Life’s a Kanji 生 (なま) – Kanji Believe it

We’ve seen two out of three Kanji on student 学生(がくせい) and teacher 先生(せんせい), now let’s take a look at the one they have in common! 生(なま). 

This is a very important Kanji, it stands for life, birth, genuine, among other meanings. That why when you mix it with former or previous さき, you get teacher, someone one who has lived prior to his students and has skills that they lack. The character in question is used for several verbs indeed, let’s take a look at them.


い・きる い・かす い・ける う・まれる う・まれ う・む お・う は・える は・やす き なま な・る な・す む・す

セイ ショウ


さき – 1.previous, prior, former. 2. point (e.g. pencil), tip, end, nozzle, head (of a line). 3. destination. 4. the first priority, the future, objective, sequel, remainder, the other party

さきにフィルターのついたきタバコ – A cigarette with a filter tip

かれはここからよんけんんでいる – He lives [his house is] four doors [away, down] from here.

教会きょうかいさきにあるいえ – The house past the church

さきにどうぞ、すぐにいつきますから – Go ahead. I’ll catch up soon

彼女かのじょはよくはたらくがさきめない – She works hard but lacks vision

さきの~: Former, late ~


きる – to live, to exist. Ichidan verb.

ロビン は 「きたい!」と いました
Robin said ” I want to live!”



かす- 1. To revive, to resuscitate, to let live. 2 To make use of.

試合しあい長身ちょうしんかす – To use one’s height to advantage in the game



ける (いける) – to arrange flowers. Ichidan verb.

(writer’s note: as weird as that sounds)

はなけました – I arranged the flowers

あの男は裏切うらぎものなのでかしておくまい – That man is a traitor and he shall die.



まれる – to be born. Ichidan verb

まれた   あと 、背中せなか が ふくらんで  かたい 甲羅こうら  が できる
After it’s born its back swells and a hard sell is formed (as seen on zenigame’s pokedex entry).


む  – to give birth, to deliver, to bear, to produce.

彼女かのじょかれとの間に3人さんにん子供こどもんだ – She has borne him three children

お・う / は・える

う / える – to grow, to spring up, to cut with teeth. Ichidan verb.

歩道ほどうからえる雑草ざっそう – Weeds sprouting from cracks in the sidewalk


やす – To grow, to cultivate, to wear beard. Godan verb.

ひげをやす – To grow a beard

(き) – prefix: pure, undiluted, raw, crude.

生酒きざけ – Pure undiluted (rice) wine


なま – raw, unprocessed.

生放送なまほうそう - Live broadcast

生意気なまいき – Impertinent, saucy, audacious, brazen. The name they gave to the Sassy nature in the official English localization of Pokémon


る (なる) – to bear fruit. Godan verb.


かねはない – There are no trees that grow money.


す  – to bear, to deliver, to give birth. Godan verb.

す – To bear a child


す  – to grow (like moss). Godan verb.


So many possible uses in verbs!, but here it is, life. A Kanji you can’t live without, you were born to know this one, it grows as part of all of us!

Some example sentences were taken from Kanji Sonomama Rakubiki Jiten.

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