Ever think to yourself “there aren’t enough kanji to study. I want more!” You were probably disappointed to find out that Japan isn’t still churning out new kanji. New words that come into existence are created either using older kanji (当て字) or katakana. Even if a new kanji somehow magically came into being, computers would not be able to handle them. So you are stuck in a dead kanji world…
You have 2 options.
1. Give up and go practice the existing kanji 100,000 times.
2. Rebel, and create your own new kanji
I choose #2. Kanji is made up of so many parts that allow for unlimited creativity. You want to leave all that possibility behind?
You aren’t alone. There are places in Japan that have 創作漢字コンテスト (create new kanji contests). The goal: show the beauty of kanji… and go wild.
Let the new kanji reign free
What do these new kanji look like? Here are some of my favorites from these two contests. Hopefully they can provide some insight into this fantastical world of unbridled kanji. Check them out here and here.
Parts: eye + eye
Meaning: distorted vision, hangover
Parts: line through + sell
Meaning: sold out
Parts: sing + box radical
Parts: ス + マ + ホ
Parts: stand + stand + stand
Parts: customer + happiness
Parts: doubt + ears
Meaning: really? No way!
Parts: gate + father
Parts: top + top
Meaning: there is always someone better than you
Founder of Jalup. iOS Software Engineer. Former attorney, translator, and interpreter. Still watching 月曜から夜ふかし weekly since 2013.