Manga Kissaten Kanji (Nihongo Word Smash)

Manga Kissaten Sign
A sign for a "Manga (まんが) Kissa (喫茶)"

The manga kissaten is a place to read your favorite manga and have some coffee so that you can stay awake to read more manga. The “comic book coffee shop”, to use its direct translation, has evolved over the years into a kind of information convenient store.

What I focus on here is the Nihongo Word Smash. How the language has smooshed the words down from “manga kissaten” to “mankitsu”. The photo shows the word manga written in Hiragana (まんが) and then the Kissa part of Kissaten written in Kanji (喫茶). I am going to use all kanji to show which parts have been removed to make the smaller word.

Manga Kissaten Kanji 1

We start with the 5 kanji that make up the word “Manga Kissaten”.

The first part eliminated is the “Ten” kanji (meaning place) Leaving the term, “manga kissa”. This is still a very popular way to refer to the manga cafe.

MangaKissaten Kanji 3Then we really start chopping things up to get to the final mashed version of the word. Taking the first kanji from each word and eliminating the rest. One of the fascinating things that happens here is that the “kissa” part of kissaten somehow reverts back to the sound it makes when its is pronounced as a solitary kanji, “kitsu”. As opposed to the “kissa” sound it makes when in kissaten.

MangaKissaten Kanji 4And Just like that, the 5 kanji are smashed down to a bite size word that you can easily pronounce when in a hurry.