Strong

October 28, 2009

by Nao

by Nao

tsuyo-i, tsuyo-meru, tsuyo-maru, tsuyo-garu, shi-iru, kyō, gō

Tsuyo-i means strong.

Tsuyo-garu is a verb. If this is your attitude, you are pretending not to be afraid of something.

To force somebody to do something is shi-iru.

Kyōryoku can be translated as powerful or great power. Having a similar meaning, kyōdai collocates with a hegemonic power.

A stubborn person is described as gōjō. Jō means emotion.

Draw the left-hand side of the character first.

  1. Draw the hook on the top left. Draw the horizontal part, change the direction of the brush, and draw the vertical part.
  2. Draw the horizontal stroke from the left to the right. Attach the ending to the first stroke.
  3. Draw the vertical stroke from where you start the previous stroke.
  4. Draw the hook. After drawing the horizontal part, change the direction and then draw a slightly bent line. Before drawing an upward stroke, pause a little and change the direction.
  5. Go to the top right. Draw the sweeping stroke from the top.
  6. Draw the stroke that slopes from right to left. Draw it from the left.
  7. Draw the dot at the end of the previous stroke.
  8. Start to draw the rectangle. Draw the left side.
  9. Draw the upper and right sides of the rectangle.
  10. Draw the lower side of the rectangle.
  11. Draw the vertical stroke crossing the rectangle.
  12. Draw the stroke at the bottom. This also slopes from right to left a little. Draw it from the left.
  13. Draw the dot.

The third and forth strokes are supposed to be one. The fifth and sixth strokes are connected, too. When you look up this in a dictionary, it is an 11-stroke character.

Power

October 27, 2009

by Nao

by Nao

chikara, riki, ryoku

This character means power.

The end of some compounds is this character. They often mean the strength of power or kinds of power. Chiryoku means intellectual power. Jitsuryoku is competency. Dōryoku is energy, such as electricity, waterpower, wind-generated, nuclear power and so on. Both inryoku and jūryoku mean gravity. The former is more about attraction, a jargon used in physics. The in of inryoku means to attract or to pull. The jū of jūryoku means heavy.

Jiriki is one’s own strength. Nenriki means willpower or psychokinesis.

Sokojikara is potential. Bakajikara is incredible power. In these cases, chikara is voiced. The former is composed of soko and chikara. The latter is from baka and chikara. Soko means the bottom. Baka means fool.

See saku (to make) for rikisaku.

First, draw the hook, and then the sweeping stroke.

Step

October 26, 2009

by Nao

by Nao

aru-ku, ayu-mu, ho, bu, fu, po

Aru-ku is the verb to walk. You can use this to count steps. Counting steps from one to ten goes like ippo (1 po), niho (2 ho), sanpo (3 po), yonho (4 ho), goho (5 ho), roppo (6 po), nanaho (7 ho), happo (8 po), kyūho (9 ho) and jippo (10 po).

Ayu-mu also means to walk. It implies making some progress step by step.

Taking a walk is sanpo of which the san means scattering.

Draw the upper part first.

  1. Draw the vertical stroke from the top.
  2. Draw the horizontal stroke from the center of the first vertical stroke.
  3. Draw the vertical stroke on the left.
  4. Draw the longest horizontal line.
  5. Draw the vertical stroke with an upward turn from the center of the previous stroke.
  6. Draw the sweeping stroke on the left.
  7. Draw the dot on the right.
  8. Draw the longest sweeping stroke below the previous stroke to the lower left corner.

Belief

October 25, 2009

by Nao

by Nao

Shin-jiru, shin

The reading of this character is shin, whether it has a suffix or not. With a suffix, it becomes the verb, shin-jiru, which means to believe.

Compounds including this character are relevant to believing. For example, jishin is self-confidence. Shinnen is faith. Shinrai is reliance. Shinrai sei is reliability. Let me add meishin, which means superstition, to this group. It literally means lost in belief.

Nagano prefecture is called Shinshū and its old name is Shinano. The first character of both Shinshū and Shinano is today’s character.

Draw the left-hand side of the character first. This part is called ninben.

  1. Draw the sweeping stroke from the top.
  2. Draw the vertical stroke.
  3. Draw the dot on the top of the right-hand side.
  4. Draw the longest horizontal stroke.
  5. Draw the horizontal stroke below it.
  6. Draw the horizontal stroke between the previous stroke and the rectangle.
  7. Begin to draw the rectangle. Draw the vertical stroke, the left side of the rectangle.
  8. Draw the hook. The vertical part is bolder than the horizontal part.
  9. Draw the horizontal stroke at the bottom.

