One thing that makes learning a foreign language satisfying is when you learn something that can be applied to many different areas – effectively multiplying the productivity of your study efforts. One such area is prefixes and suffixes, where knowledge of a certain word helps you guess the meaning of new words.
When studying Japanese one runs into many such cases, especially when studying Kanji since oftentimes the meaning of a certain Kanji combination can be inferred by knowing the meaning of each of that word’s Kanji components. Sometimes, just from hearing a certain prefix or suffix you can guess the meaning which helps learning new words quickly.
“-作り” (“-zukuri”) is a suffix which comes from the verb 作る (tsukuru) which means “to make, to manufacture, to grow”. This suffix is used in several expressions to mean something which is created or made. I’ll introduce a few of these words, and once you grasp the general pattern you’ll have no problem understanding other words which use this suffix.
手作り (tezukuri) – hand made
庭作り (niwazukuri) – gardening
荷造り (nizukuri) – packing (luggage)
役作り (yazukuri) – practicing a part for a play or show
雰囲気作り (funikizukuri) – creating a certain atmosphere
町作り (machizukuri) – the process of building up a city or cultural within a city
The last two of these weren’t in the dictionary, but I had heard them in a Japanese podcast and was able to infer their meaning from context.
作り can also be used as a suffix, as in the following words:
作り話 (tsukuribanashi) – made up story
作り上げる (tsukuriageru) – complete, build up