JOK Notebook

Gridlike Curves, Absurd Fears, and the Folds of a Mountain

Let's start with a quiz. You may recognize 湾 from 台湾 (たいわん: Taiwan). And you might know 曲 as "musical composition," as in 曲調 (きょくちょう: melody, tune). The 曲 kanji also means "curve," as in 曲がる (まがる: to bend, curve), which is absurd, by the way. Could they not have represented that verb with a shape featuring even an iota of curvature? I might have chosen 為...

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On Deck

Essay 2019 on 刹 (Temple) Is Coming Next

Here's what you can expect next on Joy o' Kanji:

May 24: essay 2019 on  (temple; セツ sound), in a change of plan...

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What's New

Now Out: Essay 1980 on 鎌 (Sickle) and 5 New-Monics

The 335th essay has posted! Essay 1980 on 鎌 (sickle) is now available for purchase. Here's a preview:

You may not need to talk about sickles, but knowing 鎌 helps you discuss crescent-shaped things; the...
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JOK Notebook

To See a Suribachi

Last week I indulged myself in the sort of pleasure that only a Virgo can understand—I spent about two hours decluttering my bathroom cabinet.

Three events coalesced around this monumental event: (1) I reached the peak of my frustration with the disorder in that space, (2) I realized that my serious hoarding of jam jars and tea tins (I'm convinced that I'll need them...

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On Deck

Essay 1980 on 鎌 (Sickle) Is Coming Next

Here's what you can expect next on Joy o' Kanji:

May 17: essay 1980 on 鎌 (sickle)

May 24: essay...

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