Cool Kanji – 響

This week’s kanji is used in the verb ひびく – to reverberate or ring. The bottom half is easy to  remember. It’s the character for sound, 音. The top is, I believe, only there for pronunciation purposes. 郷 means hometown, but is pronounced きょう(or maybe ぎょう), the same 音読み as 響.

Might as well take a moment and sort out one quick thing for newbies. Everyone grumbles about how kanji can have so many different pronunciations. Really there are two main pronunciations: 音読み (onyomi, the Chinese-based pronunciation) and 訓読み (kunyomi, the Japanese pronunciation). The kun reading is used in verbs and adjectives, for the most part, and the on reading is used in compounds.

I like this kanji because of the way it looks, because it is used in the cool compound 影響 (えいきょう, which means influence or effect), and because it is the name of one of my cutest ichinensei. Her name is Hibiki. I always thought that was a great name. (On a somewhat related side note, I also have a student named Kyo using the kanji 郷. )