Cool Kanji – 鰐




This is one of my all time favorite kanji. I first learned it in Beppu where they have these things they call “hells.” They are like onsen but much hotter and are different colors. There’s a dozen or so of them and they vary in terms of respectability. The worst one houses something like 100 alligators. They’re all cooped up, piled on top of each other and forced to swim in their own shit all day long. There’s a sign that says something stupid like, “Hot springs provide a tropical atmosphere perfect for raising crocodiles!” Boo.


The kanji itself, though, is great. It’s fish on the left and then that thingy on the right, which I always recognize from the word for jaw – 顎. So, you can remember it as a fish with a big-ass jaw – alligator. It almost looks like the part on the right is trying to eat the fish part…as a crocodile would.