Cool Kanji – 齋

This kanji is relatively obscure. It’s used mostly in names, such as 齋藤 (さいとう). I chose this one for today because I had to write it about a dozen times when I was making name tags for the new first year students in junior high. Nearly all of them used this kanji, but one or two had a simplified version – 斎. It looks like there may be an even simpler version – 斉.

But today we’re talking about the difficult one. You can check out the stroke order here.

So that’s how they get that "Y"-loooking bit in the middle. Looking it up on Jim Breen gives a meaning
ものいみ(物忌み) means “fasting,” and a quick search on ALC (for the simplified version; no results for the complex version) reveals that the kanji is used in the translation for lots of religious stuff. Hooray?

I mainly wanted to get a closer look at the kanji this week. You’ll see it in a lot of names, and if you can write it, you will impress.