to cross over; exceed, surpass; move; Vietnam
Kanji 1021

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 outdistance others, beat them to the punch, defer work till later, move to Kawagoe, climb over a wall, cross a mountain, be promoted over your boss, or simply excel, you'll need 越. It's also useful for violating borders and walking all over people. Finally, 越 enables you to cross into a new year—if you've taken the proper measures to welcome the New Year's gods. 

Revision history:

June 12, 2020: p. 17: Slightly revised the caption, making it reflect that 動物検疫所 means "Animal Quarantine Service,” the name of a government department. 

Jan. 19, 2020: 

  • p. 2: Etymology Box: Replaced the old Henshall etymology with the new one.
  • p. 20: Added a link to the Kanshudo games.

Mar. 29, 2019: Made the following changes:

  • p. 2: Updated the Sears link.
  • p. 20: Redefined 年越し or 年越 (としこし) as "(1) seeing the old year out and the New Year in; (2) New Year's Eve; end of a year)."
  • p. 22: Added a link back to this page so you can more easily access the game below.

June 13, 2016: p. 10: Changed a sentence in the Answer to Quick Quiz 3 to be more consistent with what preceded that sentence.

June 4, 2016: p. 16: Changed the definition of 越境 to "crossing a border, often illegally." Also changed the breakdown of 越境入学 to crossing a border (1st 2 kanji) + admission into school (last 2 kanji).

May 22, 2015: Changed the 1st photo caption on p. 18 to reflect that in 皆さまのお越しを待ちしています, the お越し is a noun meaning "one's coming" in respectful language.

July 18, 2014: Revised the photo caption on p. 6. Also added a translation for the sample sentence in Sidebar 3, as I figured that would be helpful!

June 10, 2014: Originally published.


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