A morphogram is the representation of a morpheme by a grapheme based solely on its meaning. Kanji and hanja are two writing systems that make use of morphograms, where Chinese characters were borrowed to represent native morphemes because of their meanings. Thus, a single character can represent a variety of morphemes which originally all had the same meaning. An example of this in Japanese would be the grapheme 東 [east], which can be read as higashi or azuma, in addition to its logographic representation of the morpheme tō. Additionally, in Japanese, the logographic (Chinese-derived) reading is called the on, and the morphographic reading (native Japanese) is called the kun.
- Smith, J.S. (1996). Japanese Writing. In P.T. Daniels & W. Bright (Eds.), The World’s Writing Systems (pp. 209-217). New York, NY: Oxford University Press, Inc.