Japanese character for sun

Japanese character for sun DEFAULT

Sun in Japanese: taiyou, explained based on its kanji expression

How to say “sun” in Japanese

Japanese native speakers would say “taiyou”. It is the Japanese word for ‘sun’. Very simple, I think. In this blog post, however, I will explain this word in detail based on its kanji expression. And also, I will explain how to use it through example sentences. Let’s get started!


Definition and meaning of “taiyou”

Let me start with the definition and meaning of “taiyou”.

  • taiyou – 太陽 (たいよう) : a noun meaning ‘(the) sun’ in Japanese.

Its definition and meaning are very simple and clear, I think. To understand this word more clearly, however, let me explain its kanji characters in detail, one by one.

“Taiyou” in kanji

The kanji expression of “taiyou” consists the following two characters:

  • : a kanji character often used to mean ‘big’, ‘broad’, or ‘thick’ in Japanese.
  • : a kanji character often used to mean ‘sun’ or ‘sunlight’ in Japanese.

From these two kanji characters, we can understand that “taiyou” literally means ‘big sun’, ‘broad sunlight’, or such. So, what the characters express is more or less in line with the meaning.

When we meet new kanji expressions, we should check their kanji characters in detail to understand their meanings clearly and deeply. In many cases, kanji characters tell us a lot about meanings of words they form. Actually, here, we could get the better understanding of “taiyou” through the detailed kanji check above.

Then, let me explain how to use “taiyou” through the example sentences below.

Example #1: how to say “the sun is bright” in Japanese

kyou wa taiyou ga mabushii desu – 今日は太陽が眩しいです (きょうはたいようがまぶしいです)

The sun is bright today.

Below are the new words used in the example sentence.

  • kyou – 今日 (きょう) : a noun meaning ‘today’ in Japanese.
  • wa – は : a binding particle working as a case marker or topic marker. In the example, this is used after “kyou” to provide a topic.
  • ga – が : a case particle used to make the subject word or the object word in a sentence. In the example, this is used after “taiyou” to make the subject word in the sentence.
  • mabushii – 眩しい (まぶしい) : an i-adjective meaning ‘bright’ in Japanese.
  • desu – です : an auxiliary verb used after a noun or adjective to make it polite. Probably, this is well known as a part of Japanese desu form. In the example, this is used after “mabushii” to make it sound polite.

This is a typical usage of “taiyou”. In this example, it works as a part of the expression, “taiyou ga mabushii desu”, which means ‘the sun is bright’ in Japanese. Japanese people often mention the sun or sunlight when they talk about the weather. So, this example sentence would be useful in conversations with them.

Next, let me explain another usage of “taiyou” as follows.

Example #2: how to say “the sun is flat” in Japanese

watashi wa taiyou wa tairada to omoi masu – 私は太陽は平らだと思います (わたしはたいようはたいらだとおもいます)

I think that the sun is flat.

Below are the new words used in the example sentence.

  • watashi – 私 (わたし) : a pronoun meaning ‘I’ in Japanese.
  • wa – は : the same as explained in the last example. The first “wa” in this example is used after “watashi” to make the subject word; the second one is used after “taiyou” to make the subject word in the quoted clause.
  • tairada – 平らだ (たいらだ) : one conjugation of the na-adjective, “tairana”, which means ‘flat’ in Japanese.
  • to – と : a case particle working as a quote marker. In the example, it works as a quote marker after the clause, “taiyou wa tairada”. Due to its help, we can understand that it is a quote: what “watashi” thinks in his/her mind.
  • omoi – 思い (おもい) : one conjugation of the verb, “omou”, which means ‘to think’ in Japanese. In the example, it has been conjugated for the better connection with its following word.
  • masu – ます : an auxiliary verb used after a verb to make it polite. Probably, this is well known as a part of Japanese masu form. In the example, this is used after the conjugated verb, “omoi”, to make it sound polite.

This is another usage of “taiyou”. Also in this example, it works as a noun to mean ‘the sun’ in Japanese. When we want to say “the sun” in Japanese, this word is always the best choice. Unfortunately, however, Japanese people rarely use this example sentence because they think that the sun is spherical in shape.


