- Meaning: country
- Pronunciations: kuni / koku
The Kanji character “国 (country)” used to be written “國”, which was formed from the shape of the pictogram “村 (village)” and the shape of the pictogram “矛 (spear)”.
When we look at the inner part of “或”, it’s composed of “戈”, “囗” and “―”.
- 戈 ＝spear
- 囗 ＝ enclosure
- ― ＝ land
Therefore, “或” originally means a “country” which is an enclosed land protected by armed people. It is said that another “囗” was added as time went by.
- 国連（こくれん）: UN, United Nation
- 国旗（こっき）: national flag
- 国際（こくさい）: international
- 国会（こっかい）: National Diet, parliamen
- 国民（こくみん）: people, citizen
- 国籍（こくせき）: nationality
Nihon no kokki wa siroji ni aka desu.
The Japanese flag is red on white.
Nihon wa shimaguni desu.
Japan is an island country.