Kanji Kanban #87
Use the rikaichan popup dictionary or your favorite reference tool with my transcription below the photo if you need help reading the words on this Japan Post poster.
It’s advertising their annual Kit Kat sales campaign aimed at friends and relatives of 受験生, students preparing for school entrance exams.
The boxes have space on the outside for a message of support and encouragement, and can be sent as is in the mail. In the closeup you can see the characters 紅白, red and white, printed on the box along with mini KitKat bars in both red and white wrappers.
These colors are used for auspicious occasions. Foreigners in Japan often first hear mention of 紅白 at the end of the year when someone talks about the 紅白歌合戦 televised New Year’s Eve singing contest.
When I saw this poster I noticed that it includes two examples of the sentence-final particle よ in a very natural context, and it reminded me of Kate Elwood’s January 21st Cultural Conundrums column in The Daily Yomiuri, which focused on various usages of よ and the mistakes that non-native speakers are prone to make when using it. I got a lot out of the vivid examples and the studies she cited, and it was an entertaining read. You can check out Kate Elwood’s take on it here.
The numbers below refer to the kanji I’ve transcribed below the photo, and correspond to their order of appearance in both Heisig’s Remembering the Kanji and Kanji in Context.
To learn more about how to work with this information and get the most out of my daily Kanji Kanban series, please read this.
Heisig(H735, H1980, H607, H1951)
Kanji In Context(KIC269, KIC793, KIC1119, KIC1270)