Random Kanji Knowledge: Yume


Random Kanji Knowledge time! I will try to make an honest effort at posting more of these a bit more frequently because learning stuff is fun.

The Japanese word for dream is 夢 (yume), which is pronounced like you-may. 夢 is a commonly used word in Japanese culture. I count 夢 as a buzz word that pops up A LOT in anime and whatnot.

And rightfully so … we are all dreamers.

Dreams can inspire and motivate us toward bettering ourselves. Dreams can function as a means of hope when life gets you down.

I have always considered 夢 to be a slick kanji. To those of you who haven’t studied Japanese/Chinese languages, there is a reason why writing out these elaborate symbols is possible. And that’s through something called stroke orders.

Basically, stroke orders are the “proper” sequences for writing a given kanji. Every character has them, and they usually follow a pattern for a particular component to make up the entire symbol (e.g. left to right).

The stroke order for 夢 is shown below.

Back when I was learning Japanese, I thought stroke orders were silly and dumb. Why should I be so fixated on making sure I draw a line this direction? Did it matter if I made a box in a certain fashion versus doing it the opposite way? Or so I thought.

Following the stroke order does in fact make kanji writing a lot easier. It’s muscle memory. I still amaze myself when I can blast out a tricky symbol on the fly because I have ingrained a kanji’s stroke order into my mind.

So dream on. Follow your 夢s with all your heart.

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