What is Niji Jukugo (二字熟語)?

nijijukugo

Niji Jukugo (二字熟語) is a Japanese compound word that contains two kanji.

Most niji jukugo are read using On-yomi.

来週 raishu- (next week)

詩人 shijin (poet)

研究 kenkyu- (research)

 

There are two-character compounds that can be read using Kun-yomi.

青空 aozora (blue sky)

秋風 akikaze (fall wind)

昔話 mukashibanashi (folklore)

 

Some two-character compounds that are read using Kun-yomi have okurigana in or after the word.

食べ物 tabemono (food)

読み手 yomite (reader)

組み合わせ kumiawase (combination)

 

Niji jukugo that mix Kun-yomi and On-yomi occur occasionally.

絵描き egaki (painter)

油絵 aburae (oil painting)

 

There are also a few niji jukugo that have irregular readings.

大人 otona (adult)

芝生 shibafu (lawn)

田舎 inaka (countryside)

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