Kanji is made up of Chinese characters that create one of the three main scripts utilized for Japanese writing; the other two basic scripts are katakana and hiragana. Kanji characters may be a whole word or the stem of the word depending upon the context. Frequently the meaning of the symbols communicate better than the phonetically-written versions of the same word. However, they are also more intricate and complex, and not useful to phonetic writing. Thus, they are not useful for words that are taken from languages other than Chinese.