Kanji Kanban Japanese Sign #229-Respect for the Aged Day


9月16日 敬老の日


Use the rikaichan popup dictionary or your favorite reference tool with my transcription below the photo if you need help reading this message celebrating  Respect-for-the-Aged Day, a national holiday which falls on the third Sunday of September in Japan.

The two characters that form the compound 敬老 literally mean ‘respect aged’  and can commonly be found separately in the compounds 尊敬(そんけい),  which means respect, and 敬語(けいご), which will be familiar to students of Japanese as ‘keigo’ refers to honorific language, or literally, ‘respect words.’  老人(ろうじん), is a word used for the elderly.  So, Hemingway’s ‘The Old Man and the Sea’ is referred to as ‘老人と海(ろうじんとうみ)in Japanese, and a retirement home is a 老人ホーム.

Just after I noticed this hand drawn sign in front of a small liquor shop this afternoon, I saw senior citizens, some with children and grand kids in tow, in front of nearby temple grounds to attend an event commemorating the day.  Those walking out were chatting and holding small bags of gifts they’d received from the event organizers,  the grand kids with bags of their own, theirs filled with snacks. It all made for a nice scene which seemed to express the true spirit of the day.

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 this information can help you learn kanji, please read this.

Heisig(H334, H1251)

Kanji In Context(KIC478, KIC737)

JapanesePod101.com – Learn Japanese with Free Daily Podcasts

Originally posted 2013-09-17 10:22:06.

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