
卒 SOTU graduate
孫 mago SON grandchild
帯 obi TAI belt, wear
隊 TAI party
達 TATU attain
単 TAN single
置 o(ku) TI place
仲 naka TYUU intermediary, personal relations
貯 TYO lay up
兆 kiza(si) TYOU omen, trillion
腸 TYOU intestines
低 hiku(i) TEI low
底 soko TEI bottom
停 TEI halt
的 mato TEKI target, adjectival suffix
典 TEN standard work, canon
伝 tuta(waru) DEN transmit


徒 TO follower
努 tuto(meru) DO exert
灯 hi TOU lamp
堂 DOU hall
働 hatara(ku) DOU work
特 TOKU special
得 e(ru) TOKU acquire, gain
毒 DOKU poison
熱 atu(i) NETU heat, hot
念 NEN thoughts
敗 yabur(reru) HAI be defeated
梅 ume BAI japanese apricot
博 HAKU doctor
飯 mesi HAN cooked rice, meal
飛 to(bu) HI fly
費 tui(yasu) HI expense
必 kanara(zu) HITU without fail
票 HYOU vote, slip
標 HYOU mark
不 HU not


夫 otto HU husband, male laborer
付 tu(keru) HU attach
府 HU urban prefecture
副 HUKU secondary
粉 ko HUN powder
兵 HEI soldier
別 waka(reru) BETU separate, another
辺 ata(ri) HEN vicinity, borderland
変 kawa(ru) HEN change, abnormal
便 tayo(ri) BEN convenient, post, excreta
包 tutu(mu) HOU wrap, encompass
法 HOU law, method
望 nozo(mu) BOU hope, look afar
牧 maki BOKU pasture
末 sue MATU last part
満 miti(ru) MAN full
未 MI not yet
脈 MYAKU vein, pulse
無 na(i) MU without, nothing
民 tami MIN people


約 tuzu(maru) YAKU promise, shorten, approximately
勇 isa(mu) YUU brave
要 i(ru) YOU important, summarize, require
養 yasina(u) YOU foster
浴 a(biru) YOKU bathe
利 ki(ku) RI advantage, profit
陸 RIKU land
良 yo(i) RYOU good
料 RYOU fee, materials
量 haka(ru) RYOU quantity
輪 wa RIN wheel, ring
類 tagu(i) RUI kind
令 REI command
冷 tume(tai) REI cold
例 tato(eru) REI example
歴 REKI personal history
連 tu(reru) REN link, in succession
老 o(iru) ROU old
労 ROU labor
録 ROKU record

grade 5

kanji_grade_5.png


圧 ATU pressure
移 utu(ru) I shift
因 yo(ru) IN cause
永 naga(i) EI eternal
営 itona(mu) EI manage, barracks
衛 EI guard
易 yasa(sii) EKI easy, exchange
益 EKI benefit, profit
液 EKI liquid
演 EN perform
応 kota(eru) OU respond
往 OU go on
桜 sakura OU cherry
恩 ON grace, debt of gratitude
可 -geki KA possible, approve
仮 kari KA temporary
価 atai KA price, value
河 kawa KA river
過 su(giru) KA pass by, exceed


賀 GA congratulate
快 kokoroyo(i) KAI pleasant
解 to(ku) KAI take apart, dissolve, clarify
格 KAKU norm, status
確 tasi(ka) KAKU certain
額 hitai GAKU amount
刊 KAN publish
幹 miki KAN trunk
慣 na(reru) KAN habitual practice
眼 manako GAN eye
基 moto KI base
寄 yo(ru) KI contribute, draw near
規 KI regulation
技 waza GI skill
義 GI righteousness, meaning
逆 saka(rau) GYAKU reverse
久 hi(sasii) KYUU of long duration
旧 KYUU former
居 i(ru) KYO reside


許 yuru(su) KYO permit
境 sakai KYOU boundary, situation
均 KIN even
禁 KIN prohibit
句 KU phrase, haiku
群 mu(re) GUN group
経 ta(tu) KEI pass through, manage
潔 isagiyo(i) KETU immaculate
件 KEN matter
券 KEN ticket, certificate
険 kewa(sii) KEN danger, steep
検 KEN examine
限 kagi(ru) KEN limit
現 arawa(reru) GEN actual, appear
減 he(ru) GEN decrease
故 yue KO old, the late
個 KO individual, general, counter
護 GO protect
効 ki(ku) KOU effect


