« Kanji | Main | Chocolate Day »

The Beauty of Kanji

Friday the 13th. On this very day 45 years ago, I was born. Mwhaaaa! I've gotten another year older. *sigh*

In commemoration of my birthday (or something), I'll show you a couple of kanji words that I like. I adore them not for their meaning but for their shapes, which look really elegant to my eyes.


葡萄 budo: grape


薔薇 bara: rose

Do you like them? You might want to ask me if I can handwrite them without looking at the examples. Well, give me some time.


Happy Birthday Kiyo! Maybe your family will surprise you with something nice to cheer you up. I don't like to celebrate my own birthday too much, just discreetly ship the presents to my address and I'll be happy enough.

I don't read kanji, hiragana, or katakana so they all look beautiful to me. Same with Chinese and some other Asian writing systems, I think they look good, but I guess that's just because I'm amazed how people can read them. Sounds weird, but to a non-speaker any foreign lang. seems mysterious until you learn the system, etc.

Happy birthday, old man!

May you eat many more grapes and smell many more roses!

Happy birthday. Yesterday, when I looked up the pronunciation of February in my Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, I was thinking of you and wondering, "I know Kiyo's birthday is in 'feb-(y)e-wer-ee', I'll have to ask him when." (By the way, no "r" in the American pronunciation of Feb.--and my dictionary is over 30 years old--so it's not just a sloppy new trend here--that's just how we say it--I don't feel so bad now.)

And yes, I love the way kanji looks. In "Meeting With Japan" Fosco Maraini compared western poetry to music--because we experience it with our ears, its rhythms and sounds. By contrast, "Chinese poetry is written essentially to be seen; it penetrates to the mind by way of the eyes." Thus, it is more like art and painting. Japanese, having borrowed Chinese characters, possesses the same rich visual heritage.


Kanji fascinates me as well. I think it's the most beautiful form of writing.

I'd love to know the histroy behind the creation of such a system.

Kanji is really a beautiful art.
Btw, the Chinese character for grape is the same as kanji, but not for rose...
I can never remember those characters well...That's why I don't do well in my Chinese.

Belated birthday wishes, Kiyo. I flipped to a new forty-something year in January, so I can sympathize :)

Happy birthyday to you (albeit a day late). A co-worker just had a baby yesterday (Friday the 13th). They were hoping to wait another day, but the doctors had to induce labor. Is it really so bad being born on Friday the 13th? Doesn't seem to be, you've made it!

Thanks, guys. It's not that bad to be born on Friday the 13th. ;)

Speaking of kanji, once I talked to a Taiwanese man who happened to visit my town. Although he didn't understand English or Japanese, we managed to communicate with each other by writing kanji on paper. That was really fun.

Serene, what's "rose" like in Chinese?