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Alternative spellings
(implied okurigana)
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Compound of ? (on, "sound") +‎ (yomi, "reading"). Originally referred to the sounds (i.e. pronunciations) to use when reading Chinese text, as opposed to the meanings of these Chinese words in Japanese (called (kun'yomi) or (kundoku)).[1][2]



?()?(?)? o (on'yomi (ky?jitai )

  1. (linguistics) the reading of a Japanese word written in kanji that is roughly based on the pronunciation of the kanji characters in the originating Chinese dialect at the time the word was introduced into Japanese
    Synonym: (ondoku)
    Antonyms: (kun'yomi), (kundoku) (a kanji reading based on the original Japanese word of that meaning)

Usage notes

As words written in kanji were brought to Japan at different times rather than all at once, each can be categorized as (goon), (kan'on), or (t?on), among other subcategories, depending on the originating dialect. Thus, the same kanji may be used to mean different things depending on the reading, reflecting the differences between the source Chinese dialects, such as which means profit when read with the pronunciation (rieki), but means Buddhist blessing or salvation when read with the pronunciation (riyaku).

loosely corresponds to (kango), with the former signifying the reading and the latter signifying the word itself.

See also

  • ?()?() (kanbun): Chinese writing, Chinese literature, Chinese classics
  • ?()?(?) (kango): a Chinese-derived word borrowed into Japanese generally before the 1300s (as opposed to more recent borrowings, usually classified as gairaigo)
  • ?()?()?(?) (gairaigo): a foreign word borrowed into Japanese generally in the 1300s or later


?()?(?)? o (on'yomi surusuru (stem ?()?(?)?? (on'yomi shi), past ?()?(?)? (on'yomi shita), ky?jitai )

  1. to use the on'yomi of a word, to read a word using the pronunciation based on the original Chinese pronunciation



  1. ^ 1988, () (Kokugo Dai Jiten, Revised Edition) (in Japanese), T?ky?: Shogakukan
  2. ? 2.02.1 2006, (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), T?ky?: Sanseid?, ->ISBN
  3. ^ 1998, NHK (NHK Japanese Pronunciation Accent Dictionary) (in Japanese), T?ky?: NHK, ->ISBN
  4. ^ 1997, ? (Shin Meikai Kokugo Jiten), Fifth Edition (in Japanese), T?ky?: Sanseid?, ->ISBN

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