Living things

parts of the body

kanji kun-yomi on-yomi
eye, look, insight
みみ ear, hearing
くち mouth; gate; opening
いりぐち 入口 entrance
hand, arm じょう 上手 skilled
あし foot, leg

My eyes are black.
watashi no me wa kuro desu.
わたしの めは くろ です。
私の目のは黒です。


Your hands and feet are big.
anata no te to ashi wa ooki desu.
あなたの てと あしは おおきい です。
あなたの手と足は大きいです。


Aside from meaning ‘eyes’ here are other interesting uses of 目:

  • we use it to state order. For example, ‘the third person’ would be ‘san-nin me’
  • ‘in front of my eyes’ emphasizes ‘in front of me’; this is similar to saying ‘I saw it with my own two eyes’ to emphasize ‘I saw it’

Ms. Hanako is the third person.
hanako san wa san-nin me desu.
はなこ さんは さんにん め です。
花子さんは3人目です。


It is in front of me.
watashi no me no mae ni arimasu.
わたしの めの まえに あります。
私の目の前にあります。


person

kanji kun-yomi on-yomi
おとこ man, male
おんな woman, female
ども 子供 child 椅子 chair
ぼう 帽子 hat, cap
ひと person, man アメリカじん アメリカ人 American person
ひと 一人 one person さんにん 三人 three people
おう king, monarch
まえ 名前 name ゆうめい 有名 famous

The girl’s name is Hanako.
onna no ko no namae wa hana-ko desu.
おんなの この なまえうは はなこ です。
女の子の名前は花子です。


That man is the king.
ano otoko no hito wa ou desu.
あの おとこの ひとは おう です。
あの男の人は王です。


黒沼 爽子 – Kuronuma Sawako, from ‘Kimi ni todoke’

‘ko’ (child) is a common ending for female names; although usually a name has several possible spellings (discussed here), the following are ‘-ko’ names that we can spell with kanjis from Kentei 9 and 10:

  • 花子 (Hana-ko): flower child
  • 星子 (Hoshi-ko): star child
  • 森子 (Mori-ko): forest child
  • 友子 (Tomo-ko): friendly child
  • 春子 (Haru-ko): spring child
  • 夏子 (Natsu-ko): summer child
  • 冬子 (Fuyu-ko): winter child
  • 秋子 (Aki-ko): autumn child
  • 明子 (Aki-ko): bright child (a diff. spelling)

and here are a few more from pop culture:

  • 真理子 (Mari-ko): from James Clavell’s ‘Shogun’
  • 貞子 (Sada-ko): child with integrity, from ‘Ringu’
  • 爽子 (Sawa-ko): refresing child, from ‘Kimi ni todoke’

animals

kanji kun-yomi on-yomi
いぬ dog
むし insect; temper
かい shellfish, sea shell

My dog eats bugs.
watashi no inu wa mushi wo tabemasu.
わたしの いぬは むしを たべます。
私の犬は虫を食べます。


There are shellfish in the river.
kawa ni kai ga imasu.
かわに かいが います。
川に貝がいます。


Hachikou was an Akita owned by Hidesaburou Ueno, a university professor. Every day, Hachikou waited at the train station for his return home. One day, in 1925, the professor died while giving a lecture and didn’t return. Hachikou continued going daily to the station to wait for his return, for nine years, until it died in 1935. Since then, Hachiko has been considered an example of loyalty and fidelity, and his memory has been kept in monuments and movies, e.g., there are statues of Hachiko at Shibuya station and at the University of Tokyo, and the movie ‘Hachi: a Dog’s tale‘ is a recent drama about Hachiko’s life.

plants

kanji kun-yomi on-yomi
tree, wood もくようび 曜日 Thursday
はやし grove, forest
もり forest, woods
たけ bamboo
はな flower, cherry blossom びん 花瓶 flower vase
くさ grass, weed, herb すいそう 水草 water plant

In this forest there is only bamboo. There is no grass, flowers or trees.
kono mori ni wa dake take ga arimasu. kusa ya hana ya ki wa arimasen.
この もりには だけ たけ が あります。くさや はなや きは ありません。
この森にはだけ竹があります。草や花や木はありません。


Picture by Danny Choo

Probably the most traditional yearly event in all Japan is 花見 (hana-mi, flower viewing), when millions of people get together and have parties under blossoming cherry trees, a tradition more than a thousand years old [wikipedia].

Nagoya fireworks festival; picture from JRail

Japanese people are also very fond of fireworks, which have the appropriate name of 花火 (hana-bi, fire flowers). Firework festivals are called 花火大会 (hana-bi tai-kai, fire-flower large-party). Many Japanese dress traditionally, in yukatas and kimonos, for these festivals that include street food and games. Look here for more great pictures of these festivals.

オオカミ少女と黒王子 (ookami shoujo to kuro ouji by hata ayuko)

Firework festivals appear often in pop culture. Comes to mind the final episode of the anime オオカミ少女と黒王子 (‘ookami shoujo to kuro ouji’, ‘Wolf Girl and Black Prince’), which takes place in Kobe during a hana-bi tai-kai.

Did you notice every character in the title of this manga is a 1-st grade character?

オオカミ少女と黒王子:

  • オオカミ: ‘ookami’ is ‘wolf’ (it’s written in katakana)
  • 少女 (little-woman): ‘shou-jo’ is ‘girl’
  • 黒: ‘kuro’ is ‘black’
  • 王子 (king-child): ‘ou-ji’ is ‘prince’

Other N5 words:


English
exit
letter
stamp
unskilled
boy
you
girl
you
egg
two people
adult


romaji
de-guchi
te-gami
kit-te
heta-zu
otoko-no-ko
anata
onna-no-ko
anata
tama-go
futa-ri
otona


kana
でぐち
てがみ
きって
へたず
おとこのこ
あなた
おんなのこ
あなた
たまご
ふたり
おとな


kanji
出口
手紙
切手
上手
男の子
貴男
女の子
貴女
玉子
二人
大人