20 7 / 2011
Although a relatively simple Kanji in terms of stroke count, the meaning it contains is rather hard to grasp from a first glance. Keep in mind, though, that almost all Kanji are made up from radicals or components, asides those which are pictographic. Alas, this Kanji is not pictographic so let’s look at its parts.
To the left, we have にすい, which are two dots that are supposed to represent water. にすい can sometimes refer to water but in this case it is a mutation of 二, meaning two.
On the right side, we have 欠 (か・ける) meaning to fail at something or lacking something. Putting the two ideas together, we can remember that it is the second-rate version of something you need and therefore lacks. It’s the next best thing.
This Kanji does not have a phonetic component as it is a radical itself. Its on’yomi are シ and ジ, while its kun’yomi are つぎ and つ・ぐ. It appears in Kanji such as 姿、盗、資、and 諮. Below are some vocabulary words:
次 (つぎ) - noun: next
次回 (じかい) - noun: next time
次期 (じき) - noun: next term, next period
次元 (じげん) - noun: dimension; perspective
次第 (しだい) - noun / adverb: dependent upon. Ex: 選択(せんたく)は全く君次第だ。The choice is entirely up to you.
次代 (じだい) - noun: next era