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Kanji in this term
Grade: 1

Grade: 2

Alternative formsEdit


Compound of (on, sound) +‎ 読み (yomi, reading). Originally referred to the sounds (i.e. pronunciations) to use when reading Chinese text, as opposed to the meanings of these Chinese words in Japanese (called 訓読み (kun'yomi) or 訓読 (kundoku)).[1][2]



読み (shinjitai kanji, kyūjitai kanji 音讀み, hiragana おんよみ, rōmaji on'yomi)

  1. (linguistics) The reading of a Japanese word written in kanji that is roughly based on the pronunciation of the kanji characters in the originating Chinese dialect at the time the word was introduced into Japanese.
    As words written in kanji were brought to Japan at different times rather than all at once, each 音読み can be categorized as 呉音 (goon), 漢音 (kan'on), or 唐音 (tōon), among other subcategories, depending on the originating dialect. Thus, the same kanji may be used to mean different things depending on the reading, reflecting the differences between the source Chinese dialects, such as 利益 which means profit when read with the 漢音 pronunciation りえき (rieki), but means Buddhist blessing or salvation when read with the 呉音 pronunciation りやく (riyaku).
    音読み loosely corresponds to 漢語 (kango), with the former signifying the reading and the latter signifying the word itself.



See alsoEdit


音読みする (shinjitai kanji, kyūjitai kanji 音讀みする, suru conjugation, hiragana おんよみする, rōmaji on'yomi suru)

  1. to use the on'yomi of a word, to read a word using the pronunciation based on the original Chinese pronunciation



  1. ^ 1988, 国語大辞典(新装版) (Kokugo Dai Jiten, Revised Edition) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan
  2. 2.0 2.1 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN
  3. ^ 1998, NHK日本語発音アクセント辞典 (NHK Japanese Pronunciation Accent Dictionary) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: NHK, →ISBN
  4. ^ 1997, 新明解国語辞典 (Shin Meikai Kokugo Jiten), Fifth Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN