Cool Kanji – 末

Hooray for the weekend! This semester I don’t have any class or work on Friday, so I automatically get 三連休, and this particular weekend expands to 四 thanks to Labor Day. (HOLY SHIT IT’S GOOD TO BE A STUDENT!)

The Japanese for weekend is 週末 (しゅうまつ). The kanji 末 is a handy one to recognize. It often gets used as a suffix to mean the end of something. For example, 年末, 期末, 月末, and 世紀末 among others. Once you recognize it, you’ll be able to parse it as a suffix in unknown vocab much more easily.

(Note: Never confuse 期末 [きまつ, end of school term] with 末期 [まつご, end of life, terminal]. Damn you, Japonese and your flipable compounds.)

It also gets pronounced すえ and used in the construction “X〜た末、Y.” It still means an “end” of sorts in this case, just an end of the verb that comes before it, implying the English tone of “after much ~ing, Y occurred/I managed to Y/I did Y.”


いろいろ考えた末、日本で留学することにした。 After thinking about it quite a bit/After much consideration, I decided to study abroad in Japan.

長い間がんばった末、やっと翻訳の仕事を見つけた。 After a lot of hard work, I finally found a translation job. (Weird translation – ignore it, remember the Japonese, please.)

5 thoughts on “Cool Kanji – 末

  1. Usually when discussing 末 there’s an unwritten law that you should mention 未, just like 土 and 士 ;)

  2. I like 未練.
    未練is an unsettling feeling about things in the past like lost relationships and lost properties. It used to be used in Enka songs all the times like I have an undeniable 未練 for the guy who dumped me.
    練るcan be knead, gloss or polish.
    So 未練 is 未だに練れていない気持ち、the feeling that has no been improved yet.

  3. Hi Daniel!
    How are you?

    You know my name is 末広.
    It’s traced back to 末広がり。
    It means ‘the end is getting wider(=flourish,more better)’
    It’s one of the lucky words.

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