to grow thickly; be overgrown; bush; clump
Kanji 1850

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 to talk about overgrown gardens, elephants hiding in thickets, and Bruce Willis's sparse hair! Enjoy profiles of celebrities with 茂 in their names, from visionary architect Shigeru Ban to baseball great Hideo Nomo to Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of Donkey Kong. Read a fun folktale about a tanuki and a tea kettle. Also find out about a place name that pops up all over Kyoto.

Revision History:

May 25, 2021: Updated the Henshall etymology.

May 22, 2021: Fixed broken links on pp. 1 and 15.

Dec. 13, 2019: 

  • p. 7: Deleted the keyword 心の茂み (the thickets of one's mind) and the associated sample sentence because the term makes no sense to my proofreader.
  • p. 13: Fixed a broken link.
  • p. 15: Added a link to the Kanshudo games. 

May 4, 2019: pp. 10-12: In the folktale, I made these changes:        

  • • Defined 古道具屋 as "secondhand store," not "secondhand furniture store."
  • • Added かかる (to be caught in) as vocab. under the 2nd sentence.
  • • Deleted "oneself" from the def. of 化ける (ばける: to transform oneself into).
  • • Changed くるりと (around) to くるり (turning).
  • • Added "and come back" to the end of this: The priest who bought the new tea kettle told his young priest, “Go wash this tea kettle.”
  • • Corrected okurigana to this: 慌てる (あわてる: to be flustered). Also added "in a fluster" to the sentence.
  • • Added "for me" to “Anyway, boil some water for me now.”
  • • Changed the def. of さあさあ to "come on, come on." Also changed the translation of that sentence to "a very rare chance" instead of "a rare chance."

Mar. 29, 2019: Made the following changes:

  • p. 2: Added the new Henshall etymology to the Etymology Box. Also updated the Sears link there.
  • pp. 7, 13, 15: Fixed broken links.
  • p. 11: Fixed the okurigana of 優しい in sentence vocab.
  • p. 15: Added a link back to this page so you can more easily access the game below.

Oct. 11, 2013: Originally published


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