Living things

parts of the body

# kanji kun-yomi on-yomi
16 eye, look, insight もく school subject
17 みみ ear, hearing がい がい耳 outer ear
18 くち mouth; opening こう 火口 volcanic crater
いりぐち 入口 entrance
19 hand, arm じょう 上手 skilled
はくしゅ はく口 applause
20 あし foot, leg いっそく 一足 a pair (shoes/socks)
りる 足りる to be enough

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

  • we use it to state order, e.g., ‘the third person’ is 三人目 (さんにんめ)
  • ‘in front of my eyes’ or 目のまえ (めのまえ) means ‘in front of me’


# kanji kun-yomi on-yomi
21 おとこ man, male だん 男子 boy
さんなん 三男 three sons
22 おんな woman, female しょう 女子 girl
がみ 女がみ goddess じょせい 女せい woman
にょ woman
23 いぬ 子犬 puppy い子 chair
しょう 女子 girl
おう 王子 prince
24 ひと person, man にほんじん 日本人 Japanese person
ひと 一人 one person さんにん 三人 three people
25 おう king, monarch
26 name めいじん 名人 expert
だいみょう 大名 feudal lord

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

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

  • 森子 (もりこ): forest child
  • 水子 (みずこ): water child
  • 火子 (かこ): fire child
  • 花子 (はなこ, かこ): flower child
  • 小子 (ここ, ちょこ): small child
  • 雨子 (あまこ, あまご, あめこ): rain child
  • 川子 (かわこ, かわご): river child
  • 山子 (やまこ, やまご): mountain child
  • 月子 (つきこ): moon child
  • 日子 (にちこ, ひこ, ひのこ): sun child
  • 空子 (そらこ, あきこ): sky child

In many names, the -こ changes to -ご.

Here are a few more from pop culture:

  • 真理子 (まりこ): from James Clavell’s ‘Shogun’
  • 貞子 (さだこ): child with integrity, from ‘Ringu’
  • 爽子 (さわこ): refresing child, from ‘Kimi ni todoke’


# kanji kun-yomi on-yomi
26 いぬ dog あいけん あい犬 pet dog
27 むし insect; temper こんちゅう こん虫 insect
28 かい shellfish, sea shell

Hachikou was an Akita owned by Mr. 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 lecturing at the university 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.


# kanji kun-yomi on-yomi
29 tree, wood もくようび 木よう日 Thursday
たいぼく 大木 large tree
30 はやし grove, forest さんりん 山林 mountain forest
31 もり forest しんりん 森林 forest, woods
32 たけ bamboo ちくりん 竹林 bamboo grove
33 はな flower, cherry blossom びん 花瓶 flower vase
34 くさ grass, weed, herb すいそう 水草 water plant

Picture by Danny Choo

A traditional yearly event in all Japan is 花見 (はなみ, flower viewing), when millions of people get together and have lunch under blossoming cherry trees, a tradition more than a thousand years old [WP].

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


These are basic words that use only kanken-10 kanjis:









skilled (above hand)
unskilled (under hand)

adult (big person)
popular (person spirit)

king (honorable king)
queen (female king)

prince (king child)
princess (king female)