In this blog post, I’ve explained “taiyou” in detail based on its kanji expression. And also, I’ve explained how to use it through the example sentences. Let me summarize them as follows.

  • taiyou – 太陽 (たいよう) : a noun meaning ‘(the) sun’ in Japanese. These two kanji characters literally mean ‘big sun’, ‘broad sunlight’, or such. So, what the kanji of “taiyou” express is more or less in line with its meaning.
  • taiyou ga mabushii desu – 太陽が眩しいです (たいようがまぶしいです) : a Japanese expression for ‘the sun is bright’. Japanese native speakers sometimes use this expression when they talk about the weather.

Hope my explanations are understandable and helpful for Japanese learners.

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Filed Under: nouns

Sours: https://japaneseparticlesmaster.xyz/sun-in-japanese/

日本: Japan in Japanese (pronounced Nihon / にほん)

Japan in Japanese is Nihon. This seems to be something that quite a lot of people are looking for online, which I find pretty interesting. If you’re researching how to say Japan in Japanese then presumably you don’t study the language. But maybe you should! Take your interest in this word as a sign that you should learn Japanese. Today is day one, and in a few years you could be fluent.

(By the way, if you really are interested in Japanese, you could try taking an online Japanese course).

With that in mind, I thought I’d make a simple introduction to Japanese vocabulary with the word ‘Japan’ as a base. One of the main difficulties in Japanese for beginners is how the writing system works, so this should make a nice starting point. I’ll point out here that I’m no expert, so please point out any mistakes and share your suggestions in the comments.

Japan in the Japanese “alphabet” (hiragana): にほん

I used the word “alphabet” in the title for this section, but that’s not really accurate. Japanese does not have an alphabet. The squiggly symbols you see in Japanese writing are actually a syllabary. That means that each symbol generally represents one syllable. This is different to an alphabet, in which each letter or group of letters represents one single sound.

Now, Japanese actually uses two different syllabaries. That might sound a little crazy, but it’s not a million miles away from the Roman alphabet having both lower case and upper case letters. Before I get destroyed for that analogy in the comments, I’ll point out that I’m just trying to help total beginners make sense of this.

One syllabary is called hiragana and the other is called katakana. We’re going to look at hiragana here because they’re more commonly used. Let’s use the word Japan (Nihon) as an example of how hiragana works. In Nihon we’ve got two syllables, ni and hon. The first syllable, ni, is written に in hiragana.

に: The syllable 'ni' is written like this in hiragana

You can learn a little bit more about ni in hiragana here. So that’s how you write the ni from Nihon in hiragana. So what about the second syllable, hon? It looks like this:

ほん: the second syllable of Japan in Japanese

“Wait! What? I thought there was only one symbol for each syllable?” I hear you ask. Well, you’re right - usually there is only one symbol per syllable. But syllables ending with this n sound are a special case. They get an extra symbol, ん, tagged on to indicate the final n sound. It’s still one syllable though. (Read more about ほ (ho) and ん (n) in hiragana).

Putting these three hiragana together we’ve got にほん (Nihon): Japan in Japanese.

Japan in Japanese characters (kanji): 日本

As well as the syllabaries, there’s a third component of Japanese writing. These are the famous characters, or kanji. Kanji originated in China and are very similar to the Chinese writing system that’s still in use today. Again, remember that none of these are alphabets.

The word Japan in Japanese kanji is 日本. This actually looks identical to how it’s written in Chinese as well. As you might have guessed, these two kanji are pronounced ni and hon. So 日本 = にほん = Nihon = Japan. Normally the word Nihon would be written using kanji, not hiragana.

Let’s have a look at each kanji separately. The first character is 日 (に / ni):

日 (the first character of Japan in Japanese)

Putting the hiragana above a character like that is a common way to indicate the pronunciation, and is one of the uses of the two syllabaries in Japanese. This character literally means ‘sun’. You can sort of see that it looks slightly like the sun in the sky.

