Quiz about Japanese Kanji Quiz  on to kun
Quiz about Japanese Kanji Quiz  on to kun

Japanese Kanji Quiz - "on" to "kun"


Most kanji have two readings: the "on" which combine to form nouns, and the "kun", which often form the base of verbs and adjectives, and are conjugated with hiragana. I'll give you the "on" and an example of its use, you give me its "kun" reading.

A multiple-choice quiz by Finduskeepus. Estimated time: 13 mins.
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Author
Finduskeepus
Time
13 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
293,758
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
20
Difficulty
Difficult
Avg Score
10 / 20
Plays
313
This quiz has 2 formats: you can play it as a or as shown below.
Scroll down to the bottom for the answer key.
1. This kanji has an "on" reading of "sho". It appears in the word "jisho", meaning "dictionary". The "kun" reading of this kanji forms the base of a Japanese verb. Fill in the blank with this "kun" base. I'll give you the hiragana conjugation of the verb in the hint box (present tense).

Answer: (-ku (verb))
2. This kanji has an "on" reading of "seki". Combined with two more kanji, it appears in the word "sekijji" - the Red Cross. The "kun" reading of this kanji forms the base of an adjective. Fill in the blank with the "kun" reading. I'll give you the hiragana in the hint box.

Answer: (-i (adjective))
3. This kanji has an "on" reading of "sh". Combined with two other kanji, it can be seen in the word "shgakk", meaning "elementary school". In its "kun" form, it is the base of another adjective. What is the "kun" reading of this kanji?

Answer: (-sai (count your vowels carefully))
4. This kanji has an "on" reading of "ky". It appears in the word "kyjitsu", meaning "holiday". The "kun" reading forms the base of a verb - fill in the blank with the "kun".

Answer: (-mu (verb))
5. This kanji has an "on" reading of "sei". It appears in the well-known word "sensei", meaning "teacher". Its "kun" reading forms the base of a verb. What is the "kun" reading?

Answer: (-mareru (verb))
6. This kanji has an "on" reading of "s". It appears in the word "kys", which means "race", in the sense of a contest. The "kun" reading is the base of a verb. Fill in the blank with the "kun".

Answer: (-ru (verb))
7. This kanji has an "on" reading of "aku" - it can be seen in the useful word "akuma", meaning "demon". In its "kun" form, it can be seen as the base of an adjective. What is the "kun" reading?

Answer: (-i (adjective))
8. This kanji has an "on" reading of "ky". It appears in the word "kyk", meaning "express". Its "kun" reading is the base of a verb. What is the "kun" of this kanji?

Answer: (-gu (verb))
9. This kanji has an "on" reading of "kin", and you can see it in such words as "kinjo", meaning "neighborhood". Its "kun" reading is the base of an adjective. Fill in the blank with the "kun" reading.

Answer: (-i (adjective))
10. This kanji has an "on" reading of "rai". It appears in the word "rainen", meaning "next year". In its "kun" form, it is the base of a verb that you've definitely learned in your Japanese class at school. What is the "kun" of this kanji?

Answer: (-ru (verb))
11. This kanji has an "on" reading of "j". You can see it in the word "jsho", which means "address". In its "kun" form, it is the base of a verb. What is the "kun" reading of this kanji?

Answer: (-mu (verb))
12. This kanji has an "on" reading of "shin". It appears in the word "shinbun", which means "newspaper". Its "kun" reading is the base of an adjective. What is the "kun" form of this kanji?

Answer: (-shii (adjective))
13. This kanji has an "on" reading of "tai". It can be seen in the word "taiy", which means "the sun". In its "kun" form, however, it is the base of a verb with less positive connotations. Fill in the blank with the "kun" reading.

Answer: (-ru (verb))
14. This kanji has an "on" reading of "sho". An example of its use is the word "shoch", which means "midsummer". Its "kun" reading is the base of an adjective that comes in very handy in midsummer. Fill in the blank with the "kun" reading.

Answer: (-i (adjective))
15. This kanji has an "on" reading of "d". It appears in the word "dbutsu", which means "animal". The "kun" reading is the base of a verb. Fill in the blank with the "kun" form.

