to harvest, reap
Kanji 1081

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.


Learn which words the Japanese use for harvesting apples, corn, and even pearls versus catching a haul of fish. Learn to say, "I got a lot out of that project," which uses "harvest" figuratively, and "Apple season will come soon," which doesn't. Get into the minds of advertisers who use 穫 to tout a product's freshness. And enjoy a bounty of harvest images, plus a memorable folktale.

Revision history:

Aug. 4, 2017: Made these changes:

pp. 1 and 7: Updated the definitions of 獲 (1079: to catch game or fish).
p. 2, Etymology Box: Significantly revised the Kanjigen etymology. 
pp. 4, 5, 8, 12, and 16: Fixed broken links.
p. 7: Revised a bit about the readings of 獲る and 穫る.

May 8, 2015: Made several changes:

p. 13: I had indicated that the pronoun わし (I (used by elderly men) corresponded to 私. In fact, people don't usually write わし in kanji, but if they do, they use the non-Joyo 儂. I deleted 私.

p. 13: Changed the definition of ジロリと見る (じろりとみる) from "to glance at" to "to stare at." Changed the sentence translation accordingly.

p. 14: Changed ズッシリ重い (ズッシリおもい: incredibly heavy), defining it instead as two words: ズッシリ (onomatopoetic term for “heaviness”) and 重い (おもい: heavy).

p. 15: Revised to present 心優しい (こころやさしい: kind-hearted) as one word, instead of 心 and 優しい.

Nov. 1, 2013: On p. 4 I added a discussion of the sample sentence.

Sept. 15, 2013: Replaced the image on p. 4 with a higher-resolution version. Also added a photo to p. 16.

Aug. 30, 2013: Originally published.


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