Kanji that the Japanese don’t even know are kanji

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I hope you’ve got a good Japanese font loaded, otherwise this survey from goo Ranking into characters that Japanese are surprised to find aren’t actually symbols.

The two characters that make up one of my favourite word appear in this list, 凸凹 dekoboko, which means what it looks like, unevenness. Even better, the two kanji in isolation have the meanings of convex and concave.

Note that a number of the meanings are radical; this means that they are just components of other kanji and often don’t actually have a meaning on their own.

Ranking result

Q: What kanji characters were you surprised to find out aren’t just symbols? (Sample size=2,169)

Rank
Kanji
Meaning
Votes
1

Swastika
287
2

Zero
268
3

Close, shut
173
4

Dot, tick
111
5

Bifurcation, fork
110
6

Convex
109
7

Curving river radical
95
8

Three, hair ornament
85
9

Feathered stick
82
10

One, line
74
11=

Concave
73
11=

Horn-shaped locks of hair
73
13

Left hand
69
14

Underneath
64
15

Above
58
16

Counter for articles
47
17

This
45
18

Wa-shaped crown radical
42
19

Stretch
34
20

Cut grass, subdue
29
21

Spell, curse
26
22

Fortune telling
21
23

Thirty
19
24
丿
Katakana no radical
16
25
廿
Twenty
15
26

Mix with
14
27=

Twenty
13
27=

Stop, linger
13
27=

Upside-down box radical
13
30

Open box radical
11
31
 
Other
80

Demographics

Between the 21st of November and the 3rd of December 2017 2,169 visitors to the goo Ranking site and associated properties completed a public questionnaire. No demographics were collected.

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2 comments »

  1. December 22, 2017 @ 07:00

    I’ve actually seen the convex one quite a bit for some reason :/

  2. December 24, 2017 @ 05:06

    Do you know this one?

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