Being a Wise Guy? Kanji for Wise (聡)

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Kanji SOU Wise

Kanji SOU Wise

Here is another JLPT N1 kanji that you will not find often, but it would be WISE to learn it as it should be easy to remember precisely because it has limited usage.

Onyomi: ソウ SOU

Kunyomi: さとい/みみざとい satoi/mimizatoi


聡明 そうめい soumei (wisdom)

聡 さとし Satoshi (boy’s name)

(you will almost never hear it used in its kunyomi form, satoi and mimizatoi)

How I remember this is by breaking the kanji down into two parts.


The left part is 耳 (みみ) which is the kanji for ear. You can argue with me as to when it is appropriate to keep your ears closed. However, if you are learning something new (like kanji!) or engaged in a debate, the general rule of thumb and the wise thing to do is to keep your ears open to everything. This brings me to the…


The right part is not a radical by itself, but it gives the kanji that it is a part of the onyomi sound SOU. One of the more frequently used kanji that is is found in is  (SOU, subete, everything). One more time, key word is everything.

So if the left side is ear and if we can think of the right side as everything, we can say that it is wise to keep your ears open to everthing.