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Why are Chinese Characters similar to Japanese Kanji?
Somebody asks me why Chinese characters are similar to Japanese Kanji? In other words, are Chinese characters the same with Japanese Kanji?
First of all, that is the difference between Japanese and Chinese Kanji, although they look like similar.
Although Japanese and Chinese speak different languages, there is no doubt that writing system used by Japan is originated from Chinese. Chinese writing system was introduced to Japan at five or six century A.D. Japan made supplementation to the writing system of hiragana and katakana based on Chinese writing system.
Japan language homes to lots of local vocabulary; meanwhile it borrowed large number of Chinese words. Those borrowed words from Chinese language are so widely used in today’s daily life in Japan that they are seemed to be their own words other than borrowed. That is the reason why so many non-Chinese feel puzzled that where Chinese characters originated. Due to the strong promotion of Japanese culture in western countries, the Chinese characters in Japanese languages makes non-Chinese feel that Chinese characters were created by Japanese.
Over centuries, Chinese culture exerted great impact on Japan and other eastern country, a lot of Japan words used in various knowledgeable and philosophical background actually originated from China. Japan often employed various Chinese characters combined together to interpret new concepts from western countries during late 19th century and early 20th century. These words consist of an integrated part of vocabulary used by modern Japanese.
Compiled by Alan and edited by Jackie from Chilture.com