To Decide

October 24, 2009

by Nao

by Nao

ki-meru, ki-maru, ketsu

To decide is ki-meru. To be decided is ki-maru. Both meru and maru are okurigana.

Ketsu is used for compounds. Let me give you some examples relating with personal decisions. Ketsudan, ketsui and kesshin all mean determination or resolution. The dan of ketsudan means to decide. The i of ketsui means will. Kesshin is composed of ketsu and shin. Shin means the heart.

Kesshi is a kind of attitude you might show when you determine to do something. You use this expression when you dare to do it. Its literal meaning is ready to die.

Jiketsu is self-determination. It often means suicide committed from a sense of one’s responsibility.

Making a decision is not always personal. Hanketsu is a decision of the court. Han has something to do with judging. A majority vote is tasūketsu. Tasū means many.

First, draw the left-hand side of the character.

  1. Draw the dot in the upper-left corner.
  2. Draw the dot below it.
  3. Draw the upward stroke in the lower-left corner. This stroke is heading toward the next stroke.
  4. Draw the hook on the horizontal line.
  5. Draw the horizontal line from the left to the right.
  6. Draw the sweeping stroke from the top to the lower-left.
  7. Draw the sweeping stroke from the last two strokes intersect to the lower right. The ending spreads.

To Divide

October 23, 2009

by Nao

by Nao

wa-keru, wa-kareru, wa-karu, wa-katsu, bun, bu

The general meaning of this character is to divide.

The suffixes, keru, kareru, karu, and katsu, are okurigana. They have delicate nuances. If you divide something, your action is expressed as wa-keru. If something splits, it is in the state of wa-kareru. (Take note that there is another character with the same reading for a divorce.) Wa-karu means to understand. To separate something from another is described as wa-katsu.

Fractions are bunsū, of which the means numbers. A half is ni bun no ichi (2 bun no 1), a third, san bun no ichi (3 bun no 1), and a quarter, yon bun no ichi (4 bun no 1). No is in hiragana.

Equinoxes also divides seasons. The spring equinox is shunbun, and the autumnal equinox is shūbun.

There are some words probably telling us about something separate. Self or oneself is jibun. Nature or temperament is shōbun.

Incidentally, Ōita is a prefecture in Kyusyu.

Addition: In the classical system of measuring length, weight, amount and so on, “bu” is a unit of measurement. ichibu is one percent or about 30 mm (a tenth of one sun). (August 13, 2010)


Here is the stroke order.

  1. Draw the sweeping stroke from the top to the lower left. Make it narrower gradually.
  2. Draw the sweeping stroke from the top to the lower right. Make it broader in the end.
  3. Draw the hook. After changing the direction of the brush, draw a curve with an upward turn.
  4. Draw the sweeping stroke, which should not stick out from the hook.

Way

October 22, 2009

by Nao

by Nao

michi, dō, tō

This character means a way that you use to go through. It can be both concrete and abstract.

When I tried to remember what a road meant, I remembered it was dōro in Japanese rather than remembering it as michi. A road is dōro. Dōro is a road. Easy to remember, isn’t it? While dōro has a concrete meaning, michi and dō are often abstract.

For example, a king’s way is ōdō, which is a noble path. It is quite similar to ri, which means reason or the way things should be.

Various kinds of art are described as ways. Calligraphy is shodō, of which the sho means writing. You might have heard bushidō. I am not familiar with this word, but you can read about it here at Wikipedia. The art of Japanese flower arrangement is kadō, of which the ka means flower. The tea ceremony is sadō, of which the sa means tea.

Judo (Jūdō), a sport, has its origin in Japan. means soft.

To enjoy a hobby indulgently is expressed as raku, which literally means to enjoy a way or an art. You can use the word to talk about your hobby humbly, but it sounds offensive if you call somebody’s hobby dōraku.

Here again, this character has one of the most difficult radicals, shinnyō.

  1. Draw the dot from the top center.
  2. Draw the sweeping dot from the top right.
  3. Draw the horizontal stroke touching the first two dots from the left to the right.
  4. Draw the dot heading toward the next stroke.
  5. Draw the vertical line, which is the left side of the rectangle.
  6. Draw the right-angled hook, making a nice shoulder.
  7. Draw the upper horizontal stroke in the rectangle.
  8. Draw the lower horizontal stroke in the rectangle.
  9. Draw the horizontal stroke at the bottom. These horizontal strokes are parallel.
  10. Start drawing shinnyō. Draw the dot in the upper-left corner of the character.
  11. Draw the crooked stroke, the vertical part. Change the direction of the brush three times.
  12. Draw the lying curve at the bottom. Stop a little before finishing the stroke, and spread the brush to make a neat hem-like ending.

