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
卍
Swastika
287
2
〇
Zero
268
3
〆
Close, shut
173
4
丶
Dot, tick
111
5
丫
Bifurcation, fork
110
6
凸
Convex
109
7
å·›
Curving river radical
95
8
彡
Three, hair ornament
85
9
亅
Feathered stick
82
10
丨
One, line
74
11=
凹
Concave
73
11=
丱
Horn-shaped locks of hair
73
13
å±®
Left hand
69
14
丅
Underneath
64
15
丄
Above
58
16
个
Counter for articles
47
17
㞢
This
45
18
冖
Wa-shaped crown radical
42
19
ä¹€
Stretch
34
20
乂
Cut grass, subdue
29
21
å’’
Spell, curse
26
22
卜
Fortune telling
21
23
丗
Thirty
19
24
丿
Katakana no radical
16
25
廿
Twenty
15
26
爻
Mix with
14
27=
廾
Twenty
13
27=
å½³
Stop, linger
13
27=
冂
Upside-down box radical
13
30
凵
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.


2 Comments

Nihon Scope · December 22, 2017 at 07:00

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

Nihon Scope · December 24, 2017 at 05:06

Do you know this one?

⺠

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