厚 atu(i) KOU thick, kind
耕 tagaya(su) KOU till
鉱 KOU ore, mine
構 kama(eru) KOU construct, mind
興 oko(ru) KYOU rise to prosperity, amusement
講 KOU lecture
混 ma(zeru) KON mix
査 SA look into
再 hutata(bi) SAI another time
災 wazawa(i) SAI natural calamity
妻 tuma SAI wife
採 to(ru) SAI pick, gather
際 kiwa SAI verge, occasion
在 a(ru) ZAI be
財 ZAI wealth
罪 tumi ZAI crime
雑 ZATU miscellaneous, mixed
酸 su(i) SAN acid, oxygen
賛 SAN approve of, praise


支 sasa(eru) SI branch, support
志 kokorozasi SI ambition
枝 eda SI branch
師 SI master
資 SI resources
飼 ka(u) SI raise animals
示 sime(su) ZI show
似 ni(ru) ZI resemble
識 SIKI discriminate, knowledge
質 SITU quality, matter
舎 SYA building
謝 ayama(ru) SYA thank, apologize
授 sazu(keru) ZYU confer
修 osa(meru) SYUU cultivate, repair
述 no(beru) ZYUTU state
術 sugu ZYUTU practical art
準 ZYUN standard, quasi-
序 ZYO introductory part, order
招 mane(ku) SYOU invite

承 uketamawa(ru) SYOU agree to
証 SYOU prove, certificate
条 ZYOU article
状 ZYOU form, condition, letter
常 tune ZYOU normal, regular
情 nasa(ke) ZYOU emotion, actual conditions
総 SOU total, general
職 SYOKU employment
制 SEI system, control
性 SEI nature, sex, –ity
政 maturigoto SEI political administration
勢 ikio(i) SEI power
精 SEI refine, essence, spirit
製 SEI manufacture
税 ZEI tax
責 se(meru) SEKI responsibility, blame
績 SEKI achievements
接 SETU contact
設 mou(keru) SETU set up


舌 sita ZETU tongue
絶 tae(ru) ZETU break off, come to an end
銭 zeni SEN money
祖 SO ancestor
素 SU element, plain
総 SOU total, general
造 tuku(ru) ZOU make
像 ZOU image
増 hu(eru) ZOU increase
則 SOKU rule
測 haka(ru) SOKU measure, conjecture
属 ZOKU belong to
率 hiki(iru) RITU rate, lead
損 soko(nau) SON loss
退 sirizo(ku) TAI retreat
貸 ka(su) TAI lend
態 TAI state
団 katamari DAN collective
断 kotowa(ru) DAN cut off, resolve


築 kizu(ku) TIKU construct
張 ha(ru) TYOU spread, strain
提 TEI present
程 hodo TEI extend, established form
適 TEKI suitable
敵 kataki TEKI enemy
統 TOU unite, interconnected system
銅 DOU copper
導 mitibi(ku) DOU guide
徳 TOKU virtue
独 hito(ri) DOKU alone, Germany
任 maka(seru) NIN office, leave to
燃 mo(eru) NEN burn
能 NOU ability
破 yabu(ru) HA break
犯 oka(su) HAN offense
判 HAN judge
版 HAN printing plate, publishing
比 kura(beru) HI compare


肥 HI fatten
非 HI is not
備 sona(eru) BI provide
俵 tawara HYOU straw sack
評 HYOU comment
貧 mazu(sii) HIN poor
布 nuno HU cloth, spread
婦 HU adult woman
富 to(mu) HU rich
武 BU military
復 HUKU return to
複 HUKU compound
仏 hotoke BUTU Buddha, France
編 a(mu) HEN compile, knit
弁 BEN speak eloquently, valve
保 tamo(tu) HO preserve
墓 haka BO grave
報 muku(u) HOU inform, requite
豊 yuta(ka) HOU plentiful


防 huse(gu) BOU prevent
貿 BOU trade
暴 aba(ku) BOU violent
務 tuto(meru) MU duty
夢 yume MU dream
迷 mayo(u) MEI perplexed
綿 wata MEN cotton
輸 YU transport
余 ama(ri) YO remaining, excess
預 azu(keru) YO deposit
容 YOU appearance, contain
略 RYAKU abridged, strategy
留 to(maru) RYUU keep, stay
領 RYOU territory

grade 6

kanji_grade_6.gif


若 waka(i) ZYAKU young


困 koma(ru) KON be in trouble
供 sona(eru) KYOU offer
尺 SHAKU shaku (30.3 cm)


難 kata(i) NAN difficult, disaster, fault


寸 SUN a bit of, sun (3.03cm)
誕 TAN be born


危 abu(nai) KI dangerous


裏 ura RI rear


晩 BAN evening

Romaji ローマ字

There are two popular methods of writing Japanese with Latin characters:

Hiragana Kunrei Hepburn
きょう kyô kyō
si shi
しょ syo sho
zi ji
じょ zyo jo
ti chi
ちょ tyo cho
di ji
ぢょ dyo jo
hu fu

The Hepburn system is named after an American missionary who published a Japanese-to-English dictionary in 1886. The Kunrei system was adopted by government order in 1937.

