Kana vs. Kanji

Difference Between Kana and Kanji

The two Japanese scripts- Kana and Kanji are similar as they belong to the same genre however there are quite a few differences.

It was in China where most of the Kanji characters were developed and the characters in this script are phonetic, pictorial, and ideographic in nature.

As far as these two scripts are concerned, Kana script is much simpler than the Kanji script. Based on the nature of combination of Kana and other Kanji scripts, Kanji scripts bear different meanings and pronunciations.

Each and every character in Kana script- that is of two varieties- hiragana and katakana-stands for one syllable. Hiragana script comes from man’yogana- which is a Kanji script. It is said that the Buddhist priest Kukai gave birth to the Kana script in 9th century. However it was in 1900 when the present set of Kana was finalized and in 1946 the rules of this script came into being.

Kanji-which stands for Han’s character was used in Japan for the first time in 5th century. Being of a more complex nature, Kanji has about 2000 to 3000 characters. However in 1981 the Japanese Government introduced the joyo Kanji hyo that has 1945 characters and 166 special characters.

Kanji is similar to English spelling and has some meaning. On the other hand Kana is similar to the English alphabet and has no meaning.

Summary

  1. We can find syllabic Japanese characters in Kana scripts and Kanji is a Chinese logographic script.
  2. Kana script is simpler than Kanji script as there are about 2000 to 3000 characters in Kanji script.
  3. Based on the nature of combination of Kana and other Kanji scripts, Kanji scripts bear different meanings and pronunciations.
  4. Kana script- that is of two varieties- hiragana and katakana-stands for one syllable. Kanji was used in Japan for the first time in 5th century.
  5. Kanji is similar to English spelling and has some meaning. On the other hand Kana is similar to the English alphabet and has no meaning.

 

  1. It is said that the Buddhist priest Kukai gave birth to the Kana script in 9th century.
  2. In 1900 when the present set of Kana was finalized and in 1946 the rules of this script came into being. In 1981 the Japanese Government introduced the joyo Kanji hyo that has 1945 characters and 166 special characters.

 

 

 

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