JOK Notebook

Coloring Whales and Crowning Monkeys

This week I tried to figure out why English speakers refer to a blue whale whereas the Japanese include 白 (white) in their word for the same animal. 

I found that one Wikipedia article in English describes the whale as being blue-grey on its back and lighter underneath. In turn,...

READ MORE
What's New

Now Out: Essay 1824 on 堀 (Moat), 2 Revisions, and 5 New-Monics

The 197th essay has posted! Essay 1824 on 堀 (moat; canal) is now available for purchase. Here's a preview:

Through this photo-rich essay (which includes gorgeous pictures of castle towers alongside moats...

READ MORE
On Deck

Essay 1518 on 桑 (Mulberry) Is Coming Next

Here's what you can expect in coming weeks on Joy o' Kanji:

February 12: essay 1518 on 桑 (mulberry)

Unspecified dates: ...

READ MORE
What's New

Jan. 2016 Newsletter Now Out

The January newsletter is now out! Enter the new contest to win 2 essays! Also find out the results of the last contest. And see what the deal of the month is on Kanji Kaimono!

READ MORE
JOK Notebook

Reverse Divination

What do you think the following sentence might mean:

彼らは、全人口の約1パーセントを占めている。   

It really comes down to what the red keyword represents. Here are your choices:

a. About 1 percent of people have their fortunes told.
b. About 1 percent of people can tell fortunes.
c. They...

READ MORE