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to live; earn a livelihood; grow dark; come to an end
Kanji 1789

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Synopsis

You might expect a kanji meaning “to live” to be exuberant. Instead, 暮 captures the gloomy sense of “We’re born with one foot in the grave." Still, you can use this very flexible kanji to talk about all these things: scraping by on a small income, what one does for a living, year-end gifts, twilight, living alone, being lost in thought, and spending all one's time doing something.

Revision history:

Mar. 13, 2021:

  • p. 2: Added the new Henshall etymology.
  • p. 18: Added a link to the Kanshudo games.

Dec. 23, 2016: Made small edits to the photo caption on p. 16.

Feb. 21, 2014: Originally published.

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