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Japanese word meaning "person." It also has the merit of being represented by the simplest kanji character outside of certain numerals.

In contrast to English, this word plus a demonstrative pronoun (such as "that") is preferred over the pronouns "he" and "she" to refer to people -- so much so, in fact, that those pronouns are not taught in most entry-level Japanese classes.

There are actually two kanji characters within the first-grade which can be read as hito, but only one can stand alone as a word (as opposed to hito-something like hitotsu {one in the Japanese counting system}):


            # 
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           ##
          ## 
         ##
        ## ##
       ##   ###
      ##      ##                
      #         #

The above character can be read as JIN, NIN, or hito; as it is used in the words nihonjin (Japanese person/people), ningen (human being], or hitode (crowd/turn-out for an event). A pictograph of a standing person as viewed side-on.

See also: ichi

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