Kanji For Kai

I don’t know if you all remember that crazy post, from a long time ago, but I was thinking that I haven’t really showed you all the Kanji For Kai (or Sea in English). Here it is:

The Kanji for Kai

There are two parts to this character. The left side consists of the radical water [ The Water Radical ] and the right side consists of the character for mother [Kanji for Mother]. As is common in most Japanese characters, the left side of this kanji defines the meaning (having to do with water) and the right side gives us the pronunciation: Kai or Umi.

We loved this name so much because it was easy to pronounce in both languages, and summed up a lot of the things we wanted in Kai’s name. It has a short pronunciation, is not all that common of a name (even in Japan) and connects Kai to Japan in more ways than simply being a Japanese name.

The Japanese sea (Ni-Hon Kai) looks like this:

Day / Sun KanjiRoot / Origin / Book KanjiSea Kanji

This is the Japanese Sea (“Ni-Hon Kai”), but if you want to get crazy and break it down ol’ school style, it comes out something like this:

  • “Ni” means Sun (but let’s do a play on words and make it “SON”).
  • “Hon” means origin (so now we got, “The Son’s Origin”).
  • Put “Ni” and “Hon” together and we get “Nihon”, which is the word for “Japan.”

Any Questions?

This is why you hear Japan called, “The land of the rising sun,” because that is what it’s name literally means.


2 responses to “Kanji For Kai

  1. That is really interesting. It made me think of the sea you crossed to begin life in Japan and meet Kai’s mom. It’s a great distance that marks a point between the past and the future: Giving “small sea” to your son makes the Pacific seem more like a difficult and good path (or way) from one thing to another, rather than an expanse that separates two small worlds. What a great idea for Kai to be born into.

  2. Pingback: Onsen Tomorrow « Kai Monticello

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