kanji for strength

What Is Japanese Kanji For Strength?

Jun 05, 2024Shopify API

Wondering what is Japanese kanji for strength - Read on to find out! 

The Japanese writing system is a rich tapestry of characters that encompasses three main scripts: hiragana, katakana, and kanji. 

Among these, kanji holds a special place as it originated from Chinese characters and carries profound meanings.

Each kanji symbol represents a concept or an idea, allowing for the expression of complex thoughts and emotions.

In this article, we delve into the Japanese Kanji for "strength" (力) and explore its significance within the language and culture of Japan.

Japanese Kanji For Strength Is 力

The Kanji character for "strength" is 力 (ちから, chikara). It is a simple, yet powerful character that encapsulates the essence of physical and mental strength. 

When written, the character consists of two parts: a vertical line (representing a person standing upright) and a slightly curved horizontal line (symbolizing a bent arm). 

Together, these elements convey the idea of an individual exerting force or displaying inner strength.

Japanese Kanji For Strength

Symbolism and Meanings 

The Kanji character for "strength" embodies several meanings and connotations within Japanese culture.

Primarily, it signifies physical power, might, and force. It represents the ability to overcome obstacles and challenges through sheer determination and resilience.

This definition of strength encompasses both physical prowess and inner fortitude, emphasizing the importance of mental and emotional resilience alongside physical capabilities.

Beyond physicality, the Kanji character for "strength" can also represent concepts such as energy, vitality, and vigor.

It suggests an individual's power to accomplish tasks, pursue goals, and make a difference in the world.

Additionally, the character can symbolize power in a broader sense, including social influence and authority.

Cultural Significance Of 力 In Kanji

Strength holds immense cultural significance in Japan, where it is highly valued and admired.

The concept of strength, as represented by the Kanji character 力, aligns closely with the Japanese ethos of perseverance, discipline, and endurance.

These values are deeply rooted in Japanese history and have shaped the nation's cultural identity.

In various aspects of Japanese society, such as martial arts, sports, and traditional practices like sumo wrestling, strength is revered and nurtured.

The pursuit of physical and mental strength is seen as a pathway to personal growth, self-discipline, and self-improvement.

Moreover, strength is often associated with qualities such as honor, loyalty, and unwavering determination, which are highly regarded in Japanese society.

Usage Of 力  in Daily Life

The Kanji character for "strength" is commonly used in various contexts in daily life in Japan. It can be found in numerous idiomatic expressions, proverbs, and names. 

For instance, the phrase "力になる" (ちからになる, chikara ni naru) translates to "to become a strength" and is used to convey the idea of offering support and assistance to others.

Furthermore, the character 力 frequently appears in Japanese names, both given names and surnames, as a way to symbolize the desired qualities of strength and resilience.

It is also often incorporated into logos and designs to evoke a sense of power and determination.

Examples of 力 (pronounced "chikara") in Japanese

  • 力持ち (ちからもち) - Strong person, muscleman
  • 力士 (りきし) - Sumo wrestler
  • 腕力 (わんりょく) - Physical strength
  • 筋力 (きんりょく) - Muscular strength
  • 精神力 (せいしんりょく) - Mental strength
  • 意志力 (いしりょく) - Willpower
  • 実行力 (じっこうりょく) - Executive ability
  • 説得力 (せっとくりょく) - Persuasive power
  • 影響力 (えいきょうりょく) - Influence

The kanji 力 can also be used as a suffix to create compound words that express the ability to do something, often measured in degrees instead of just yes/no. 

For example:

  • 日本語力 (にほんごりょく) - Japanese ability
  • 英語力 (えいごりょく) - English ability
  • 会話力 (かいわりょく) - Conversational ability
  • プレゼン力 (ぷれぜんりょく) - Presentation ability
  • 料理力 (りょうりりょく) - Cooking ability

Examples Of 力 In Sentences

  • 彼の努力は本当に素晴らしい力です。 (Kare no doryoku wa hontō ni subarashii chikara desu.) Translation: "His efforts are truly a wonderful strength."
  • 健康のためには体力と精神力の両方が重要です。 (Kenkō no tame niwa tairyoku to seishinryoku no ryōhō ga jūyō desu.) Translation: "For health, both physical strength and mental strength are important."
  • 持って生まれたリーダーシップの力は組織を変革することができます。 (Motte umareta rīdāshippu no chikara wa soshiki o henkaku suru koto ga dekimasu.) Translation: "The power of innate leadership can transform organizations."
  • この試練を乗り越えるために、私たちは一致団結の力を発揮しなければなりません。 (Kono shiren o norikoeru tame ni, watashitachi wa icchi danketsu no chikara o hakki shinakereba narimasen.) Translation: "In order to overcome this trial, we must demonstrate the power of unity."
  • 力を合わせれば、私たちはどんな困難も克服できるでしょう。 (Chikara o awasereba, watashitachi wa donna konnan mo kokufuku dekiru deshō.) Translation: "If we combine our strengths, we can overcome any difficulty."


The Japanese Kanji for "strength" (力) encompasses the essence of power, resilience, and determination. It serves as a reminder of the importance of physical and mental fortitude in overcoming challenges and achieving personal growth. 

Embedded within the cultural fabric of Japan, the concept of strength carries deep significance and is celebrated in various aspects of daily life. 

Understanding the Kanji character for "strength" provides a glimpse into the values and ideals that underpin Japanese society, offering an appreciation for the pursuit of strength in all its forms.

More articles