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Issue 13: Mini 日本語 中級

March 30, 2010


Learn various kanji representing people and the differences.

explanation-3awhiteike people, kanji representing people are just as diverse. There are a whole variety of kanji indicating people from various social classes, people holding various jobs, people of status, family, royalty, gods and everything in between. Knowing kanji representing which group of people can help you use the right kanji for just the right person.

Split into four groups, we’re going to take a look at the most common people kanji and learn their meaning along with example words. Starting with the most basic, we’re going to cover group 1, Basic Classes, and group 2, Specialized Classes, in today’s issue.

Each group starts with an overview then followed by the kanji in depth and an exercise. For easy learning, break the group into smaller sets and learn them separately. After you’ve learned the kanji, try doing the exercise. Let’s start!


Congratulations! You’ve just finished the first group of people kanji! Now that wasn’t too bad right? I think you deserved a nice cup of coffee or tea, so take five! Remember, never study when you’re tired. So, now that you know the basic people kanji, let’s move on to the next group, Specialized Classes.


How did it go? Did you get all the exercise questions right from group 2? Well done! I recommend reviewing these kanji from time to time by writing them out and saying them out loud in order not to forget them. That’s it for this issue, post your results in the comment section. 2 groups down, 2 more to go, watch out for people kanji part 2!

10 Comments leave one →
  1. April 4, 2010 10:12 pm

    man this is awesome

    • April 5, 2010 9:54 am

      Thanks a lot! Too bad I can’t read any of your blog, its all in Turkish! haha
      Thanks for the link up btw.

  2. ニケ permalink
    April 6, 2010 5:18 pm

    Great article! One tiny mistake: the readings for friend are incorrect, as the readings for father are displayed instead.

    • April 6, 2010 5:28 pm

      Another oops! When I created the graphic I just copied the previous squares and characters. I need glasses! Going to fix it right away! Thanks!

      *edit: fixed 🙂

  3. ニケ permalink
    April 7, 2010 5:59 pm

    Just out of interest I was looking up some more examples of kanji compounds referring to people, and found the following rather surprising example: 総会屋 (そうかいや), meaning: ‘extortionist that threatens to disrupt stock-holder meetings’. And to my ashtonishment, the dictionary ( indicates that this is a common word! 😀

    • April 7, 2010 9:37 pm

      That is a really weird word…! I wonder if thats the real meaning hahaha.

      • ニケ permalink
        April 8, 2010 2:58 pm

        I thought it was a really strange word too, so did some more digging, and found an entire Wikipedia article dedicated to 総会屋:
        It turns out to refer to the common Yakuza practice of extorting money from companies, and to make their demands, they typically disrupt shareholder meetings.

  4. August 18, 2010 2:55 pm

    I stumbled onto your blog while searching for N2 resources and I have to say, man, your blog rocks. The effort you put into creating all the diagrams and stuff is really, really commendable. I’m definitely coming back for more!

  5. Anonymous permalink
    August 26, 2013 8:41 pm

    thank you, please make more and more of this!!!! ❤

  6. sof permalink
    September 4, 2013 10:22 am

    In minna no nihongo 1, the word for doctor is 医者 and here you have it listed as 医師. I am wondering what the difference is?

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