Kanji for Peace: 平, 和, 泰 - The Symbols of Harmony

Kanji for Peace: 平, 和, 泰 - The Symbols of Harmony

You might be wondering what are the Japanese symbols for 'Peace'.

In this article, we're diving deep into this universal concept - "peace". The Japanese language encapsulates this serene sentiment through three beautiful kanji: 平, 和, and 泰. By unveiling the meanings, readings, and cultural significance of these characters, we offer you a deeper insight into the richness of Japanese culture and language.

Whether you're seeking to express feelings of tranquility, understand the concept of 'peace' in Japanese, or enhance your language skills, this guide is for you.

Let's dive into the calming and harmonious world of peace, through the lens of Japanese kanji!

Understanding the origin of 平, 和, and 泰

1. Origin of 平 (Peace)

This kanji is composed of two radicals:

  • 干 (Dry): Represents drying something out, but in this context, it can symbolize the absence of conflict or strife.
  • 丷 (Eight): While originally representing the number eight (八), in this context it contributes to the balanced symmetry of the character, mirroring the meaning of peace.

Collectively, the kanji 平, 'peace', illustrates the sense of equilibrium and lack of conflict, synonymous with peace.

2. Origin of 和 (Harmony, peace)

This kanji is composed of two radicals:

  • 禾 (Grain): It symbolizes a grain plant, often associated with a peaceful harvest.
  • 口 (Mouth): Represents speaking or words, often associated with communication.

The combination of these two radicals in the kanji 和, 'harmony' or 'peace', can be seen as symbolizing peaceful communication or harmony that leads to a fruitful result, like a good harvest.

3. Origin of 泰 (Peace, safe)

This kanji comprises of three radicals:

  • 水 (Water): Typically symbolizes flow or fluidity, here it can be seen as a representation of calmness or tranquility.
  • 三 (Three): While originally representing the number three, in this context it can be seen as a representation of balance and harmony.
  • 人 (Person): Represents a person, in this context, it can symbolize the presence of peace within an individual.

The kanji 泰, 'peaceful', embodies the concept of a calm and harmonious state, both within an individual and in a broader context.

Next, let's see how to read those kanji and common vocabulary words using them.

But before that, are you learning Japanese but struggling remembering your kanji? Here at Hirakan, we make everyday life products that help you remember your Japanese. Check out our JLPT N5 kanji:

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How to read 平, 和, and 泰

1. 平 (Peace, flat)

平 onyomi and kunyomi readings

Kanji Onyomi Kunyomi
ヘイ - hei たい(ら) - tai(ra), ひ(ら) - hi(ra)

Vocabulary words containing 平:

  • 平和 (へいわ - heiwa) = peace
  • 平等 (びょうどう - byoudou) = equality
  • 平日 (へいじつ - heijitsu) = weekday
  • 平均 (へいきん - heikin) = average
  • 平面 (へいめん - heimen) = flat surface
  • 公平 (こうへい - kouhei) = fairness, justice
  • 不平 (ふへい - fuhei) = complaint, dissatisfaction
  • 一平 (いっぺい - ippei) = everywhere, all over

2. 和 (Peace, harmony, Japanese style)

和 onyomi and kunyomi readings

Kanji Onyomi Kunyomi
ワ - wa やわ(らぐ), なご(やか) - yawa(ragu), nago(yaka)

Vocabulary words containing 和:

  • 和食 (わしょく - washoku) = Japanese food
  • 和服 (わふく - wafuku) = Japanese traditional clothes
  • 和解 (わかい - wakai) = reconciliation
  • 和歌 (わか - waka) = a type of traditional Japanese poem
  • 和風 (わふう - wafuu) = Japanese style
  • 昭和 (しょうわ - showa) = Showa era (1926-1989)
  • 中和 (ちゅうわ - chuuwa) = neutralization
  • 音楽和声 (おんがくわせい - ongakuwasei) = musical harmony

3. 泰 (Peaceful, calm)

泰 onyomi and kunyomi readings

Kanji Onyomi Kunyomi
タイ - tai やす(い) - yasu(i)

Vocabulary words containing 泰:

  • 安泰 (あんたい - antai) = peace, tranquility
  • 泰然 (たいぜん - taizen) = calm, composed
  • 泰山 (たいざん - taizan) = Taishan (a famous mountain in China)
  • 泰西 (たいせい - taisei) = the western world

How to use 平, 和, 泰 in Japan

1. Cultural significance and usage of 平 (Peace)

The kanji 平 is often used in Japan to signify a state of peace or tranquility. It can be found in words that convey calmness, balance, and evenness, such as 平和 (heiwa - peace) and 平等 (byoudou - equality). It's also frequently used in names and locations, conveying a sense of peace and serenity.

2. Cultural significance and usage of 和 (Harmony, peace)

The kanji 和 carries significant cultural weight in Japan, embodying a core Japanese value of harmony and peacefulness. The term 和風 (wafuu), for example, describes traditional Japanese style or things that embody a sense of peaceful harmony. It is also used to describe the Japanese style of living in harmony with nature and each other, encapsulated in the concept of 和の心 (wa no kokoro - the spirit of harmony).

3. Cultural significance and usage of 泰 (Peace, safe)

The kanji 泰 is less commonly used in daily Japanese language but carries a profound meaning of peace and safety. It is often seen in historical contexts or classical literature. Also, it's used in the word 泰然 (tairan), which means calm or composed, painting a picture of a tranquil and peaceful state of mind.


Now you know what the Japanese symbols for 'Peace' are. You've traversed the peaceful landscape of three remarkable kanji: 平, 和, and 泰. These characters intertwine historical significance, various readings, and a spectrum of vocabulary they are part of.

  • Understanding 平 can help you express the desire for tranquility and freedom from conflict in Japanese.
  • Learning the kanji 和 offers you a window into the deeply embedded Japanese value of harmony and peaceful coexistence.
  • Getting acquainted with 泰 opens the door to express a profound sense of safety and serene peace.

Commit to regular practice with these kanji, whether through writing, reading, or by integrating them into your daily language learning. The journey of kanji goes beyond rote memorization - it's about understanding the culture and context that these characters live in. As we've learned today, every kanji holds its own unique story.

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So, immerse yourself in the peaceful journey of learning kanji. Each character you grasp is not merely a symbol, but a pathway to expressing yourself and understanding a rich cultural heritage. Enjoy your study sessions, and remember - each kanji you master brings you a step closer to language proficiency, allowing you to connect deeper with Japanese culture and its peaceful philosophies.

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