Thursday, August 26, 2010

Kanji practise!

The bane of any foreign students existance is KANJI (漢字)
Japanese is made of 3 alphabets. Two phonetic (one character = one sound), and one... one... one KANJI. Kanji are those elaborate characters that came from China, the type that people tend to get tattoo-ed on their upper arm, right above their butterfly and tribal pattern tattoos. Kanji have multiple pronounciations, and can look almost identical to other characters, which makes them so hard to learn.

But some just make sense. And so they should, having been derived from actual pictures and images, many many thousands of years ago.

This is a lantern advertising... take a guess!

串 = skewer (food on a stick!)
串揚げ (kushiage) means deep fried food on a stick - a specialty of the Kyoto area apparently. I've been to a few places that are all-you-can-eat deep-fried-food-on-a-stick. You batter, crumb and deep fry your skewered food right there at your table. Combine this with an all-you-can-drink deal (alcoholic beverages, yes), and you wonder how many deep-fried-drunken-hand accidents the hospitals here must deal with! 

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