Answer: (-ku (verb))
16. This kanji has an "on" reading of "bi". An example of its use is the word "bijutsukan", which means "art gallery". In its "kun" form, it is the base of a very pleasant adjective. Fill in the blank with the "kun" form.

Answer: (-shii (adjective))
17. This kanji has two "on" readings - "raku" and "gaku". It can be seen in the word "ongaku" - "music". Its "kun" form is the base of an adjective. What is the "kun" reading?

Answer: (-shii (adjective))
18. This kanji has an "on" reading of "ry". It appears in the word "denry", which means "electric current". In its "kun" form, it is the base of a verb. Fill in the blank with the "kun" reading.

Answer: (-reru (verb))
19. This kanji has an "on" reading of "ch". You can see it in the word "chi", which means "warning". The "kun" reading is the base of a verb. What is the "kun" of this kanji?

Answer: (-gu (verb))
20. This kanji has an "on" reading of "iku". It forms part of a word of paramount importance in Japan - "kyiku", meaning "education". In its "kun" form, it is the base of a very important verb. What is the "kun" reading of our last kanji?

Answer: (-teru (verb))

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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. This kanji has an "on" reading of "sho". It appears in the word "jisho", meaning "dictionary". The "kun" reading of this kanji forms the base of a Japanese verb. Fill in the blank with this "kun" base. I'll give you the hiragana conjugation of the verb in the hint box (present tense).

Answer: Ka

"Kaku", meaning "to write". This is the plain form of the verb - the polite form is "kakimasu".

When you combine the "on" form of this kanji, "sho", with "ji", meaning "speech", you get "dictionary". Oddly, when "ji" itself is used as a verb, it means "resign".
2. This kanji has an "on" reading of "seki". Combined with two more kanji, it appears in the word "sekijji" - the Red Cross. The "kun" reading of this kanji forms the base of an adjective. Fill in the blank with the "kun" reading. I'll give you the hiragana in the hint box.

Answer: Aka

"Akai", meaning "red". You'll see the "on" version of this kanji in words such as "sekihan", which is that rice with the red beans in it that takes on a reddish color, and is served on special occasions.

My favorite instance of the "kun" reading is the word "akachan", which I can best translate as "red darling", and which means "baby".
3. This kanji has an "on" reading of "sh". Combined with two other kanji, it can be seen in the word "shgakk", meaning "elementary school". In its "kun" form, it is the base of another adjective. What is the "kun" reading of this kanji?

Answer: Chii

"Chiisai", meaning "small". My apologies if you forgot the second "i" and wrote "Chisai". "Gakk" means school. Combine it with the "on" reading of this kanji and you get "small school" - elementary school.

For some reason, if you combine this kanji with "setsu", meaning "opinion" to make the word "shsetsu", it means "novel". Novelists don't get no respect.
4. This kanji has an "on" reading of "ky". It appears in the word "kyjitsu", meaning "holiday". The "kun" reading forms the base of a verb - fill in the blank with the "kun".

Answer: Yasu

"Yasumu", meaning "rest". Combine it with "jitsu", meaning "day", and you get "rest day" - holiday.

In its "kun" form, this kanji also appears in a common expression - "o-yasumi nasai", which translates roughly as "have a good rest", and means "good night".
5. This kanji has an "on" reading of "sei". It appears in the well-known word "sensei", meaning "teacher". Its "kun" reading forms the base of a verb. What is the "kun" reading?

Answer: U

"Umareru", meaning "to be born". The basic meaning of this very useful kanji is "life". When we combine "sei", the "on" reading, with "sen", meaning "ahead", we get "sensei". Literally meaning "ahead in life", it denotes someone who has more experience, and therefore wisdom to impart - a teacher.

As well as "umareru" (to be born), this kanji can form the base of "umu" (to give birth). It can also be used to form the base of "ikiru", meaning "to live" - as seen in the title of one of Akira Kurosawa's greatest films.
6. This kanji has an "on" reading of "s". It appears in the word "kys", which means "race", in the sense of a contest. The "kun" reading is the base of a verb. Fill in the blank with the "kun".

Answer: Hashi

"Hashiru", meaning "to run". Combine it with "ky", meaning competition, and you get "race".

