8 strokes
mound, dam (阝 left) 阜 (阝)
Africa, flatter, fawn upon, corner, nook, recess
Jinmeiyō kanji, used in names
JLPT level N1
1126 of 2500 most used kanji in newspapers


Stroke order

On reading compounds

  • 阿 【ア】 first Sanskrit alphabet letter, Africa, Awa (old province of Japan), prefixed to names to show intimacy
  • 阿呆 【アホ】 fool, idiot, simpleton
  • 南ア 【ナンア】 South Africa
  • 阿蘭陀 【オランダ】 Netherlands, Holland
  • お亀 【オカメ】 homely woman (esp. one with a small low nose, high flat forehead, and bulging cheeks), plain woman, soba in soup with slices of boiled fish paste, shiitake mushrooms, greens, seaweed, etc.
  • 加加阿 【カカオ】 cacao tree (Theobroma cacao), cocoa tree

Kun reading compounds

  • 阿る 【おもねる】 to flatter, to play up (to), to curry favor (with), to fawn (on), to cater (to)
  • 隈 【くま】 corner, nook, recess, shade, shadow, dark area, dark circles (under the eyes), dark rings, shading, gradation, kumadori, style of kabuki makeup used for violent roles


Japanese names:
ほとり、 あず、 あわ、 おか、 きた、 な
Mandarin Chinese (pinyin):
a1, e1, a5, a2, a4
a, og


  • A fonética
  • África
  • meandro
  • adular
  • halagar



  • flatter
  • flagorner
  • Afrique
  • coin
  • recoin
1515 A New Dictionary of Kanji Usage
4985 Classic Nelson (Andrew Nelson)
569 Japanese Names (P.G. O’Neill)
2258 Kanji and Kana (Spahn and Hadamitzky)
408 Kodansha Kanji Dictionary (Jack Halpern)
256 Kodansha Kanji Learner’s Dictionary (Jack Halpern)
305 Kodansha Kanji Learner’s Dictionary, 2nd Edition (Jack Halpern)
1304 Les Kanjis dans la tete (Yves Maniette)
41599 Morohashi
346 New Japanese English Character Dictionary (Jack Halpern)
6435 New Nelson (John Haig)
1295 Remembering The Kanji (James Heisig)
1391 Remembering The Kanji, 6th edition (James Heisig)
2d5.6 The Kanji Dictionary
1-3-5 SKIP code
7122.0 Four corner code
1-16-04 JIS X 0208-1997 kuten code
963f Unicode hex code