Japanese people usually use Katakana to write foreign country’s name. But they also can be written in Kanji. The country name in kanji isn’t commonly used, but sometimes appear in written Japanese.
Basically, Kanji is the character that has its own meanings. But when it comes to the country name, the Kanji used in them don’t have any particular intention. We just borrow the sounds of them to write foreign sounds down.
OK, then let’s start!
the United States
This Kanji express the sound of “America”. Besides, the second Kanji character is often used solely to indicate the United States.
This is Canada. But we seldom see it written in Kanji. The country name Canada is written in Katakana usually.
the United Kingdom
In Japan, the United Kingdom is called “I-GI-RI-SU”. The sound is completely different from English original one. The first character is often used solely to indicate the United Kingdom.
It’s said that this is because of Portuguese influence. Japanese people knew about the existence of the United Kingdom through the contact with Lusitanian. The Portuguese sounds still remains in its name.
This is France. The Kanji and sound are closely stick to the original sound of “France”.
The first Kanji character is often used solely to indicate France.
As the United Kingdom does, the country name “Germany” in Japanese is different from the English sound. It’s called “DO-I-TSU”. The sound is borrowed from the German language “Deutsch”.
The first Kanji character is often used solely to indicate German.
This is Italy. The first Kanji character is often used solely to indicate Italy.