Writing Kanji In English Is Art

Sitting there staring at all those incomprehensible squiggles that make up kanji thinking “why can’t you be more like English?!” Well one Japanese artist, Tomomi Kunishige (國重 友美), decided that she was going to make kanji more like English. More precisely, make kanji English.

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I want you to imagine how you would make complex kanji in English with its English meaning in tact. Can’t? Neither could I until I saw her amazingly creative characters. She takes kanji and makes them look like the English word that the kanji actually mean. She writes them in Japanese calligraphy style (which allow for a bit of an abstract nature).


Smile (笑)

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Dream ()



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Flower (花)

Bird (鳥)

Wind (風)

Moon (月)

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Now if she could just do it for the other 2000+ kanji, I think there might be a good replacement for RTK.

Which is your favorite?

I’m sold on smile (笑). Check out more at her website.

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Founder of Jalup. Spends most of his time absorbing and spreading thrilling information about learning Japanese. On a quest to become 日本語王 (king of the Japanese language).


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