Hepburn is better at communicating to English speakers how a Japanese word is pronounced. Kunrei maps nicely to the Japanese syllabaries and is natural to Japanese speakers. Kunrei is documented as the ISO 3602 standard.

Input Methods

Mac

There is a Japanese input method on the Mac. On my laptop it is configured like this:

japanese-preferences.png

It make two input modes available: a hiragana mode and a katakana mode. The hiragana mode is used more often.

In hiragana mode, type using romaji and it is converted to hiragana. Because the live conversion feature is selected the text will sometimes be converted to kanji or katakana. Use the RETURN key to accept the conversion and the SPACE key to bring up a dropdown of alternate conversions. The dropdown may come up in any case.

For romaji, one can use Kunrei or Hepburn spellings with exceptions.

For long vowels, type the vowel twice, e.g. tyuugoku or chuugoku instead of tyūgoku or chûgoku. In Japanese, long e can be spelled either ee or ei even though they are pronounced the same. Similarly long o can be spelled either oo or ou. For the benefit of the input method you must use the correct spelling.

In katakana long vowels are written with a dash and one must type a dash when using the input method.

The particles は, へ, and を are pronounced wa, e, and o, although they are spelled as if they were pronounced ha, he, and wo. The spellings and not the pronunciations are used when inputting them. The を character is only used for the particle since the syllable wo doesn't occur in modern Japanese.

Japanese writes geminate consonants by preceding them with a small っ or ッ. One can input these characters by typing xtu and in general one makes any character small by prefixing it with x. One can also inputt a geminate consonant by typing the consonant twice.

One may encounter difficulties typing a syllabic n: ん, say because it precedes a vowel. One can type n twice to force a syllabic n.

ぢ and じ are pronounced the same and both are transcribed as zi in Kunrei. Similarly づ and ず are pronounced the same and transcribed as zu in Kunrei.

ぢ and づ are the rarer versions. They are are used when a ち or つ mora is voiced due to rendaku. Type di or du to input them.

Marks and Punctuation

symbol mac Japanese name English name use
ga 濁点, dakuten, nigori voicing mark voiced consonants
pa 半濁点, handakuten, maru half voicing mark unvoiced labial consonant (i.e.. p)
- 長音符, tyoonpu dash long vowels in katakana
xtu 促音, sokuon geminate consonants
同の字点、doonoziten, のま repetition symbol doubled kanji
スペース space start of paragraph
. 句点, kuten period end of sentence
, 読点, toten comma end of clause in sentence
~ nami dasshu wave dash between limits of a range
⌥; riidaa, tensen, tenten ellipsis omissions
/ 中黒, nakaguro raised dot, interpunct separate words in katakana
\ 円, en yen Japanese currency
「」 [] kagikakko single quotes quoting
『』 {} ijūkagikakko double quotes quoting
{} ⌥{
⌥}
波括弧, namikakko curly braces grouping
() () 丸括弧, marukakko parens grouping
[] ⌥[
⌥]
角括弧, kakukakko square brackets grouping
【】 ⌥9
⌥0
隅付き括弧, sumitsukikakko lenticular brackets grouping

Many Japanese punctuation characters resemble European punctuation and in fact they were borrowed from European languages in the 19th century. The Japanese punctuation characters have different Unicode characters, however, since they are full-width.

There is also a full-width space character, but it is used sparingly. A common use is to indent the first line of a paragraph. Words are usually not separated by spaces. When foreign words are written in katakana, the interpunct ・may be used to separate words. In particular the interpunct is often used between a foreigner's first and last name.

The use of the comma and period is similar to their use in English. Occasionally a question mark or exclamation mark will be used in the same manner as in English. Questions are usually terminated by the particle か and a period, however. Similarly an emphatic sentence is often terminated by the particle よ and a period.

In furigana dictionaries, the headwords are written in kana. If the word is normally written with kanji, this spelling follows inside lenticular brackets.

