Happy kanji

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The Japanese language is so complicated, multi-layered and interesting, even for a novice speaker like me.  Here’s a kanji character that I like a lot:

聴く   きく   kiku  to hear; to listen; to ask

This kanji character is one way of writing the verb ‘to listen’. But it’s the different  elements that make up this kanji that are so interesting. If you look closely you can spot several characters within the kanji:

  みみ  mimi  ear

So far so logical. But there’s more on the right hand side…

me  eye

こころ  kokoro  mind, heart, spirit

So in one kanji character, we are taught to listen not only with our ears, but also our eyes and hearts. How wonderfully Japanese.

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