Shrines and temples are the popular spot for sightseeing in Japan. Usually you can get special souvenirs around the big and famous ones.

Take a look at this! I received a question from a follower about this cute little 鳥居(torii) gate this time. (*’▽’)/

This small torii gate is from Fushimi Inari Taisha. The seller wrote something on it for us. What do they mean?
伊智(Ichi) is supposed to be my name in Japanese kanji. At Nara Tourist Center, they helped me to decide my Japanese name.

Japanese kanji meanings on souvenirs
Japanese kanji meanings on souvenirs Japanese kanji meanings on souvenirs

Nice! Fushimi Inari Taisha is known for these red gates paths! I bet so many people have ever seen the picture of them.

Japanese kanji meanings on souvenirs
The famous “Thousand” torii gates 千本鳥居

How to Write Fushimi Inari Taisha in Japanese Kanji

Fushimi Inari Taisha is “伏見稲荷大社” in Japanese Kanji. 伏見(Fushimi) is the location’s name. This famous shrine is in Fushimi, Kyoto.

稲荷(Inari) is a god of grain and agriculture (but it’s worshiped as the god of the entire commerce industry today).

Then, 大社(taisha) means the head shrine. So, Fushimi Inari Taisha is the head of the all Inari shrines in Japan.

I see “伏見稲荷” on the top part of this little torii gate! On the left poll, there are the year and date. “2017年8月17日” means “August 17th, 2017“.

You can remember where and when you got this souvenir! (*´▽`*)

Japanese kanji meanings on souvenirs
The entrance of Fushimi Inari Taisha 伏見稲荷大社

Write Foreign Name in Japanese Kanji

In Japanese language, people write foreign names in カタカナ(Katakana script). They simply chose the letter that makes a similar sound like “マイク(ma-i-ku)” for Mike. However, a lot of sounds don’t exist in Japanese language, and I bet many people can’t accept this Japanese カタカナ name. “Because it doesn’t sound like my name at all!!(-_-;)”

This follower’s name is Ingrid. But she chose the word “1(ichi)” for her Japanese name instead of translating her real name, because some sounds don’t exist in Japanese language.

I think that’s a very good idea!

Japanese parents choose kanji for their baby’s name, considering what kind of person they want him or her to become. So, you should choose any kanji that can express who you are.(*’▽’)/

Japanese kanji meanings on souvenirs Japanese kanji meanings on souvenirs

OK, I see 1,一, 壱, イチ on the paper. All of them can be pronounced “ichi” which means “1”.

  • 1: Number 1
  • 一: Number 1 in regular Japanese kanji
  • 壱: Number 1 in the difficult version of Japanese kanji
  • イチ: It’s written in カタカナ(katakana) script. “イ” and “チ” can make sound “i” and “chi”.

The difficult version of Japanese kanji for numbers are called 大字(daiji) and they are used to prevent tampering.

Then there is one more “ichi” which is “伊智”. This set of kanji seems to be chosen to look more like “a first name”.

The kanji 伊 doesn’t have much meanings today, but it makes a sound “i”. It’s popular kanji for Japanese name for that. Then, 智 can make a sound “chi”. This one means “Wisdom” and it’s very common kanji we see in people’s name.

That’s why, the name 伊智 can contain the double meanings like “Number One” and “This Wisdom“.

I see 伊智 on the right pole of the torii gate! That’s your Japanese kanji name!


Today’s Kanji Shirt is “天下一(tenkaichi): No.1 Under Heaven”! This shirt is perfect for Ichi!

If you want to know the meanings of any Japanese kanji that you don’t see English subs for in a particular animation or live action movie, tell me “Name of the Show”, “Season and Episode #” and “the Exact Moment (Minute: Second) if it’s available”!

If it’s just Japanese kanji that you see around you, like a shop sign or a tattoo, you can send me the photo as long as you are allowed to take picture of it.

I can’t promise to reply to everyone but I’ll try my best!

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