Character

October 21, 2009

by Nao

by Nao

sei, shō, jō

This character has abstract meanings. It tends to make big words. There are two main meanings for this: a character and a sex. Let me tell you some words relating to each meaning.

Character

One’s character is seikaku, of which the kaku means a state. The quality of somebody or something is seishitsu, of which the shitsu means a quality. Tensei means one’s nature or innate characteristics.

This character often works as a suffix to mean quality, making big words.

Kanō means possible, and kanōsei is possibility. Yūkō means valid, and yūkōsei is validity. Sōzō is creation and sōzosei is creativity. Taikyū means endurance, and taikyūsei is durability. Similarly, risei is rationality, and kosei is personality.

Sex

Sei itself means sex. Seiteki is of sex or sexual.
Seibetsu
means the distinction of sex.
Dansei
is male; josei is female.
Dōsei
is the same sex. With ai after this, it means homosexuality, dōseiai.
Isei
is the opposite sex. With ai after this, it means heterosexuality, iseiai.
The of dōsei means the same while the i of isei means difference. Lastly, ai means love.

Start from the left-hand side of the character.

  1. Draw the sweeping dot on the left.
  2. Draw the other dot next to the vertical line.
  3. Draw the vertical line between the two dots.
  4. Draw the sweeping stroke.
  5. Draw the upper horizontal line touching the sweeping stroke.
  6. Draw the vertical line from the top to the bottom.
  7. Draw the horizontal line in the middle.
  8. Draw the horizontal line at the bottom.

Wavering

October 20, 2009

by Nao

by Nao

mayo-u, mei, mai

Mayo-u is a verb. If you are in this state, you cannot decide about something.

The suffix u is okurigana, which makes a variation of the form of a verb.

The conjugation of this verb is as follows. (Let’s suppose the subject is I.)

  • mayo-wanai, (I will not waver. I will not be lost.) mayo-wazu (Without wavering…)
  • mayo-imasu (I waver.), mayo-imashita (I wavered), mayo-tta (I wavered.), mayo-tteiru (I am wavering.) …
  • mayo-u (I waver.)
  • mayo-eba (If I waver,…)
  • mayo-ō (Nonsense, but literally it means let’s waver.)

There are some compounds including this character with the readings, mei and mai. Meiro is a maze. The ro of meiro means a way. Maigo is a lost child. Go is the voiced sound of ko, which means a child.

First, draw the upper-right part of this character. The left-hand side and lower side of the character form a radical called shinnyō (or shinnyū). To draw this radical nicely is not easy.

  1. While imagining that you have already drawn the cross. Draw the dot near the center. It will be placed in the upper-left space made by the cross.
  2. Draw the sweeping dot in the upper-right space. These two dots are connected in the air.
  3. Begin to draw the cross. Draw the horizontal line.
  4. Draw the vertical line.
  5. Draw the sweeping stroke from the intersection. Make it thinner at the end.
  6. Draw the elongated dot from the center to the lower right.
  7. Start drawing the most difficult part, shinnyō. Draw the dot in the upper-left corner of the character.
  8. Draw the crooked stroke, the vertical part. Change the direction of the brush three times.
  9. Draw the lying curve at the bottom. Stop a little before finishing the stroke, and spread the brush to make a neat hem-like ending.

Individual

October 19, 2009

by Nao

ko

Ko means an individual. An individual person is kojin. Jin is a person.

Ko is also a unit or a piece. When you count objects, use ko as a suffix. Let me tell you how to count something like apples. Suppose there are 10 apples.

1 ko (ikko), 2 ko (niko), 3 ko (sanko), 4 ko (yonko), 5 ko (goko), 6 ko (rokko), 7 ko (nanako), 8 ko (hachiko or hakko), 9 ko (kyūko), 10 ko (jikko or jukko).

Draw the left-hand side of the character first. This part is called ninben.

individual with the stroke order

  1. Draw the sweeping stroke from the top.
  2. Draw the vertical stroke.
  3. Begin to draw the right-hand side. Draw the vertical stroke from near the top center.
  4. Draw the hook consisting of the upper side and the right side of the rectangle.
  5. Draw the short horizontal line in the rectangle.
  6. Draw the vertical line crossing the previous stroke.
  7. Draw the small rectangle. Begin with the left side.
  8. Draw the hook.
  9. Draw the lower side of the small rectangle.
  10. Draw the lower side of the big rectangle.
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