I was just browsing the kanji for the JLPT at www.kanjisite.com when I came across 可 (ka) possible, approve. Then I looked down the list of example compounds and was shocked to find:

可愛い (かわいい) ー cute

Wow, it’s shocking when such a common word has kanji that you never knew about it.


  1. Whoa, that’s cool. Chinese people use the same characters for “cute” — 可愛 (ke ai).

  2. Perhaps the original meaning is “lovable” – 愛することが可能、ということ?

  3. Cute and lovable kanji. Chinese people must know more about what they write about than Japanese – 漢字しかないね。

  4. One of those kanji compounds that most people can read, but that very few people actually use. Shame, really.

  5. Of course… kanji aren’t かわいい. 😉

  6. Not cute? そうかもしれないが、漢字はきれいだと思います。