The next character is 本 (ほん / hon):

本 (ほん / hon): the second character of Japan in Japanese

This character means ‘origin’. So literally 日本 (Japan) is ‘sun origin’, which you sometimes see in English as… ‘Land of the Rising Sun’. This is a very ancient name for Japan that’s still used in most East Asian countries. The character 本 (ほん / hon) is supposed to be a tree, 木, with its root marked with a line: 本. Hence it’s the ‘root’ or ‘origin’ of something.

Some resources for learning Japanese

If this little introduction has grabbed your interest, then why not go ahead and start learning Japanese? It’s a great hobby that will last you a lifetime. I’m going to recommend a few resources for learning Japanese here:

  • Anki. This is a free flashcards program that’s brilliant for learning languages. The name Anki is Japanese for ‘memorise’ (暗记), and it does exactly that - it helps you learn words and sentences quickly.
  • AJATT - All Japanese All the Time. A brilliant website for motivation and study techniques. This guy will set you on the right track for learning Japanese as fast as possible.
  • Skritter. Skritter is a paid service that focuses on teaching you to write Japanese kanji. If you’re willing to pay the monthly fee (which isn’t too high), it’s a very good way to keep on top of your character learning.
  • JapanesePod101. This is a another paid learning service. It provides audio podcast lessons and other materials for learning Japanese. Again, it costs, but can be very effective.
  • Japanese Art Prints
Sours: https://eastasiastudent.net/japan/japanese/japan-in-japanese/
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Japanese writing02         (Japanese Writing)



Uerukamu dokusha-san
Before the introduction of Chinese characters, no Japanese writing system existed.

Kanji are a set of several thousand Chinese characters that were first introduced into Japan in the 5th Century.  Kanji are ideograms.  This means that each character has its own meaning and corresponds to a word.  The symbols are intended to look like the object they represent.

This is the Kanji symbol for a tree.
The symbol strongly suggests the shape of a tree.


This is the Kanji symbol for a wood.
It suggests trees close together.


By combining different characters, more words can be created.

For example, from the point of view of the ancient Chinese, the Sun would appear to rise each morning from a land that was out across the sea to the East.  That country is what we now call Japan.  Because the Sun appeared to rise from it, the ancient Chinese named that land by combining the symbol for “Sun” and the symbol for “origin”. The expression that was created means "base of the Sun" or "sunrise".  This is why Japan is also known as “The Land Of The Rising Sun”






(Base of the Sun or
Land of the Rising Sun)

These are examples of some of the many Kanji characters.

Kanji table

Kanji are used for writing nouns, adjectives, adverbs and verbs.  In other words, they describe things that can be seen, such as Mountain, River, Sun etc. or they describe actions such as To Eat or To Go etc.  Unlike the Chinese language, it is not possible to write Japanese entirely in Kanji. For words without corresponding Kanji, two additional syllable based scripts are used, Hiragana and Katakana.  Each of these character sets consists of 46 syllables.  Hiragana and Katakana together are called Kana.


Hiragana Table

Katakana Table

Hiragana table02
Katakana table

Even though it is theoretically possible to write the whole language in Hiragana, it is usually used only for grammatical endings of verbs, nouns, and adjectives, plus other original Japanese words.  Hiragana is the first of all the writing systems taught to Japanese children. Many books for young children are, therefore, written entirely in Hiragana.

Women used to write almost exclusively in Hiragana as it was simpler to learn and they were denied access to any form of higher education that would have taught them to write in the more complex Kanji system.

Katakana is mainly used for writing the names of persons and geographical places that cannot be written in Kanji.  It is also used for “Loan Words”

As Japanese language developed, many words from foreign languages, especially from Chinese and English, were incorporated into it.  The Japanese call these “Loan Words” and they are often heavily Japanised.




When Loan Words are incorporated into Japanese, they are often abbreviated versions of the original word or expression.


Family computer
Personal computer
Word processor.
Department store

Japanese text can be written in two ways: In Western style, with the text in horizontal rows from the top to the bottom of the page, or in traditional Japanese style, where the text is in vertical columns, working from right to left. Both writing styles exist side by side today.