The "on" reading of a kanji is referred to as its "Chinese" reading. In other words, its pronunciation reflects the Chinese pronunciation of the character at the time it was introduced to the Japanese language. This is often useful to scholars trying to reconstruct ancient Chinese - in the interim, the sound may have changed more in Chinese than it has in Japanese.

The "kun" reading is referred to as the "Japanese" reading. In other words, when the character was introduced into Japanese, it was assigned to an already existing word in Japan that had the same meaning.
7. This kanji has an "on" reading of "aku" - it can be seen in the useful word "akuma", meaning "demon". In its "kun" form, it can be seen as the base of an adjective. What is the "kun" reading?

Answer: Waru

"Warui", meaning "evil"! You can see the "kun" in, for example, the word "warukuchi" which combines it with the kanji for "mouth" and means "malicious gossip".
8. This kanji has an "on" reading of "ky". It appears in the word "kyk", meaning "express". Its "kun" reading is the base of a verb. What is the "kun" of this kanji?

Answer: Iso

"Isogu", meaning "to hurry". Combine it with "k", meaning "go", and you get "quick-go" - express.

You may note that the "on" reading is usually shorter than the "kun", and that many kanji share the same "on". Yes indeed, there are, for example, twenty kanji in common usage with the "on" reading of "ky". The "kun" readings are much more varied; in fact I can't think of any two kanji that share the same "kun".
9. This kanji has an "on" reading of "kin", and you can see it in such words as "kinjo", meaning "neighborhood". Its "kun" reading is the base of an adjective. Fill in the blank with the "kun" reading.

Answer: Chika

"Chikai", which means "close". In combination with "jo", meaning "place", we get "kinjo" - neighborhood.

Combined with "sai", meaning "most", this kanji produces "saikin" - "recently".
10. This kanji has an "on" reading of "rai". It appears in the word "rainen", meaning "next year". In its "kun" form, it is the base of a verb that you've definitely learned in your Japanese class at school. What is the "kun" of this kanji?

Answer: Ku

"Kuru", meaning "to come". The polite form of this verb is "kimasu". Combine the "on" with "nen" (year), and we have "the coming year" - "rainen".

Combined with "sh" (command) from the well-known word "Shgun", this kanji gives us "shrai". Literally translated, this approximates to "command what is to come", and it means "the future".
11. This kanji has an "on" reading of "j". You can see it in the word "jsho", which means "address". In its "kun" form, it is the base of a verb. What is the "kun" reading of this kanji?

Answer: Su

"Sumu", meaning "to live" or "to dwell". When combined with "sho", meaning "place", it makes "address".

There are very few kanji which have only one reading, but examples can be found. The kanji for "cultivated field" has only a "kun" reading - "hatake". The kanji for "seat" (as in seat on a train, or at a stadium) has only an "on" reading - "seki". Most kanji, however, have at least two readings.
12. This kanji has an "on" reading of "shin". It appears in the word "shinbun", which means "newspaper". Its "kun" reading is the base of an adjective. What is the "kun" form of this kanji?

Answer: Atara

"Atarashii", meaning "new". The "bun" from "shinbun" doesn't mean "paper", however. It is the "on" form of the verb "kiku" - "to hear". A more literal translation than "newspaper" might be "new tidings".

"Shin" is also part of the name of the "shinkansen", or "new trunk line", colloquially known as the bullet train.
13. This kanji has an "on" reading of "tai". It can be seen in the word "taiy", which means "the sun". In its "kun" form, however, it is the base of a verb with less positive connotations. Fill in the blank with the "kun" reading.

Answer: Futo

"Futoru", meaning "to get fat". When added to the character "y", which is the Japanese pronunciation of "yang" (as in "Yin and Yang") and means "hot, dry, restless, etc", it makes "the sun".

The "on" form - "tai" - also appears in "taiheiy", where it is added to "peace" and "sea" and makes "the Pacific Ocean". In both these cases, this kanji seems to me to have a very positive connotation of "being big, powerful and vital". In present-day Japan, where many, many people are obsessed with staying thin, this is certainly not the connotation of its "kun" verb, "futoru", meaning to get fat. I assume the reason for this discrepancy is that in the distant past, when the kanji was adopted into Japanese, life was more precarious, with famine always just around the corner, and getting fat really was a positive thing - it showed that you were well-off and well-fed.
14. This kanji has an "on" reading of "sho". An example of its use is the word "shoch", which means "midsummer". Its "kun" reading is the base of an adjective that comes in very handy in midsummer. Fill in the blank with the "kun" reading.

