W.T.F. Japan: Top 5 kanji with the longest readings 【Weird Top Five】

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Some of these are so long they may require a friend to help say them.

What exactly is a kanji reading anyway? If you’ve studied Japanese then you know that most kanji have at least two readings: the Chinese reading and the Japanese reading. Take the kanji for “to eat” for instance (食). Its Chinese reading is shoku (which comes from shi in Chinese), and its Japanese reading is taberu (which is how you say “to eat” in Japanese).

But would something like, say, kuchi ni ireru (“to put in your mouth”) be a reading for that kanji? Probably not; that’s just a definition of the kanji, not a reading for it. That’d be like reading the abbreviation “etc.” as “there are other similar things but I’d rather not list them” instead of just “et cetera.”

The reason I’m going into all of this linguistic babble is because separating readings of kanji from definitions of kanji can sometimes be kind of hard. In fact, considering the tens of thousands of kanji