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Kanji-Nature-Sky 空

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

This Kanji consists of two parts: 穴 (hole) and 工 (work). The design means that someone digs a hole, which is empty. And here comes the meaning of this Kanji.

However, to remember this Kanji this way, you need to learn two more Kanji (穴,工) first, which I think is inefficient. Also, while used alone, the main meaning of this Kanji is "sky". So I decide to make good use of this meaning.

This Kanji accidently looks like a rocket launching from the base. So let's imagine that the 宀 part is a rocket, the 八 is the flame coming out from the propeller, and the remaining 工 is the launching base, as shown in the illustration. Remember the phrase "the rocket flies to the sky".

What if I use this mnemonics and wrongly think that this kanji means "rocket"?

It will NEVER happen. While Kanji phrases (e.g. 2 or more combined together) can mean modern things, one Kanji alone NEVER refers to modern concepts. No. There is not a single Kanji to refer to bank, hospital or airplane, not even in Chinese. It is because Kanji were designed many, many years ago. And people seldom design new Kanji nowadays. (We create new Kanji phrases with old Kanji, though.)

So if my mnemonics uses modern objects like syringe, hand gun or clock, you should know that the Kanji in question does not mean those things.

Radical

The radical of this Kanji is , which is called "anakanmuri".

About the pronunciations

While this Kanji has so many different pronunciations. "Sora" is the only Kunyomi (Japanese-style pronunciation) that refers to "the sky". The others refer to "empty". And the Onyomi "kuu" can mean both "sky" or "empty".

"Aku" is a verb. When written in Kanji, it should be like this: 空く. As with other Japanese verbs, it has many different forms such as "aki", "akeru", "akanai", etc, which are not listed out one by one here.

While the meaning and stroke order of this Kanji is relatively easy, the pronunciations are not. If you are not sure how to pronounce this Kanji in context, please refer to a dictionary.

Do not confuse this Kanji with:

which means "hall"

which means "room"