Each character is made up of a number of individual strokes.  Japanese traditionalists regard the order in which the individual strokes are made as being very important.  With the advent of computers and printers that put all strokes onto a screen or onto paper simultaneously, many modern Japanese now feel that the importance of the order of strokes is diminishing.

When adopting the Kanji characters, the Japanese not only introduced the original Chinese pronunciations of the characters but they also associated them with the corresponding native Japanese words and their pronunciations. Consequently, most Kanji can still be pronounced in at least two ways, a Chinese way (On Yomi), and a Japanese way (Kun Yomi). 

Since Japanese is normally written in Chinese characters, Kanji, Hiragna and Katakana, it will mean little to foreigners.   To make it more understandable to those people, there is another writing variation that can be used on street signs, passports, in dictionaries and textbooks.  This is called Rōmaji and it is the Romanised pronunciation of Japanese.  It is based on the use of the Latin Alphabet (A, B, C, D, etc) which is extensively used throughout Western Countries.  In general, Rōmaji is used in any context where Japanese text is intended for those who do not know the language. It’s use is becoming more common in the computer age, since many computers cannot put Japanese characters onto the screen unless the user has already installed the “Japanese font package”.   (This is technical stuff, but in layman’s language you could say that you must “teach” your computer to understand Japanese before it can display it on the screen).

My name, Syd Mitchell, would be written in Katakana as follows:




I have written this as a picture, in order to ensure that your computer will display it, even if you do not have a Japanese font installed.

If you do not have Japanese font installed and I had written it directly in Katakana, it would probably be displayed thus:-

           Or       ___?  _____?

A whole page of text would, therefore, be a meaningless series of blocks or question marks.

If, however, my name is written In Rōmaji, it becomes more understandable as it uses letters that can be displayed by Western computers or printed using standard Western alphabets.


There are different levels of politeness in the Japanese language.  There is an informal level, a more polite level, and a very polite or honorific level (Keigo).  One must speak in an honorific language to people who are of higher social status, for example, when speaking to employers.

Honorific expressions should be used when speaking to customers, teachers, elder people etc. Humble expressions should be used when referring to oneself.  Very honorific expressions should be used when referring to the person you are addressing.  For example “I humbly accept the great benefit of your worthy experience”.

On the subject of respect, “san” is a title of respect added to a name. It can be used with both male and female names, and is used either with surnames or first names. It can also be attached to the name of occupations and titles.

If you do not know me, it would be respectful to refer to me as Mitcheru san, (Mr Mitchell).
If we are on first name terms, but you still wish to show respect, Shiddo san (Mr Syd) would be the correct form of address.
To refer to me as the author of this article, it would be respectful to use sakuseisha san (The author).

It should be made clear at this point, that if I were to refer to myself in the above manner, it would be regarded as impolite.  I should adopt more humble expressions when referring to myself,  I have only included these as an example of how to address other people.

With the Chinese pronunciation, the Japanese pronunciation, the use of different levels of politeness that must be used according to status of the listener, plus the Japanised pronunciation of loan words, the study of the Japanese language is a complicated task.  But I am trying!

Adiosu okyakusama

Syd Mitchell

Sours: http://www.mankysanke.co.uk/html/japanese_writing.html

72. The "Sun" Radical: 日

Let's start with a quiz. Actually, this quiz comes to you courtesy of Mark Spahn, who coauthored the famous Kanji Dictionary along with Wolfgang Hadamitzky. In an email, Spahn posed this challenge to me: How many kanji can you make by adding one stroke to 日? The additional stroke does not need to touch the 日 structure. The answers appear at the end of this Radical Note.

The Names of the 日 Radical

The 日 radical is just like the autonomous 日 kanji in several respects. Here are the definitions of that character:

日 (62: sun, day, date; Sunday; Japan)

It follows that we can refer to radical 72 as the "sun" or "day" radical in English.

Just as the 日 kanji can have the yomi of ひ or ニチ, the Japanese names of this radical are ひ or にち.

