dipper; 18 liters; "dots and cross" radical
Kanji 1633

Thank you for visiting this Character Home Page. Below you'll find a synopsis of the essay. If you wish to read the full text, the PDF of the essay is available for purchase to the right.


The dipper kanji helps you hold your liquor! That is, its core meaning is "dipper," a device to scoop saké. (It means "dipper" in the constellation sense, too!) Using 斗, we can also measure large quantities of that saké. By studying 斗, we find out about noshi. And that’s not all! The 斗 shape is a ryakuji (a simplified form of more complex kanji), as well as a radical.

Revision history: 

Mar. 29, 2023: p. 11: Added information to the 2nd answer to the Verbal Logic Quiz.

Jan. 24, 2020:

  • p. 1: Added the 慣用音, which is ト.
  • p. 2: Etymology Box: Replaced the old Henshall etymology with the new one.
  • p. 9: Added a link to the Kanshudo games.

Feb. 24, 2013: 

  • p. 1, Character Profile: Changed definition from "unit of measurement (about 18 liters)" to "18 liters."
  • p. 2, Etymology Box: Reworded the last sentence.
  • p. 3, main text: Deleted any indications that 枡 is a variant of 升 or that 枡 could represent 1.8 liters. Neither is true. Also added a link to "rectangular space between the inner and outer gates (of a castle)." Also altered the definitions of 枡目, deleting "measure" because we're not talking about a masu container here, and that's what the first definition meant.
  • p. 3, Sidebar 2: Changed the 1st sentence, deleting any indication that 枡 is a variant of 升.
  • p. 3, Sidebar 3: Slight rewordings.
  • p. 10, sidebar: It should have said that "Radical Positions" is the "fourth" section of Radical Terms.

Apr. 13, 2012: Originally published.


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RADICAL斗 (68: dots and cross)