Saturday, March 2, 2013

Can you Kanji?

Kanji, one of the three scripts used in the Japanese language, are Chinese characters, which were first introduced to Japan in the 5th century via Korea.

There are 2136 characters officially designated as "Kanji for everyday use". To read a newspaper one needs to know between 2000-3000 characters.

The characters for RIVER and BIG (below) are important! Japanese toilets have "little flush and big flush" buttons or levers labeled only in Kanji.

The kanji square means "mouth". The word "exit" sort of looks like Moe and Irene throwing up their arms in frustration (1st character) because they can't find the mouth (2nd character) or egress from the subway! Remember, not all exit signs come with English translation!

Knowing "mouth" makes it easy to walk right into a place through it's "mouth".

Wedding arrangements can be written in seven characters! (Hey kids, found a great place for a reception... a Buddhist temple/Shinto Shrine complex! Ha! Just kidding!)

My personal favorite: fire extinguisher. Easy! First character is a three-story building with flames coming from the roof. Second character is a person running for a fire extinguisher. Third character is destroyed building rebuilt with gable roof and two satellite dishes.

Wiggly line means hand rail (in subway)!

No comments:

Post a Comment