Let's say that the radical appears on the left side of a character, as in this example:

時 (135: hour, time)

In that case, we can call the radical ひへん or にちへん.

The JOK preference is the first option in each pair of terms—namely, "sun" radical, ひ, and ひへん.

The Shape of the 日 Radical

You can't find a much more straightforward shape than 日. As rectilinear as it is, this four-stroke character pictographically represents the round sun! The stroke across the center symbolizes a "sunspot." (Seriously? The ancient Chinese could perceive sunspots?!)

This character was actually rounder way back when:

Oracle-script version of 日.
© Richard Sears

The following menu listing for 日本酒 (にほんしゅ: saké; Japanese rice wine) starts with a version of 日 that almost replicates its early appearance!

Photo Credit:
Eve Kushner

Radical 73: The "Flat Sun" Radical

Even though matters seem so simple when it comes to the 日 shape, there are some complications, thanks to 曰, a broader shape that constitutes Radical 73. The cross stroke actually only goes three-fourths of the way across that radical, as you can see more clearly on Denshi Jisho. 

Henshall says that 曰 represents a "mouth" and that the central horizontal stroke is a "tongue" in that mouth! It makes sense to me that the tongue doesn't extend across to the lips. Given these pictographic origins, it's also logical that 曰 can mean "to say."

Nelson has opted to treat Radical 73 as a variant of Radical 72. I prefer to see them as separate radicals, wherein 曰 is the "flat sun" radical, but that's practically a moot point because this radical does not appear in any Joyo kanji.

There is only one way in which that wider shape is relevant to us. Several Joyo kanji that contain Radical 72 originally included Radical 73 instead. Take, for instance, the on-duty "sun" radicals at the bottom of these kanji:

曹 (1520: sergeant)
替 (1548: to replace, exchange)

Those lower parts used to be 曰. That sergeant has a sun "where the sun don't shine"!

This stone marker has a 日 with an incomplete center stroke, making it look like Radical 73. It's not, though. The other kanji are the non-Joyo 蓮 and 宗, forming 日蓮宗 (にちれんしゅう), the name of a confederation of Buddhist schools.

The Sun Also Doesn't Rise

In several other kanji, we find a 日 shape but no connection to the sun. The reason is similar; that 日 is the simplification of some other shape. Here are a few examples, with Henshall as the source of all the etymological information in this Radical Note:

書 (142: to write)

The bottom is a simplified form of 者 (thing).

旨 (1312: to purport, meaning, point)

The bottom is a simplification of 甘, the "sweet" radical.

最 (484: most)

The top is a variant of a shape that means "warrior's helmet."

是 (910: right, correct)

The top represents "spoon; ladle" and "hook"!

昆 (1276: insect)

The whole kanji symbolizes an "insect with legs"!

Photo Credit: Eve Kushner

A calligrapher drew this 書 in such a way as to make the 日 unrecognizable. That seems quite appropriate, given what we know about the lack of a sun in the etymology!

Leaping Lizards!

As long as we're talking about creepy crawlies, I'd like to mention this kanji:

易 (618: easy; to exchange; readily)

The original shape depicted a "big-eyed lizard" and "rays of the sun," but the sun wasn't at the top, as one might think. Rather, it lay in the lower part, whereas the upper component symbolized the "lizard's eye"! Some people may have mistaken the bottom part as "lizard legs" at some point. As a result, this character came to mean "readily changing," which led to its current definitions: "readily; easy" and "change."

Photo Credit: Eve Kushner

The word 昆布 (こんぶ) refers to a brown type of seaweed or kelp that Hokkaido in particular produces. People use it to make kombucha, a kind of tea that's all the rage right now in health-food circles.


As 昆 means "insect," are there insects in kombucha?! Halpern says that the 昆 in 昆布 does indeed mean "insect" or "swarm of insects"! However, it's possible that this term is ateji, as it apparently comes from either Chinese or Ainu.

Let the Sun Shine on These Kanji

Despite all these examples of times when 日 does not represent "sun" inside kanji, it very often does. In fact, that's such a common occurrence that I'll group various characters into categories and present just a few examples of each.

