Your daily kanji treat
Japanese is written in a combination of three scripts: hiragana, katakana and kanji. Kanji originated from Chinese characters. Hiragana and katakana developed from kanji to express Japanese syllables phonetically.
It is said that some 50,000 kanji exist. However, many kanji are not necessarily used in daily life. The Japanese Ministry of Education designated 2,136 characters as Joyo Kanji. They are the characters frequently used. Although it would be very helpful to learn all of Joyo Kanji, the basic 1,000 characters are sufficient to read about 90% of the kanji used in a newspaper.
Japanese school children first learn hiragana and katakana, then 1006 kanji characters (Education Kanji) through grade one to six. With "Kanji Land" lessons, you will learn all of the 1006 kanji characters.
About Kanji Land
New Kanji Every Day
A new kanji character is introduced every day. First you will learn 80 kanji characters which are taught in grade one at Japanese school, then 160 for grade two, and it goes on to all 1006 kanji characters.
You will find "kanji of the day" and its stroke order on the top of the page. It is very important to learn right stroke order, so please follow it carefully. Click here to learn more about stroke order.
Most kanji characters have two readings: On-reading (On-yomi) and Kun-reading (Kun-yomi). On-reading is the kanji's Chinese pronunciation and Kun-reading is native Japanese pronunciation. You will find readings in both hiragana and romaji. Click here to learn more about On-reading and Kun-reading.
Radicals (bushu) express the general nature of the kanji characters. There are about 200 radicals. If you memorize some of important radicals, it will help you to remember the meaning of the kanji characters, or guess the meaning of the kanji characters you haven't learned. Click here to learn more about radicals.
The kanji characters are often used as compounds. It will be useful to learn the kanji characters with some of the compounds. They are written in both hiragana and romaji. There are also sound files for the pronunciation.