Father Kanji

So I just started level 3 vocab, and I noticed that in お父さん the Wanikani description says you need to use the kun’yomi , which I didn’t learned while learning the Kanji… but I did, when I look up the Father Kanji it says ちち is the Kun’yomi reading (there is no other reading listed in fact). Is there something I don’t understand? Please help, thank you!

Strictly speaking, とう is an exceptional reading for this kanji, not a kunyomi (according to this post, it’s ateji). You could send them an email if you want.

I think that piece of text in the description for this is a boilerplate text for things that don’t use the onyomi when you were taught the onyomi before, but they didn’t consider that “not onyomi” doesn’t necessarily equal “yes kunyomi”.


@Leebo San, should we be prepared for ateji in the wild? is it a lesser issue or not?

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Well, exceptional readings are just that, exceptions, but they’re not uncommon by any means.

For example, 寿司 (すし) is ateji.
Things like 大人 and 今日 are jukujikun (sometimes referred to as a segment of ateji, but specifically words with a Japanese native reading that are made from 2 or more kanji)

So you’ll run into these words plenty, you just have to memorize them on their own when you do.


I think they do usually say explicitly if something is an exception, so it seems more like mis-applied boilerplate than poorly worded boilerplate.


Yes they say it’s an exception but also says it is using the Kun’yomi. I noticed the same error with おかあさん

"Since this word is made up of a single kanji, it uses the kun’yomi reading. You have to remember the かあ portion. Here’s a mnemonic to help you to remember it: "

Thank you for your responses, I will only remember this is an exception and not kun’yomi!

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Couldn’t the kanji just have multiple kun’yomi, though?

Kanji can have multiple kun’yomi, but in this case it’s not on’yomi or kun’yomi, it’s 当て字 (ateji)


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