Sunshine plays a direct role in these characters:

早 (50: early; quick)

"Sun" combines with "cutting" or "opening" (十) to mean "sun breaking through (darkness)."

昇 (1393: to ascend)

"Sun" unites with 升, which generally means "measure" but acts phonetically here to express "rise." A "sun rising high" led to "ascend" in the broad sense.

Other examples of this sort include 暁 (1174: dawn; when something (usu. desirable) comes true) and 普 (1754: widespread; general; common, ordinary).

Let There Be Light

In several characters, 日 conveys "bright light," as in these examples:

明 (208: bright, light)

The "sun" and "moon" (月) both symbolize light. Thus, this kanji means "very light" and "bright."

映 (813: reflection, projection)

This character combines "sun" with "center" 央, a shape that acts phonetically here to mean "bright." If you have the "bright (center of?) sun," it means "to shine, reflect."

This category also includes 昭 (315: luminous) and 暗 (224: dark), the latter showing what happens when you block out light.

Photo Credit: Eve Kushner

Shhh! A movie screening is in progress: 上映中 (じょうえいちゅう: currently screening a movie).

The Passage of Time

Many kanji involve the passage of time because of the "sun" in those shapes:

昼 (172: daytime; noon)
昨 (486: yesterday; late)
暇 (1050: free time)
暫 (1311: awhile)
旬 (1373: 10-day period; season (for specific products))
昔 (1481: past; old times; long ago; ancient times; once upon a time; decade)
暦 (1927: calendar, almanac)

In this sign for a soba shop in the 小千谷 (おぢや) section of Niigata, the first large kanji is 旬 (1373: 10-day period; season (for specific products)). It appears in this restaurant name:

旬彩庵 (しゅんさいあん)

Whereas the non-Joyo 庵 often appears at the end of restaurant names, 旬彩 might mean 旬の彩り (しゅんのいろどり). That literally translates as “colors of the season," which implies “various foods when they are in season."

The red characters break down as follows:

酒 (さけ: alcohol)
肴 (さかな: food), which is a non-Joyo kanji
店 (みせ: shop, restaurant)

We know, therefore, that this restaurant serves alcohol and food. That's not so unusual!







Photo Credit: Eve Kushner

The Weather

When the weather is good, we talk about the sun. Thus, it's no surprise that these characters contain "sun" radicals:

晴 (155: to clear up)
暑 (313: hot; summer heat)
暖 (932: warm)

Furthermore, 曇 (1672: cloud) represents a "sun" obscured by a "cloud."

The Sun and Plant Life

Plants depend on the sun, and a few characters represent that reality:

春 (141: spring (season))

This kanji shows vigorous growth of the mulberry plant in sunshine.

暴 (793: violent; sudden; unrestrained; to disclose)

The pictograph initially depicted the "sun," "rice," and "two hands offering up a thickly growing plant." After that sweet start, things took a nasty turn, if you consider the current definitions!

暮 (1789: to live; earn a livelihood; grow dark; come to an end)

The top part, 莫, means "sun setting among trees and vegetation," says Henshall in his newer edition. Adding 日 between the lower “legs” of 莫 produced 暮 and made it mean “evening” and "late," with "end" as an associated sense. All of that happened in ancient China. Only in Japan did 暮 come to mean “to live,” says Henshall, apparently through a connection with kurasu. In early Japanese that meant “to spend time until darkness when the sun sets.” He must be talking about 暗 (dark), now read with the kun-yomi kura•i.

With double the sunshine, we come to the end!

Photo Credit: Yoshikazu Kunugi

The Yoshino district of Nara Prefecture has as many as thirty thousand cherry trees! This poster tells us that springtime in that area is tinted with the color of cherry blossoms:

桜色 (さくらいろ: color of cherry blossoms)
染まる (そまる: to be dyed, tinted)
春 (はる: spring)

Answers to the Quiz

Here's the question again: How many kanji can you make by adding one stroke to 日?

