This week for my RocketNews24 W.T.F. Japan article, I wrote about the top five kanji used to represent foreign countries.
While Japan often refers to countries using the Japanese-ified version of their names (like Furansu for France), they can also refer to them using just a single kanji.
Since it’s only a single kanji, this is most often done in writing, particularly in newspapers and headlines where wordcounts are at a premium. Why bother writing our Furansu as four whole characters (フランス) when you can just write the single kanji to represent France instead (仏)?
There are many more interesting country-kanji out there, some of which have strange stories behind them… especially America.