Which spelling for 場? Any „rule“

This drives me crazy … in compound words where I‘d generally expect on‘yomi to be preferred, 場 seems to behave quite randomly. Before I take the whole list of about 25 vocab and try to come up with some clue to remember the spelling - maybe someone else went through this and can help me?
(Like when I could‘t remember the usage of にん, じん I came up with this: にん seems to be more transitory: A „witness“ is only a witness for a short period, a „bad person“ can improve, whereas for じん a „white person“ or a „foreigner“ or an „expert“ most likely will be stuck there forever)

Any help greatly appreciated,

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In the case of 場, ば is the kun’yomi reading while じょう is the on’yomi, so the quick rule of thumb is that kun goes with kun (for example 広場 or 場合), and on goes with on (for example 場内 or 駐車場).

I mean, it’s not flawless - for example 場所 is kun+on (though 場所 is a common enough word that you can just memorise that as-is) - but it works most of the time. Then the real trick is getting a feel for what’s kun’yomi and what’s on’yomi.

It’s a little different to the 人 issue because both にん and じん are on’yomi, so the same on/kun rule-of-thumb can’t be used.


面’s kunyomi is おも / おもて / つら (among others).


I already changed it for a different example. :stuck_out_tongue:

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Glad to have been a part of capturing that snapshot in time.


Thanks for your helpful answers. Looking at your Icons reminds me of a reeeaaalllly old beatles song … (three cool cats) :slight_smile:

I counted the hits and misses - and in the end came to the conclusion that I will go for a mnemonical story to simply remember the 9 vocabs using the on’yomi reading.

入場 on/on
工場 on/on
場所 kun / on
立場 kun/kun
農場 on/on
役場 on/kun
戦場 on/on
乗り場 kun/kun
場合 kun/kun
場面 kun/on
劇場 on / on
穴場 kun/kun
職場 on/kun
現場 on/kun
置き場 kun/kun
株式市場 kun/on/on/on
(not on WK: 市場 いちば or しじょう) on/on + kun/kun
墓場 kun/kun
磁場 on/kun
電磁場 on/on/kun
駐車場 on/on/on
斎場 on/on
牧場 on/on
踊り場 kun/kun
風呂場 on/on/kun
25 contestants - 9 wrong = 36%
On the other hand there are also 9 out of 25 using the kun reading “じょう”. So, from an economical standpoint I’d say that coming up with a nice mnemonic-story would be make easier that remerbering an rule that is correct in 64% of the cases - IF I get the ON/KUN right all the time.
Btw. wouldn’t it be nice to have on and kun readings below the kanji boxes? Like

on: じょう
kun: ば
especially taking into account that the Kanji boxes sometimes show “kun” and sometimes “on” - depending on some rule that hasn’t been explained to me so far. But probably I was too busy crunching those reviews.

Here it goes:
There is a NEW employee called “Jo” at the ENTRANCE (にゅうじょう) leading to the FACTORY (こうじょう). NO, Jo -not the FARM (のうじょう)! To the right you see the historic BATTLEFIELD (せんじょう) - better stay clear of that. The THEATRE (げきじょう) is behind the back door. Don’t forget: our Company is traded on the STOCK MARKET (かぶしきしじょう) , so you better behave on the PARKING LOT (ちゅうしゃじょう) as seriously as in a FUNERAL HALL (さいじょう) . And - again: this is not a LIVESTOCK FARM (ぼくじょう) - so better wipe the dirt off your boots.

I hope I will be able to recall this short story for future reviews … and - sorry about my English.


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しじょう is used as a suffix, いちば is a standalone word. To my knowledge.

Jisho lists both as nouns, though.