Several Joyo kanji qualify, including these: 田 (59: rice field), 白 (65: white), 目 (72: eye), 申 (322: to report; speak humbly), 由 (399: a reason, cause), and 甲 (1243: shell; the first). None contains the "sun" radical. However, two more kanji with 日 + 1 do contain that radical, which is on duty in each case:

旧 (648: old, former)
旦 (2063: dawn, daybreak, morning; first day)

Thanks to Mark Spahn for coming up with the question and to Wolfgang Hadamitzky for supplying the answers!

Sours: https://www.joyokanji.com/radical-notes/72-sun-radical-%E6%97%A5

For sun character japanese

日 means 'sun' or 'day'



For detailed instructions, see the Component builder how to guide.

To find any kanji, first try to identify the components it is made up of. Once you have identified any component, search for it in any of three ways:
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Example: look up 漢

  • Notice that 漢 is made of several components: 氵 艹 口 夫
  • Draw any of these components (one at a time) in the drawing area, and select it when you see it
  • Alternatively, look for a component in the list. 氵 艹 口 each have three strokes; 夫 has four strokes
  • If you know the meanings of the components, type any of them in the text area: water (氵), grass (艹), mouth (口) or husband (夫)
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The Kanshudo Component Builder can recognize any of the 416 components listed in the chart below the drawing area. Tips:

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Strokes :4    Radical number: 72   Frequency:3   JLPT: N5   Usefulness: 1   Study set:1-1   Grade: 1  Intermediate lesson: 1   Beginner lesson: 1  Begins496words  Used in1218words  Used in5063 names  Component in 1451 kanji (219 Jōyō)

Jōyō (常用)

Kanji types

Kanji are classified as Jōyō (常用, common use), Jinmeiyō (人名用, used in names), or Hyōgaiji (表外字, 'outside the chart'). For more information on these types, see here.

In the cascading kanji / search view, kanji are colored by type:

Jōyō 日

Jinmeiyō 柏

Hyōgaiji 杖

Common readings


On readings

On (音) readings are based on the original Chinese pronunciation of a kanji. They are typically used when a kanji appears as part of a jukugo (kanji compound).

For example, in 日本, 日 is read as に, one of the on readings.

On readings are typically written in katakana.

   ニチ   ジツ

Kun readings

Kun (訓) readings are uniquely Japanese. They are typically used when a kanji is used singly as part of a Japanese conjugated verb.

For example, 行く is read as いく (to go). In this case, the く of 行く is known as 'okurigana'. In Kanshudo, okurigana are differentiated using a dark gray color (versus black for the characters that represent the reading of the kanji itself).

   ひ  -か

Additional readings

Kun    -び

Name    あ   あき   いる   く   くさ   こう   す   たち   に   にっ   につ   へ


⽇   ⺜  


Many kanji that originally used 曰 have been simplified to use 日

The 日 radical is on duty in scads of kanji. Find out when it actually means 'sun,' as in 昇 (1393: to ascend), and when it doesn't, as in 書 (142: to write).

Synopsis of Radical Note for 日 ⇗ by Joy o' Kanji


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Most useful words by reading

In the most useful 10,000 words in Japanese, 日 is used 112 times, read 4 ways (with 4 variations). 10 words use a non-standard reading.

Across all words in Japanese, 日 is used 1112 times, read 4 ways (with 6 variations). 12 words use a non-standard reading.

Note: kanji quick view shows the most useful word for each reading which is also the most common variant, and in the 10,000 most useful words in Japanese. Words shown here draw from all words in Japanese and include less common forms.

