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"Chinese ideographs that make up the bulk of Japanese writing," 1920, from Japanese kan "Chinese" + ji "letter, character."
in Japanese writing, characters adapted from Chinese characters and usually employed for writing nouns, verb roots, adjectives, and other important words. The Japanese affixes for verb tenses, prepositions, and other grammatical markers, which do not exist in Chinese, are indicated by hiragana symbols written beside the kanji. The pronunciation of kanji symbols may be indicated as well by hiragana signs. See also kana.