Numbers

Phonology

Consonants

bilabial alveolar palatal velar uvular glottal
nasal m n N
unvoiced stop p t k
voiced stop b d g
unvoiced fricative s h
voiced fricative z
liquid r
glide j w

Vowels

front central back
close i u
mid e o
open a

/u/ is pronounced with unrounded lips.

/u/ and /i/ are devoiced (whispered) between unvoiced stops and fricatives.

Accent

A Japanese word can be unaccented or have a single accent on one of its moras. This is realized by a drop in pitch on the mora after the accented mora. When pronounced in isolation, an unaccented word sounds the same as a word accented on its last mora.

accent phrases

Japanese utterances are divided into one or more accent phrases, each which contains at most one accented word. The accent phrase thus at most one accented mora. If the first mora is accented, it has a high pitch, and the remaining moras have a low pitch. Otherwise the first mora is low pitch, the second mora and all moras up to the accented mora are high pitch, and the remaining moras have low pitch.

When an utterance contains multiple accent phrases, the high pitch of each successive accent phrase is generally lower than the high pitch of the accent phrase that immediately preceded it.

  • Can an accent phrase have no accented words?
  • If an accent phrase can have no accented words, how do we know if an accented word should be added to an adjacent accent phrase or form its own accent phrase?
  • Are any aspects of how the moras of an utterance are divided into to accent phrases at the discretion of the speaker?
  • can accent phrases straddle clauses terminated by ga or kedo?
  • can accent phrases straddle phrases terminated by particles such as mo, wa, ga, o?

location of word accent

Pairs of Japanese words exist which are only distinguished by the presence of an accent.

hî (fire) hi (sun, sunshine)
âme (rain) ame (candy)
Hâna (girl's name) hana (nose)

In addition, pairs of Japanese words exist with are distinguished by the location of the accent.

Hâna (girl's name) hanâ (flower)

The presence and location of an accent is thus a property of a lexeme and must be memorized.

Japanese nouns can be accented on any of their final four moras. They can also be unaccented, so an Japanese noun with 3 moras has 4 possible accent patterns. Some patterns are uncommon, however. If we look through the dictionary, we see these frequencies for 3 mora nouns:

antepenult mora penult mora final mora unaccented
frequency 42% 4% 2% 52%

accent of verbs

The imperfect is the usual citation form for Japanese verbs. The conjugation pattern of a verb can be determined by looking at the imperfect and the perfect. Actually, if the imperfect does not end in ~eru or ~iru, the conjugation pattern can be determined from the imperfect alone.

The imperfect is either unaccented or accented on the penultimate mora. If one knows the conjugation pattern of the verb and whether the imperfect is accented, one can predict the accent of the rest of the verb's forms.

Some verbs forms have a fixed accent regardless of the conjugation or whether the imperfect is accented. The distal forms all fall into this category. Verb forms with a fixed accent have accents in their endings below. The consultative form also has a fixed accent.

form ending position when "accented" position when "unaccented"
imperfect -u, (-ru) penultimate none
perfect -ta, (-da) antepenult if ichidan, otherwise penult none
imperfect negative -anai, (-nai) antepenult none
gerund -te, (-de) antepenult if ichidan, otherwise penult none
stem -i, (-∅) penult none
provisional -eba, (-reba) antepenult (same mora as imperfect) penult
conditional -ara, (-tara) same mora as perfect penult
consultative -òo, (-yòo) penult
distal imperfect -imàsu, (-màsu) penult
distal perfect -imàsita, (-màsita) antepenult
distal imperfect negative -imasèn, (-masèn) penult
distal consultative -imasyòo, (-masyòo) penult

accent of adjectives

Like for verbs, the imperfect is the usual citation for adjectives. And also like verbs, the imperfect is either unaccented or accented on the penultimate mora.

compound

The accent of a compound word is not predictable from the accent of its constituents in general. Compounds ending in -gòro and -gùrai have the indicated accent locations, however.

weak accent

Words which lose their accent following an accented word:

  • da
  • daroo
  • datta
  • de
  • desita
  • desu
  • desyoo

When following accented -te style gerund:

  • kudasai

words which induce accent in preceding word

If preceding word is unaccented -te style gerund:

  • kara
  • mo

Also imperfective.

sentence

boundary phrase markers

JSL pp. 14–16

final notes on accent

Increasing the degree of pitch drop at an accent is used for emphasis or to indicate excitement. Conversely in a de-emphasized situation the degree of pitch drop can be so slight so as to barely be perceptible.

Rendaku

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