ニチ : 229 words FIND ALL

adverbial noun (fukushitekimeishi), noun (temporal) (jisoumeishi)

every day

(click the word to view an additional 2 forms, examples and links)


ニチ (read as に) : 187 words FIND ALL

(click the word to view an additional 1 reading and 4 forms, examples and links)


ジツ : 157 words FIND ALL

adverbial noun (fukushitekimeishi), noun

holiday; day off

(click the word for examples and links)


ニチ (read as にっ) : 148 words FIND ALL

(click the word for examples and links)


ひ : 187 words FIND ALL

adverbial noun (fukushitekimeishi), noun (temporal) (jisoumeishi)

1. day; days  (this meaning is restricted to form 日)

2. sun; sunshine; sunlight

(click the word to view an additional 1 meaning and 2 forms, examples and links)


ひ (read as び) : 127 words FIND ALL

(click the word for examples and links)


-か (read as か) : 53 words FIND ALL


1. the third day of the month

2. three days

(click the word to view an additional 4 forms, examples and links)


ひ (read as ぴ) : 9 words FIND ALL

-か (read as が) : 2 words FIND ALL


Kasuga Myoujin (the deity of Kasuga Shrine)

(click the word for examples and links)


す: 1 word. FIND ALL


Nobody knows the morrow; speak of tomorrow and the demons laugh  (proverb)

(click the word for examples and links)


Part of a non-standard reading: 12 words. FIND ALL

noun (temporal) (jisoumeishi)

1. today; this day

2. these days; recently; nowadays  (this meaning is restricted to reading こんにち)

(click the word to view an additional 3 readings and 2 forms, examples and links)


Additional data

Henshall: 13 (originally: 62)  Joy o' Kanji : 62  Key to Kanji: 834 

Cascading kanji view

ニチ   ジツ   sun; day   ひ    -か    

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Search results include information from a variety of sources, including Kanshudo (kanji mnemonics, kanji readings, kanji components, vocab and name frequency data, grammar points), JMdict (vocabulary), Tatoeba (examples), Enamdict (names), KanjiVG (kanji animations and stroke order), and Joy o' Kanji (kanji and radical synopses). Translations provided by Google's Neural Machine Translation engine. For more information see credits.

The Kanshudo kanji usefulness rating shows you how useful a kanji is for you to learn.

has a Kanshudo usefulness of , which means it is among the most useful kanji in Japanese.

is one of the 138 kana characters, denoted with a usefulness rating of K. The kana are the most useful characters in Japanese, and we recommend you thoroughly learn all kana before progressing to kanji.

All kanji in our system are rated from 1-8, where 1 is the most useful. The 2136 Jōyō kanji have usefulness levels from 1 to 5, and are denoted with badges like this: 

The 138 kana are rated with usefulness K, and have a badge like this: 


Kanshudo Kanji Usefulness


The Kanshudo usefulness level shows you how useful a Japanese word is for you to learn. has a Kanshudo usefulness level of , which means it is among the most useful words in Japanese.

All words in our system are rated from 1-12, where 1 is the most useful. Words with a usefulness level of 9 or better are amongst the most useful 50,000 words in Japanese, and have a colored badge in search results, eg:

Many useful words have multiple forms, and less common forms have a badge that looks like this:

For more details on Kanshudo usefulness levels and how to use them for your studies, read our comprehensive guide, How to prioritize Japanese vocabulary to study.


Kanshudo Word Usefulness


The JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test, 日本語能力試験) is the standard test of Japanese language ability for non-Japanese. would first come up in level N.

Kanshudo displays a badge indicating which level of the JLPT words, kanji and grammar points might first be used in:

indicates N5 (the first and easiest level)

indicates N1 (the highest and most difficult)

You can use Kanshudo to study for the JLPT. Kanshudo usefulness levels for kanji, words and grammar points map directly to JLPT levels, so your mastery level on Kanshudo is a direct indicator of your readiness for the JLPT exams. Kanshudo usefulness counts up from 1, whereas the JLPT counts down from 5 - so the first JLPT level, N5, is equivalent to Kanshudo usefulness level .

Check out our 84 collections of Japanese words by JLPT level, or our 22 collections of kanji by JLPT level.

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The pitch accent markings show you how to pronounce a word. A line underneath a kana symbol indicates low pitch, and a line above indicates high pitch. A vertical line at the end indicates the pitch of the next sound in a sentence using the word is different to the last sound of the word. The number(s) to the right of the markings show how this pitch is represented in a Japanese dictionary.


Japanese pitch accents




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Are Kanji and Chinese characters the same?

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