on’yomi kun’yomi Radicals
せん n/i

Meaning: Thousand

This kanji looks like and means the same thing as the radical, which makes it particularly easy to remember.

As long as you know the radical thousand then you know the kanji thousand as well!

Reading: せん

Then you just wait, because there’s nothing else you can do right now. You’re stuck under the thousand crosses, after all. Then, suddenly, someone pops his head over you and says “hey, I’ll save you… but only for a thousand cents (せん). Go ahead and try to calculate what that would come out to.

But, the problem is even though you have ten thousand cents in your pocket, you can’t get them out. You’re stuck under all these crosses. So, the savior just shrugs and runs off, he won’t help you anymore. Feel the desperateness of the situation to help yourself remember the kanji better.


a 千(せん)= 1,000 (number)

  • Meaning: This is the word for “thousand” which shouldn’t be confused for “one thousand” though it’s nearly the same. So, to make things a little easier, we’re going to associate the meaning for this one as the number 1,000. This kanji equals the value of 1,000, not “one thousand.” Does that make any sense at all? I hope so.
  • Reading: You won’t see this kanji out on its own like this very often. Most times, Japanese just use the 1, 2, 3, etc., numbering system we use, so most of the time you see this it’ll be with another kanji (which is why this vocab uses the on’yomi reading, because it usually combos with other kanji, like the next vocab). So, if you know the on’yomi, you’ll know the reading of this word, simple as that.

a 一千(いっせん)= One Thousand

  • Combo: 一 (one) + 千 (thousand)
  • Meaning: One and thousand equals one thousand.
  • Reading: The tricky part of this one is the 一. It’s a shortened form of the いち that makes up 一, where the ち becomes a small っ. The reading for 千 is what it should be, the on’yomi of 千 though, so as long as you remember the 一 you’ll remember the reading for this word. 一 often does this when attached to something else, so you’ll start seeing it enough where it won’t feel as awkward as it probably does right now.

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