Answer: Atsu

"Atsui", meaning "hot". "Ch", one of the most commonly used characters, simply means "middle". "Hot-middle" - midsummer.

The opposite of "atsui" is "samui", which has an "on" reading of "kan". "Kanch" means - you guessed it - "midwinter".
15. This kanji has an "on" reading of "d". It appears in the word "dbutsu", which means "animal". The "kun" reading is the base of a verb. Fill in the blank with the "kun" form.

Answer: Ugo

"Ugoku", meaning "to move". Combine it with "butsu", meaning "thing", and you have "thing that moves" - animal.

Combine the "on" reading with "un" - "carry" - and you get "und", which means "exercise". If you combine it with the characters for "self" and "vehicle", to get "self-moving vehicle", the translation into English is almost literal - "jidsha", which means "automobile".
16. This kanji has an "on" reading of "bi". An example of its use is the word "bijutsukan", which means "art gallery". In its "kun" form, it is the base of a very pleasant adjective. Fill in the blank with the "kun" form.

Answer: Utsuku

"Utsukushii", meaning "beautiful". Combined with "jutsu" (technique) and "kan" (hall), it gives us "art gallery".

"Bijin" means "beautiful woman", even though the kanji for "jin" means simply "person" and not "female". I suppose it's so self-evident that only women can be beautiful that the coiners of "beautiful person" felt no need to specify the gender to get their meaning across.

Kanji are not necessarily limited to one "on" and/or one "kun". Some have a bewildering variety of readings. For example, the kanji for "down" has two "on" readings - "ka" and "ge". It has several "kun" forms, such as "shita" (under), "moto" (base) and "sagaru" (to hang down). It also forms the base "kuda", which appears in one of the most common words in the language - "kudasai" (please).
17. This kanji has two "on" readings - "raku" and "gaku". It can be seen in the word "ongaku" - "music". Its "kun" form is the base of an adjective. What is the "kun" reading?

Answer: Tano

"Tanoshii", meaning "pleasant" or "fun". Combine it with "on" (sound), and we get "ongaku", literally "pleasant sound" - music.

The "kun" form of this character can often be heard in "tanoshimi!", meaning "I'm looking forward to it!"
18. This kanji has an "on" reading of "ry". It appears in the word "denry", which means "electric current". In its "kun" form, it is the base of a verb. Fill in the blank with the "kun" reading.

Answer: Naga

"Nagareru", meaning "to flow". If you combine the "on" with "den" (electricity), you get "flowing electricity" - electric current. The "on" also appears in "ryk", which combines "flow" and "go" and means "fashion".

Another use of the "kun" reading is in "nagareboshi", which means "flowing star" - in English, we'd call it a "shooting star".
19. This kanji has an "on" reading of "ch". You can see it in the word "chi", which means "warning". The "kun" reading is the base of a verb. What is the "kun" of this kanji?

Answer: Soso

"Sosogu", which has two meanings. The first is "to pour", as in to pour water, and the second is "to concentrate", as in, I assume, to pour one's attention on something. When combined with "i" (mind), it makes "chi" - warning or advice.

When this kanji is combined with "moku" (eye) it gives us "chmoku" - observation.
20. This kanji has an "on" reading of "iku". It forms part of a word of paramount importance in Japan - "kyiku", meaning "education". In its "kun" form, it is the base of a very important verb. What is the "kun" reading of our last kanji?

Answer: Soda

"Sodateru", meaning "to bring up" a child. Combine it with "ky", (teach), and it makes "education", with which many parents in Japan are obsessed. In fact, this word is part of a familiar expression in Japan - "kyiku mama", or "education mama", used to refer to a maternal parent who is already preparing to get her child into the best university before he or she can even crawl.

There are plenty of other interesting words in which this kanji appears, but I think that's enough for today - hope you enjoyed this kanji quiz!
Source: Author Finduskeepus

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor Bruyere before going online.
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