to cross; spread; hand over, deliver; ferry; go overseas
Kanji 1636

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.


If you want to talk about crossing bridges, emigrating, people ranging in age from 18 to 25, possessing an heirloom for generations, a room that looks out onto the ocean, handing someone paper, extraditing criminals, advancing wages, or bouncing a check, you'll need the indispensable 渡! Find out about all these structures, as well as a deadly form of transit that some Japanese once used!

Revision history:

Mar. 22, 2024: p. 24: Changed "Echigo" to "Etchu." Also replaced the broken link in that caption.

Feb. 15, 2022: 

  • p. 2, Etymology Box: Updated the Henshall etymology.
  • p. 24: Added a link to the Kanshudo games.

Feb. 8, 2019: 

  • p. 2: Updated the Sears link.
  • p. 24: Edited the translation of the text in the sign, as well as the vocab. Also added an explanation of 谷から谷へ.

May 27, 2016: Made quite a few changes:

  • p. 6: Removed a broken link and changed the vocabulary for a sample sentence to reflect that the 年 in 538年 is not a counter. Then changed p. 11 to show that the 年 in 20年 is indeed a counter.
  • p. 9: Changed the spelling of 皆 from みんな (a colloquial yomi) to みな (the official way of writing it).
  • p. 13: Changed the link for Konpira Shrine and slightly revised the definition of 渡り廊下.

June 21, 2014: Originally published.


Add comment

Log in or register to post comments
Kanji PDF
Cover of essay 1636 on 渡, titled "Crossing That Bridge When You Come to It"
Mini Profile
わた-る, わた-す
RADICAL氵 (85: water)