fragrance, sweet smell; incense; perfume; "perfume" radical
Kanji 1255

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.


With a plethora of photos, this essay shows how 香 conveys the scent of everything from coffee to flowers in signs from around the globe. This kanji also means "incense" (which has played an important role in Japanese culture and religion for centuries), as well as “perfume” (which hasn’t). On top of that, 香 factors into two notable place names and some food terms. It’s even a radical! 

Revision History:

Oct. 6, 2022: p. 1: Character Profile: Changed the definition of 香り from “aroma” to “fragrance” to match what I present later in the essay.

May 25, 2021: 

  • p. 2: Updated the Henshall etymology.
  • p. 3: Improved the translation of the sentence about the fan.
  • p. 23: Defined ある程度 (あるていど: certain degree) instead of just 程度 in the photo caption. 
  • p. 25: Added a link to the Kanshudo games.

Feb. 17, 2017: 

  • p. 2: Changed the definition of 好き from "liking; fondness" to "fond."
  • p. 13: Fixed a broken link. 
  • p. 24: Revised the caption for a sign.

Aug. 15, 2014: Made more small changes to the photo caption on p. 10.

Aug. 8, 2014: Fixed a problem with the sidebar formatting on p. 7. Also fixed the okurigana for 香ばしい in two places in the photo caption on p. 10.

Feb. 24, 2013: On p. 23, I changed the definition of 小豆郡 from "Shodoshima County" to "Shozu County."

Jan. 25, 2013: Originally published.


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コウ, キョウ
か, かお-り, かお-る
RADICAL香 (186: perfume)