Hey Could someone check this? I'd be very greatful

My small project

Why are there Chinese characters
in the Japanese language?

Nathalie Bartelius


This project has been quiet amusing. It made a lot of pressure, but it was interesting. I hope you’ll enjoy it.


The problem I’ve decided to solve is ‘Why are there Chinese characters in the Japanese language?’


Since I was in fourth grade I’ve been interested in Japan and its language. I’ve been learning it bit by bit and I’ve just started to confront a quite difficult part of it. That is ‘kanji’, the Chinese characters used in the Japanese language. Every kanji has its own meaning, and there’s about 8 000 used in Japan now days. In China, however, more than 10 000 Characters is used. But why did Japan adopt this complex writing system?


There are only theories of how the Chinese writing system were made and no real fact, since it was such a long time ago since this happened. It was approximately 40 000 years ago, in China. The people wanted to ask the gods in the heavens various things and the method they used was to burn tortoiseshells. The cracks that form into the shell could be compared to things that existed around them. After burning tortoiseshells and writing the characters down for a period of time, they could send words to the heavens with them.

Over time the characters changed structure, to what it looks like today.

This was the foundation for the Chinese writing system, but it wasn’t until the Zhou dynasty that it became a writing system. They found all the tortoiseshells with characters on them and thought that they could be used as a writing system. After that, they started documenting with these characters about big events, important persons and suchlike.

But the Zhou dynasty never learned about the origins of these characters, and so, if they didn’t know the character for something, they came up with something appropriate. The consequence of this was much confusion, since there were many different kingdoms and many different ways of writing, as no one followed the base of the writing system 100%.

It wasn’t after the Qin dynasty, around 221 B.C, that China became a united kingdom, with only one writing system. Li Su, China’s premiere minister, wrote a register of all character scholars should learn, which consisted of 3 300 characters. That way, everyone used them the same way, and it was finally useful.

So kanji came originally from China, probably by the Korean peninsula. Before kanji came to Japan, they didn’t have a writing system. No one really knows when Japan started to use kanji; it was probably Chinese immigrants who first came to Japan with this system and the Japanese people though it seemed useful. After that it spread over the country.

But because Japanese and Chinese are so different, they had to make many changes to fit them together. The largest part of the kanji has different meaning and pronunciation compared to the Chinese characters. Hiragana, a phonetic alphabet was added later on to make the writing system fit even better.


The reason is quite logic, if I knew that Japan didn’t have a writing system before the Chinese people introduced the Chinese writing system. It’s hard to imagine how it would be without a writing system at all, and having to talk instead of writing. I’m sure Japanese people talked a lot at that time.

The way that the Chinese people asked gods about various things was truly horrible. So many turtles died just because of their shells. It reminds me of shark fin soup that people are so obsessed about. They cut of shark’s fins and throw them into the sea again to let them suffer a painful death. It’s just horrible! Though I hope they didn’t make the turtles suffer as much as the sharks today.


So the reason why Japan adopted Chinese characters was because they didn’t have anything else to use. They were people without a writing system and thought that the Chinese characters could be useful, even though converting them into the Japanese language must have been very difficult.
nattissaThis project has been quiet amusing.

It should be "quite". "Quiet" means "silent".