Japanese kanji (漢字)

Kanji are the main characters for writing Japanese in combination with kana (hiragana, katakana), which are phonetic characters.

When saying “Kanji” in English-speaking countries, people refer often to Japanese kanji.

Except for specific fields such as classic language and calligraphy, nowadays so-called new fonts are often used based on kanji tables.

Currently, there are about 2000 characters that are commonly used for general lives such as newspapers, broadcasts, and magazines.


Can Japanese actually write and read kanji?

How many kanji can actually be read or written by a typical Japanese?

Below are two interesting YouTube videos, so please take a look.


Number of Kanji required for JLPT acquisition

For each JLPT level, these tables of Japanese kanji (漢字) are shown as example in the list below.


JLPT N5 (Total about 100)



JLPT N4 (Total about 300)



JLPT N3 (Total about 650)



JLPT N2 (Total about 1,100)



JLPT N1 (Total about 1,850)



If you use the 日本語能力試験学習サイト (Japanese Language Proficiency Test Learning Site), you can conduct a practical test of kanji / vocabulary / grammar from 1st grade to 4 grade for free.