Your favourite Kanji

What is your favourite Kanji that you know? I’ve seen that quite a few threads like this were made, but appearently, they’re all closed now.

I’ll start: My favourite one is 氷 (ice)


I’m keeping a log of my favorite Kanji for each level! Overall, I’d have to say my favorite is 山, because I have a life-long passion for mountains.


My favourite is 秋. Tree + fire = autumn! This is so so beautiful!
But I haven’t reached it in wanikani yet :slight_smile:
Attached: 金沢、大阪、奈良。今年11月。


it is not a single Kanji, but i like the look of



I’ve always though 俺 (Ore) was cool, but it seems kind of narcissistic for that to be my favorite, so I’ll put that aside; my second choice would be, not really a single character, but a word. I like 沖縄 (Okinawa). I learned this when I was stationed there in the 1980s. I didn’t really know any Kanji then, but I saw this all over the place because, well, it was Okinawa. I just thought it was the most awesome looking Kanji.


魔 I learned it back in high school (oh god that’s more than ten years ago)

I was on a Dragon Ball kick and saw it on pretty much everything related to Piccolo. ピッコロ大魔王, 魔ジュニア、魔貫光殺砲

At one point it was my Facebook icon (ah, those were certainly times)

Then later on after learning it in earnest, I started seeing it all over the place, from the 魔法 in 魔法少女and 魔法戦隊マジレンジャ, etc.

Might not be the most common kanji in everyday conversation, but it’s indispensable for nerd stuff.

Strange to think such a complicated and evil symbol would become my comfort kanji.


My personal favorite is 腺. My Japanese language studies really took off after a problem with my 甲状腺 forced me to change up my life a bit, and the kanji itself also has rather an interesting origin, being a Japanese-made kanji made to translate a Dutch term which only has a “Chinese” reading, derived by treating a semantic component as a phonetic one.

I’m a pretty big fan of this one, too, albeit more due to the history behind its reading than for the kanji itself. The reading ま appears to be cognate with the “mare” (a type of demonic being, which still shows up in the English word “nightmare”), as well as the words such as “murder” and “mortal”.

Following the trail backwards on Wiktionary:
魔 reached Japan via the Chinese Buddhist term 魔羅 (ma la), which in term came from the Sanskrit मार (māra; “killing; death; destroyer; demon”).
This in turn is thought to come from a Proto-Indo-European root *mer, meaning “death”, which is thought to be the source of a bunch of word across many different languages.

Also, when combined with the 怪 (from such spirited words as 妖怪), you get the Chinese word 魔怪 (móguài), meaning that the mogwai from Gremlins share a lineage with both Fuseli’s The Nightmare and Madoka Magica.

It also means that there is a link between the English “nightmare” and the Japanese 朝マラ (NSFW … for dictionary entry).
Well, a linguistic link, anyway.

Apart from recent(ish) loanwords, it’s not often you find these cognates with Indo-European languages in Japanese, although I’d wager Buddhist terminology accounts for a decent percentage of them.


Nice, I had no idea of the roots. Went to look it up just now and it’s the same as Mara, the demon that tried to prevent Siddhartha Guatama from achieving enlightenment under the Bodhi Tree.

Weird how my high school Dragon Ball obsession would link up with my college minor in world religions.


Thank you for sharing the beautiful photos!


I have a special place in my heart for 矢. I’ve always liked the way it looked. It has a nice sort of partial symmetry to it. Also one time early in my kanji learning career I managed to write it out in such a pleasing way that I wanted to get a tattoo of it. In retrospect, I think it would have been silly. Also I really don’t like the version of it my computer’s font uses so here’s a version I do like.
It’s almost symmetric but the stroke on the side balances it out. It just looks really cool.

I also like 獣 but mostly cause it brings me 怪獣


Hey, sorry for the late reply. Thank you for sharing these beautiful photos with us, this is truly one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen! :heart:


After studying some more kanjis, 氷 is still my favorite kanji, but I also really like the look of 雨 a lot!


I agree, that looks really cool :smiley:

Indeed, it looks pretty complicated and evil :joy: I kinda like the look of it, too, though :slight_smile:

I hope everything’s fine for you now :heart: I agree, this is really an interesting story regarding the origin!

That truly looks very beautiful with this font. Would you mind telling me which font that is?


I have two kanjis… very special in my heart:

光 → light, こう, ひかり

It spreads light. As a person having synaesthesia, it contains so many colours, and shine on it’s own. Very special one, because it reminds me of 光よ, from Kikuo(hana), one of my most loved songs of all time. 光 is powerful, and every time i write it on paper, it makes me live.

震 → shake, しん, ふる(える)

First, the drawing of it is extraordinary. Straight lines, into straight lines, then finishing by trying to find a good balance at the end. ポストシェルター from 稲葉曇 is the song that i have associated to that kanji, and it’s a beautiful one. When i’m having extreme stress, i shake a lot, very much. So i draw on my hand, or on my book with my shaky pen, ten times, twenty, sometimes a hundred times that kanji. The straight lines are shaky, and the more it goes, the more the kanji absorbs the stress and the tears. And as I calm down, i realize that the kanjis i draw contain that shakiness, and that I’m feeling better, relieved. That kanji to me is what makes my anxiety go away…


Thank you for making this topic! I was going to make one because it’s a common question I get from Japanese people when I mention I’m studying kanji. Glad I searched if there was already a topic! :slight_smile:

I love some of the replies so far! I didn’t know the kanji for autumn, but now I do, it’s now in my top 3!

I’m early into my kanji journey, but my favourite is 々. I like it partly because of its function, partly because I like the mnemonic, and also because of the vocabulary it makes! 人々, 中々 (ひとびと、なかなか). I guess I find it a little amusing! When I was learning katakana, my visual mnemonic for マ was Freddie Mercury singing Bohemian Rhapsody “Mama!!! OoooOOoo”, and so that partly feeds into me liking it too, because 々 and マ are very similar.


Not a single kanji, but I’ve always also liked 花火. Japanese can be very visual!

My friend was stationed in Okinawa in the 80s, like 86-87 or something! He was in the marines.


I must’ve passed the torch to him. I was there 82-85, though I’ve been back several times over the years.


It’s hard to pick between the two, but I guess the one on the left since it’s an actual Tetris block shape.
I read this word in a story recently and was incredibly bereft that they used katakana instead of these two beautiful kanji :frowning:


I think the beauty of these two kanji lies in their natural ability to connect together to form a square. These are the two most intimate kanji to exist.

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墨 (すみ, India ink) holds a special place for me, I don’t know why. I just love handwriting it.


A new reading for these: 凸(れ) 凹(ご)。