Similar Kanji: White vs Day
Saturday, November 21st, 2009
Visually 日 (day) and 白 (white) are differentiated by just a small stroke at the top of 白. Both kanji are part of JLPT 4 and are learnt in grade one in Japan.
日 (Day, Sun, Counter for days) is possibly one of the first kanji you will see and/or learn as it forms the first part of the word “nihon” (日 – ni, 本 – hon) meaning Japan and is also officially ranked as the most used kanji in Japanese newspapers.
My visual trigger to remember the meaning of 日 is that I imagine the kanji represents a “day” that is split up in to two parts or boxes and I use that to refer to the two parts of the “day” – AM and PM. You can also imagine it as it’s other meaning, “sun” (top of the box) rising over the horizon (bottom of the box).
To memorise “white” (白) I use the short stroke at the top to visualise as an arm on top of a body (the two boxes) holding a “white” flag and surrendering. To not confuse this with “oneself” (自), which has three “parts”, I think of the body holding the “white” flag as having two halves – the waist up and then waist down
Over time (and with lots of study) you will remember these easier JLPT4 kanji without the need for any special triggers as you don’t have another 1500 kanji in your head at that point to confuse things (^_^). If either of these kanji are not sticking in your memory somewhere then hopefully the memory triggers above can help.
|休日||きゅうじつ||Holiday, Day Off|
|元日||がんじつ||New Year’s Day|
|日本海||にほんかい||Sea Of Japan|
|白紙||はくし||Blank paper, White paper|
|白人||はくじん||White person, Caucasian|
|白日||はくじつ||Bright sunshine, Broad daylight|