My Journey to 1000 Kanji: #1-15 (Week 1)

By Donald Ash | Articles

This my official attempt at learning 1000 kanji. I do know some of the kanji that I’m posting, but I’m starting from scratch to ensure that I know how to use each and every one of them properly. In many texts, the very first kanji that you learn are the numbers…so let’s start there.

One major thing I’ll have to do during this process is to learn both the on-yomi (Chinese reading) and kun-yomi (Japanese reading) for each kanji. I think simply memorizing these may not be enough. For the first few weeks, I will write the on-yomi and kun-yomi in both romaji and hiragana. But as I progress, I will do away with the romaji completely, as it’s the best way for me to become efficient with other aspects of the writing system as well. To practice the application of the kanji, I will make at least one sentence using each kanji. Making this a very public process will keep me on my toes. I enjoy blogging, so I figured if I link learning kanji to something I love, it will be that much easier to pick up. I don’t know how all of this will turn out, but the most important thing is to start, and start now! Let’s do this!!

KANJI #1-15

1. 一 : This symbol means one.
Kunyomi: Hito ひと, Hitotsu ひとつ
Onyomi: Ichi イチ, Itsu イツ
Sentence: にくまんを一つください。Nikuman wo hitotsu kudasai. One meat bun please.

2. 二 : This symbol means two.
Kunyomi: Futa ふた, Futatsu ふたつ
Onyomi: Ni ニ
Sentence: べんとうを二つください。 Bento wo futatsu kudasai. Two lunch boxes please.

3. 三 : This symbol means three.
Kunyomi: Mi み, Mitsu みつ, Mittsu みっつ
Onyomi: San サン
Sentence: 三つほんはかばんのなかです。Mitsu hon kaban no naka desu. There are three books in the bag.

4. 四 : This symbol means four.
Kunyomi: Yo よ, Yotsu よつ, Yottsu よっつ, Yon よん
Onyomi: Shi シ
Sentence: 四えんだけがあります。Yon en dake ga arimasu. I only have four yen.

5. 五 : This symbol means five.
Kunyomi: Itsu いつ, Itsutsu いつつ
Onyomi: Go ゴ
Sentence: 五時はんにあいましょう。Go ji han ni aimasho. Let’s meet at 5:30.

6. 六 : This symbols means six.
Kunyomi: Mu む, Mutsu むつ, Muttsu むっつ, Mui むい
Onyomi: Roku ロク
Sentence: 六じかんぐらいかかります。Rokujikan gurai kakarimasu. It takes about six hours.

7. 七 : This symbol means seven.
Kunyomi: Nana なな, Nanatsu ななつ, Nano なの
Onyomi: Shichi シシ
Sentence: わたしのたんじょうびは七がつです。Watashi no tanjobi wa shichigatsu desu. My birthday is in July.

8. 八 : This symbol means eight.
Kunyomi: Ya や, Yatsu やつ, Yattsu やっつ, Yo よ
Onyomi: Hachi ハチ
Sentence: はちかいそこにいきました。Hachikai soko ni ikimasu. I have been there eight times.

9. 九 : This symbol means nine.
Kunyomi: Kokono ここの, kokonotsu ここのつ
Onyomi: Kyu キュ, ku ク
Sentence: きってを九まいかいました。Kitte wo kyumai kaimashita. I bought nine stamps.

10. 十 : This symbol means ten.
Kunyomi: To とお, to と
Onyomi: Jyu ジュウ, Ji ジッ
Sentence: 四十っぷんだけねました。Yonjupun dake nemashita. I only slept for forty minutes.

11. 百 : This kanji represents one-hundred.
Kunyomi: N/A
Onyomi:Hyaku ヒャク
Sentence: なんさいですか?百さいです。Nansai desu ka? Watashi wa hyakusai desu. How old are you? I’m 100 years old.

12. チ : This kanji represents one-thousand.
Kunyomi: Chi ち
Onyomi: Sen セン
Sentence: 千えんだけがありますよ。Sen en dake ga arimasu yo. I only have 1000 yen.

13. 万 : This kanji represents ten-thousand.
Kunyomi: Man まん, Ban ばん
Onyomi: N/A
Sentence: 一万えんをかりてもいいですか?Ichiman en wo karitemo ii desu ka? May I borrow 10,000 yen?

14. 円 : This kanji represents yen, round, or circle.
Kunyomi: Marui まるい
Onyomi: En エン
Sentence: おかねもちはたくさんえんかいしゃにあげます。Okanemochi wa takusan en kaisha ni agemasu. The rich person gave a lot of yen to the company.

15. 時 : This kanji means time or hour.
Kunyomi: Toki とき
Onyomi: Ji ジ
Sentence: なん時ですか?Nanji desu ka? What time is it?

For this and upcoming posts, if I make a mistake with kanji usage, or sentences…anything. I will be reviewing these over and over, and I will post corrections as I find them.


Donald Ash

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Donald Ash is an ATLien expat who has been living in a Japanese time warp for the last six years. While in aforesaid time warp, he discovered that he absolutely loves writing, blogging, and sharing. Donald is the creator, writer, designer, editor, programmer, and occasional bad artist of blog (that's just way too many hats, dude). Wanna know more about this guy? Check out his "What's Your Story" page.
  • hey man i learned 200 kanji in 2 weeks, just from translating lyrics and writing down their kun on yomi and meanings. I just wanted to suggest that since I found your blog on google thinking I would find an easier way, guess its hard no matter what :S

    • Donald Ash

      Hey Miguel. Thank you so much for posting. I truly hope there is a better/easier way, but I just haven’s found it yet. Thanks for the suggestion, dude. I truly appreciate it. Every little bit helps. I’m not giving up because I know people who have done it!

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