Thursday, May 17, 2007

Today's kanji : 協

The blue part describes "to gather"
(It looks like "plus" (+), doesn't it?)

The red part describes "power + power + power"

To gether people's power

Can you guess the meaning?
See the comments page for the answer!


  1. To gather people’s power

    協 means “cooperation”.

    For example…
    協力 (kyooryoku) : cooperation
    協賛 (kyoosan) : cosponsor
    協議 (kyoogi) : consultation

    “Thank you for your cooperation” is ご協力をお願いします (gokyooryoku o onegaishimasu) in Japanese.
    Maybe you’ve seen this sign at public place in Japan?

  2. During my trip in Japan, I think I saw them a lot at the airport next to signs telling you not to do something. It's kinda the same thing you hear at amusement parks here in the US and other big public places.

  3. This was one of the kanji that I really wanted to understand when I encountered it first... I saw it everywhere, at airports, in hospitals, in restaurants, on trains.... great that you've explained it here Akiko (I learned 'kyooryoku' before but didn't know the others).

    I think sometimes when Japanese people translate this into English on signs, it doesn't seem natural as we don't tend to sound quite so formal in English (of course sometimes we do).

  4. >Jair

    I've heard that there are so many signs, notices and announcement in Japan compare to other countries.
    Do you think so, too?
    Like, how to use the escalator, how to ride on a bus, what you should do when you cannot change the toilet paper in a public bathroom...
    I don't feel strange as I'm used to be that though.
    Did you feel something strange when you were visiting Japan?


    About the wrong translation, it's sometimes very funny, right?
    These are little different though, I've seen "Sweat cake☆" instead of "Sweet cake☆" in a coffee shop in Shimokitazawa.
    And also I've seen "shit" instead of "shirt".
    (Actually it was in a manual for native English language teachers...)

    This is a blog about wrong kanji.
    Peter told me this.
    Actually this blog is quite popular.

  5. Thanks for the link Akiko. It's great!

    If you like, I can buy you a piece of sweat cake in the future :)

  6. >If you like, I can buy you a piece of sweat cake in the future :)

    Maybe we can complain "This cake doesn't taste like sweat at all! It's just sweet!"

    I hope they've noticed that funny mistake and changed the sign though... ^_^;

  7. >akiko

    Japan does certainly have more signs, notices and announcements in public places than any country I've been to. But at the same time, I think that's a good thing. Sure, some of the announcements were strange, but whatever they were telling me to watch out for, I remembered to watch out for it.

    I didn't think it was strange, but I thought it was kind of sweet, kind of like a mother who's always telling you to watch out for something when you're a child.

  8. >Jair

    I like your positive thinking!
    That's right.
    I'll try to think "this is kind of them", too. (^o^)