時 (Time) - Meaning and history | Japanese Kanji

Author GokuGoku for article '時 (Time) - Meaning and history | Japanese Kanji'

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JLPT N510 strokes
timenowmomentwhen

Kun readings 🇯🇵

とき-どき

On readings 🇨🇳

時 (Time) - Meaning and history | Japanese Kanji

The kanji (とき) means time, now, moment, when.

In this post we learn more about the meaning of (とき), its origin, and how it is used through real example sentences.


Origin of the kanji (とき)

The kanji (とき) has as its root the element () the Sun, the sunlight, the day.

As you can see, the upper right shows the element (つち) land. The horizontal line represents the soil and the cross symbolizes the plant which grows gradually.

According to an interpretation, the lower part (つち) represented the feet, the legs and indicated the advance. All elements highlight the flow and the passage of time.

What does (とき) mean

The meanings of the kanji are: time, instant, moment, period, era, occasion and opportunity.

(とき) preceded by a verb in plain form is also used as a conjunction in the temporal proposition.

(てん)
()
がいいとき、
(さん)
()
をします。

I go for a walk, when the weather is nice .

Kanji readings (とき)

Let's now see the various On and Kun readings that the kanji (とき) assumes.

Kun readings of kanji (とき) 🇯🇵

とき

A saying common to various cultures links time to money.

(とき)
(かね)
なり。

Time is money .

  • (とき) is also used with the meaning of occasion, opportunity
(とき)
()

Wait for the right opportunity .

どき

(ときどき)tokidoki is the reading of the adverb sometimes, occasionally. As you see the repeated word toki changes the syllable to . The deaf sound と becomes sonorous ど with the addition of nigori, the quotation marks transcribed at the top right of the kana.

On kanji readings (とき) 🇨🇳

() is one of the counters or numeric suffixes, as it is used to count the hours throughout the day.

Number + ()
  • ()(ぜん) 7 () 7 am (a.m.)
  • ()() 5 () 5 pm (p.m.)

To check the time we need ()(けい), a clock, a word that associates:

  • time
  • measurement
japanesewatch
(うで)()(けい), the wristwatch

Words containing the kanji (とき)

  • A common noun for time is ()(かん) which we can translate as interval (間) temporal (時)
()
(かん)
がある。

I have time .

()
(かん)
はない。

I don't have time .

Departures and arrivals times

When traveling in Japan you can consult the ()(こく)(ひょう) framework or timetable of departures and arrivals.

japantravelling
Keihan line train timetables
  • ()(こう)()()(こく)(ひょう) flight timetable
  • (でん)(しゃ)()(こく)(ひょう) train timetable

Examples of words with the kanji (とき)

(いち)():

  • we have seen it as a counter or numerical suffix for hours and here indicates one
  • the same term also has the meaning of momentary, temporary and as an adjective it becomes (いち)()
  • (いち)()(げん)(しょう): a passing phenomenon
japanesekanji
(と. まる) まれ, imperative form: stop! Stop!
  • (てい)() means stop, suspension, the sign therefore means momentary interruption: stop!

If you find such a sign displayed on the door of a shop or a public place, fear not! It is:

  • (りん)()(きゅう)(ぎょう) a provisional closure
japaneselanguage
() (ほん)(かん) (ばん), Japanese sign

Pay for a job could be agreed based on:

  • ()(きゅう) an hourly wage or
  • (げっ)(きゅう) a monthly salary; this word contains the kanji of moon, month (つき)

Time and seasons

We find (とき) in the word that indicates the period or season and is synonymous with ()(せつ).

  • (さくら)()() the cherry blossom season
  • ()()(くだ)(もの) the seasonal fruit

Appointments and events

If you want to make an appointment you will have to decide:

  • (にち)() the day and time; in this word we find the kanji () indicating the Sun and the day, the hours of light

And if you have to call Japan, always keep in mind the time zone: ()() where () means difference, variation.

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