About the kanji 脱

Hey there!

I wanted to share a bit of research I did about the 脱 kanji (undress) that I’ve recently learned.
So far some vocabularies make perfect sense with it, like 脱ぐ : to undress.

But other jukugo words with this kanji are more surprising like all those in relation with escape:
脱税 : tax evasion
脱走する : to escape
脱字 : omitted word
脱線 : digression, derailment

So I was wondering if there were a reason why escape and undress were somewhat related in japanese language…

In the Complete guide to japanese kanji, I found this explanation:

It seems that the first meaning of the kanji was “remove the body”, so escape makes sense in this context. Undress being an extended sense of it.

Has any of you got more information about it? Maybe from other sources? (I’m not really sure I get the shaman thing either ^_^')


I think with things like this, looking them up in a monolingual kanji dictionary helps. This is just one entry that I got from Kotobank.


[[常用漢字] [音] ダツ (慣) [訓] ぬぐ ぬげる ぬく ぬける

Essentially, to remove something that is covering the exterior of something


To come free from a certain framework or organization. To break free. To be out of place.


To draw out a part of an element of a certain thing. To be removed and go away.


Something that’s supposed to exist is left out or omitted and is not there.


To come out from worldly-mindedness. Simplistic without any (trivial) hangups.

I took some liberties with the translating the definition but hopefully that helps to understand the depth of the this kanji’s meaning.


woah, it has much more meanings that what I’ve assumed… they all make sense though


have you tried searching the character online

Yes, but even the wiktionary didn’t give a lot of information (at least not more than my Kanji guide)

A proper monolingual dictionary seems more useful.


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