This however is NOT the case for kanji combinations. A kanji combination is when several kanji are strung together to make a word and there's almost always a logical pattern to why certain kanji are grouped together to make word. Kushner points out that this can give us some insight into ancient Japan when many of these patterns were established, but more importantly, they can be downright amusing.
And so, I present to you 警察官 (keisatsukan) the Japanese word for “police officer”.
What is a police officer you ask? Why it's simple, a police officer is a person who:
警 - “admonish”es you
察 - “judge”es you and is a
官 - “bureaucrat”
It's the admonishing bit that really gets me.
There you have it, the Japanese have nicely summed up the function police officers.
(Our own etymology is somewhat similar. Police comes from Middle French “police”, essentially meaning government. No admonishment though... sad).