eg 後樂園 is completely kanji but I thought it was a place in Taiwan until I looked it up and it was in Japan. Also what about reading it in the Chinese reading (hou le yuan) instead of the actual Japanese reading (korakuen)? I’m confused on cultural notes such as these


3 Answers 3


Kanji are almost exactly the same as the Chinese Traditional Characters... Know your history. There are a few differences though in a very short amount of characters which even in traditional Chinese seem different from the ones in Japanese, as Japanese went through its own simplifying process.

To know if its Kanji or Hanzi you will have to see the context. Yet, proper names such as this one you mentioned tend to be written with the same characters.


You can only differentiate Kanji and Hanzi by looking into the context. Most Japanese Kanji look exactly like Chinese Hanzi because they were copied from Hanzi.

There are few unique Kanji that's coined by Japanese and not in use in Chinese. Those are called Kokuji. Kokuji are inspired by Hanzi, but not copied from, they can be easily identified as Japanese

Also, some Japanese characters are simplified different from the Mainland China's simplied Hanzi, but the non-simplified Kanji all look the same as traditional Chinese


The best way to differentiate Kanji and Hanzi and to master either one.

If you know more about the logic of either one, you can easily tell if it's Kanji and Hanzi.

後樂園 can be confusing but actually a single character後 as an adjective to describe 樂園 is a Japanese-style word

another example can be 介紹 and 紹介
same characters with different order implies different languages

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