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For making conjugations, the last (or last 2) Hiragana of a Japanese adjective is always written outside the Kanji.

So when I say 高 can be read as たかい, you should not assume that the Kanji 高 alone is read as "takai". Instead, the last い should be written outside, i.e. 高い. And this Kanji-Kana hybrid is read as "takai".

This applies ONLY to 訓読み (Japanese style reading).

Kanji-Number-Sukoshi 少

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Illustration and voice by Shou Yukiya Bookmark and Share
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How to remember?

First, the Kanji 小 (small) and 少 (few) were originally the same word in ancient Chinese. But later 少 became independent by adding a diagonal stroke at the bottom. As a result, the design of Kanji 少 actually has nothing to do with its meaning "few".

My mnemonics, which is for reference only, uses the opposite Kanji 多 (many) to help us remember. While the design of 多 comes from two big chunks of meat, which means a lot of food, it is fair for us to say that 少 can mean two little pieces of meat, as shown in the illustration. The meaning of the illustration is that after eating (hence the fork and knife), only very little is left.


This Kanji itself is a radical.

Do not confuse this Kanji with:

which means "small"