白/pronunciation "shiro" and "haku"/mean white

How to study

How to Remember

When you study the Japanese Kanji, "白"

 

There are various theories.

 

This Kanji is from the shape of "skull" or "sunlight" or "acorn" in hieroglyph.

We don't know which one is correct.

 

There is a Kanji with a similar shape, it's 日(hi, nichi) which means "day", "sun", "sunshine".

 

And also there is a interesting story in Japan.

We have a culture of celebrating people who turn 99 years old.

That's named "白寿"(hakuju) 寿 means congratulations

You need to know two more Kanji to understand this story.

These are "百"(hyaku) means hundred, and "一"(ichi) means one.

 

100ー1=99

”百” ー ”一” = ”白”

 

So 99 years old is named "白寿"(hakuju)

 

In Use

When you use only 白, The pronunciation is "shiro" or "haku"

 

When you use 白 with other Kanji, The pronunciation is "paku," or "haku,"

純白(junpaku) 白紙(hakushi) 漂白(hyouhaku) 余白(yohaku)

 

When you use 白 with Hiragana, The pronunciation is "shiro"

私の好きな色は白です。My favorite color is white.

水面が白く輝いている。 The surface of water is shining white.

 

Useful Knowledge

If you memorize 白, It will help you study a lot of Kanji.

A lot of Kanji use 白 as one of their parts.

皆(mina) (all, everyone,)

皇(kou)げる (emperor)

百(hyaku) (hundred)

 

This Kanji can also be the left side part of another Kanji.

This "left side part" is named "Hen".

We say "shiro-Hen" for this "Hen".

If you'd like to know "Hen". Please look here!

for example, 的(mato, teki) target

I think it's only this one in common use.

 

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