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Posts Tagged ‘kanji’

How to learn kanji; don’t think of it, write it

September 18, 2012 Leave a comment

It might be the most difficult part in learning Japanese for foreigners: reading/using kanji, chinese characters. Let me share you with a method to recite kanji most Japanese did in their youger age.
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A tiny but swift guardian crawling.

October 4, 2009 5 comments

I came across something crawling when I crashed out on my friend’s room and got out of there. “Wow, a lizard?” said He surprisedly. He seemed he didn’t like reptiles. “Nope, it’s not a lizard. It’s a gecko.” said I with smile on my face. “Whatever… Hey, why don’t you get rid of it? Need an insecticide?” said He with his I-don’t-care-no-matter-what-it-is look.

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“No, way! Geckos have been treated as a guardian for ages! It has an adequate name in chinese characters for a guardian.” said I.

Geckos, which are called yamori in Japanese, have been named like this;

The name of yamori…
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This is another one.
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You can see one character “shu” or “mori” (in this case, the way calling “mori” is used) in both names. Both of names have the meaning; “a guardian of house or court”. As you know, geckos catch insects bothering people, such as cockroaches, so people friendly treat geckos as guardians giving such a name. Geckos live near places where people live, so they got the honorable name. Incidentally, newts (Japanese Fire Belly Newts; which is called imori) also have the honorable name in chinese character, which is “a guardian of wells”. Geckos and lizards belong to reptiles, and newts belong to amphibians.

“…so you don’t have to kill them, you should keep them around you.” said I.

When I was a kid, a pair of geckos lived around the window of the kitchen of my house because the light from the kitchen made insects gather. I often observed the geckos hunting insects through the window. I have gotten eggs of lizard and let them hatch before, however, “Don’t touch geckos” somehow occupied in my brain.

“Don’t worry, they have no poison.” chuckled I watching this tiny gecko. Fortunately, there are only a few snakes, a few insects and others which have poison in Japan. “With Only centipedes, you have to be careful.” said I bitterly. For me, centipedes…are…what we call…NIGHTMARE. I don’t know how many they crawled on my body! “Umm…something’s fidgeting on my left arm…WHAT THE HELL IS IT!!!” I was surprised with a centipede crawling up on my left arm when I was in my room and studying in my yonger age. “Ummm…something’s fidgeting around my neck…OH MY GOD!!!” I got mad I noticed a centipede crawling down from my neck to my chest when I played the guitar in my room. “Ouch!!! Something has bitten me! My back is hurt!” I put my T-shirt off and threw it against the wall. It was a centipede crawling in my back.

For me, centipedes are definitely enemies and I always get mad when I see them.

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