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Kan-on(漢音?, lit. "Han sound") is one of the sources of pronunciation of Japanesekanji. They were borrowed from the Tang Dynasty during the 7th to 9th century, introduced by, among others, envoys from Japanese missions to Tang China. This period corresponds with the Japanese Nara period. Not to be confused with Tō-on which literally translates as "Tang sound" but refers to later phonetic loans. Kan-on is based on the central Chang'an pronunciation. The name Kan (Han in Chinese) could refer to the Han Dynasty, which also had Chang'an as its capital. Farthermore Kan has also become a description for all things Chinese, e.g., Kanji ('Chinese characters').
It partly displaced the earlier go'on, which were "just imitations of Korean imitations, but Kan-on were imitations of the real things."
A minority of characters never had their Kan-on transmitted to Japan, their Kan-on are sometimes reconstructed in Japanese dictionaries, although they are usually not specifically marked as such. Sometimes actually attested Kan-on might even be discarded in favour of more systematic pronunciations in dictionaries.