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Kanji Exercises


The following charts contain simple kanji -- the numbers one through ten, characters used when writing the date, and other simple characters used in people and place names. To the right of the characters are the pronunciations and the meanings in English.

Numbers 1-10

ichi, hito(tsu)

one

ni, futa(tsu)

two

san, mi(ttsu)

three

yon/shi, yo (ttsu)

four

go, itsu(tsu)

five

roku, mu(ttsu)

six

shichi, nana(tsu)

seven

hachi, yat(tsu)

eight

kyû/ku, kokono(tsu)

nine

jû, tô

ten

getsu/gatsu, tsuki

month/moon

nichi/jitsu, hi

day/sun

 

Characters used in people and place names

san, yama

mountain

hon, moto

book/origin

kô/ku, kuchi

mouth

jun, ---
purity
ko, shi/su
child

chû, naka

middle/inside

tô, higashi

east

sei/sai, nishi

west

kyô/kei,---

capital


Exercises

Using the above charts, try writing the following:

1) The number 20 is written (two/ten). The number 14 is written (ten/four). Try writing your age.

2) January is written (one/month), February (two/month) etc. The date May 16th is written (five/month--ten/six/day). Try writing these dates and then write your birthday.

3) The following surnames are common in Japan:

Yamaguchi (mountain/mouth)

Tanaka (rice field/middle)

Honda (origin/rice field)

4) Junko (purity/child) is a common name for a girl, and Junichi (purity/one) is a common name for a boy. The number "one" in a boy's name indicates that he is the first born son. Try to write these names.

5) The capital of Japan is Tôkyô (east/capital). Trying writing this.


Recommended Websites

The Kanji Names Project
(www2.gol.com/users/billp/students/kanjiname/about.html)
Put together by an EFL teacher and his japanese students, the site features the students' names written in kanji and information about what the names mean.

Kanji Land
(japanese.about.com/blkodarchives.htm)
Introduction to the basic kanji characters taught to Japanese school children (Grades 1-5). Includes information on how to write and pronounce the characters, as well as what each means and examples of common uses.


Contemporary Japan: A Teaching Workbook | Columbia University, East Asian Curriculum Project
Asia for Educators | afe.easia.columbia.edu

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