Win a free month of Skritter! Japanese character challenges, January 2017

In Japanese by Jeremy Arns

Unlike previous Japanese character challenges, this challenge will not reveal the answers at the end. Instead, you can email the answers to and win a free month of Skritter subscription time. (If your answers are correct)! Deadline is 2/28/2017.

In a way, learning characters is easy. When you know roughly how characters work and how they are composed, learning a new character is not hard. The difficulty comes from the large number of steps you have to take, not the difficulty of each individual step.

However, relating characters to each other is also part of the challenge. How are they similar? How are they different?

The challenges in this article are meant to help you practice that by solving tricky character puzzles. Also note that while we only intend for one correct answer per question, some challenges could have more than one correct answer.

Some challenges are different from others:

  • Fill the blank challenges: Here you see a sentence with parts of it stripped away, and you fill in the missing portions. For example: 図書館に行って_を読んだ, where the answer would be “本”.
  • Ateji challenges: Here the characters form a logical sentence or expression when all read with a specific correct reading. For example: 茶連時市用!, where the answer would be “チャレンジしよう!”. (Katakana may be used in the challenge as a free reading).
  • Which character doesn’t belong challenges: Here there will be a group of characters, but one of them doesn’t belong for a certain reason. For example: 旧、扱、急、琉、球, where the answer would be “琉”, (because it’s the only kanji which can’t be read as きゅう).

Without further ado, let’s get on with this month’s Japanese challenges!

Japanese character challenges for January 2017

  1. Ateji challenge:
  2. Which character doesn’t belong, and why?
  3. Fill in the blanks:
  4. Which character doesn’t belong, and why?
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