100 most common Japanese Words

100 Most Commonly Used Kanji – Kanji Frequency list

Learn the 100 Most Commonly Used Kanji – Kanji Frequency list

The list of the 100 most common Kanji is organized primarily by frequency of use in modern Japanese texts. These characters are foundational in learning the language and are encountered frequently in everyday contexts, making them essential for beginners. The Kanji are grouped in a manner that introduces simple, fundamental concepts first (like numbers and basic natural elements) and then progresses to more complex ideas.

  1. Numerals: The list starts with Kanji for numbers (一 to 十, 百, 千) because they are among the most frequently used characters. Mastering these early on helps in understanding dates, times, and quantities.
  2. Basic Concepts: Following the numerals, the list includes basic directional and spatial Kanji (上, 下, 左, 右, 中), which are crucial for everyday communication.
  3. Elements and Nature: Kanji representing natural elements and features (日, 月, 火, 水, 木, 金, 土, 山, 川) are introduced next. These are often used in various contexts, such as calendar terms and place names.
  4. Common Objects and Ideas: The list then moves to commonly used objects and concepts (人, 名, 女, 男, 子) and basic actions or states (見, 聞, 立, 休).
  5. Colors and Adjectives: Colors and descriptive terms (赤, 青, 白, 大, 小, 新, 古) are also included early on as they are essential for descriptions.
  6. Educational and Social Terms: Kanji related to education and social structures (学, 校, 町, 村) follow, reflecting their importance in daily life and reading comprehension.
  7. Practical Objects and Verbs: The list includes practical objects (車, 金, 貝) and basic verbs (入, 出, 行, 来), providing a solid foundation for forming simple sentences.

The 100 Most Frequently used Kanji with Translation:

First 100 Kanji

  1. 一 (one) – いち (ichi), ひと (hito)
  2. 二 (two) – に (ni), ふた (futa)
  3. 三 (three) – さん (san), み (mi)
  4. 四 (four) – し/よん (shi/yon), よ (yo)
  5. 五 (five) – ご (go), いつ (itsu)
  6. 六 (six) – ろく (roku), む (mu)
  7. 七 (seven) – しち/なな (shichi/nana)
  8. 八 (eight) – はち (hachi), や (ya)
  9. 九 (nine) – きゅう/く (kyuu/ku), ここの (kokono)
  10. 十 (ten) – じゅう (juu), とお (too)
  11. 百 (hundred) – ひゃく (hyaku)
  12. 千 (thousand) – せん (sen), ち (chi)
  13. 上 (up) – じょう (jou), うえ (ue)
  14. 下 (down) – か/げ (ka/ge), した (shita)
  15. 左 (left) – さ (sa), ひだり (hidari)
  16. 右 (right) – う/ゆう (u/yuu), みぎ (migi)
  17. 中 (middle) – ちゅう (chuu), なか (naka)
  18. 大 (big) – だい/たい (dai/tai), おお (oo)
  19. 小 (small) – しょう (shou), ちい (chii), こ (ko), お (o)
  20. 月 (month, moon) – げつ/がつ (getsu/gatsu), つき (tsuki)
  21. 日 (day, sun) – にち/じつ (nichi/jitsu), ひ/び (hi/bi)
  22. 年 (year) – ねん (nen), とし (toshi)
  23. 早 (early) – そう (sou), はや (haya)
  24. 木 (tree) – もく/ぼく (moku/boku), き (ki)
  25. 林 (forest) – りん (rin), はやし (hayashi)
  26. 山 (mountain) – さん (san), やま (yama)
  27. 川 (river) – せん (sen), かわ (kawa)
  28. 土 (soil) – ど/と (do/to), つち (tsuchi)
  29. 空 (sky) – くう (kuu), そら (sora)
  30. 田 (rice field) – でん (den), た (ta)
  31. 天 (heaven) – てん (ten), あま (ama)
  32. 生 (life) – せい/しょう (sei/shou), い (i), う (u), なま (nama)
  33. 花 (flower) – か (ka), はな (hana)
  34. 草 (grass) – そう (sou), くさ (kusa)
  35. 虫 (insect) – ちゅう (chuu), むし (mushi)
  36. 犬 (dog) – けん (ken), いぬ (inu)
  37. 人 (person) – じん/にん (jin/nin), ひと (hito)
  38. 名 (name) – めい/みょう (mei/myou), な (na)
  39. 女 (woman) – じょ (jo), おんな (onna)
  40. 男 (man) – だん/なん (dan/nan), おとこ (otoko)
  41. 子 (child) – し/す (shi/su), こ (ko)
  42. 目 (eye) – もく (moku), め (me)
  43. 耳 (ear) – じ (ji), みみ (mimi)
  44. 口 (mouth) – こう/く (kou/ku), くち (kuchi)
  45. 手 (hand) – しゅ (shu), て (te)
  46. 足 (foot) – そく (soku), あし (ashi)
  47. 見 (see) – けん (ken), み (mi)
  48. 音 (sound) – おん (on), おと (oto)
  49. 力 (power) – りょく/りき (ryoku/riki), ちから (chikara)
  50. 気 (spirit) – き (ki)
  51. 円 (circle, yen) – えん (en), まる (maru)
  52. 入 (enter) – にゅう (nyuu), い (i), はい (hai)
  53. 出 (exit) – しゅつ (shutsu), で (de), だ (da)
  54. 立 (stand) – りつ/りゅう (ritsu/ryuu), た (ta)
  55. 休 (rest) – きゅう (kyuu), やす (yasu)
  56. 先 (before, ahead) – せん (sen), さき (saki)
  57. 夕 (evening) – せき (seki), ゆう (yuu)
  58. 本 (book, origin) – ほん (hon), もと (moto)
  59. 文 (sentence) – ぶん (bun), もん (mon), ふみ (fumi)
  60. 字 (character, letter) – じ (ji), あざ (aza)
  61. 学 (study) – がく (gaku), まな (mana)
  62. 校 (school) – こう (kou)
  63. 村 (village) – そん (son), むら (mura)
  64. 町 (town) – ちょう (chou), まち (machi)
  65. 森 (forest) – しん (shin), もり (mori)
  66. 正 (correct) – せい/しょう (sei/shou), ただ (tada)
  67. 水 (water) – すい (sui), みず (mizu)
  68. 火 (fire) – か (ka), ひ (hi)
  69. 玉 (jewel) – ぎょく (gyoku), たま (tama)
  70. 王 (king) – おう (ou)
  71. 石 (stone) – せき/しゃく (seki/shaku), いし (ishi)
  72. 竹 (bamboo) – ちく (chiku), たけ (take)
  73. 糸 (thread) – し (shi), いと (ito)
  74. 貝 (shell) – ばい (bai), かい (kai)
  75. 車 (car) – しゃ (sha), くるま (kuruma)
  76. 金 (gold) – きん (kin), かね (kane)
  77. 雨 (rain) – う (u), あめ (ame)
  78. 赤 (red) – せき (seki), あか (aka)
  79. 青 (blue) – せい/しょう (sei/shou), あお (ao)
  80. 白 (white) – はく/びゃく (haku/byaku), しろ (shiro)
  81. 数 (number) – すう (suu), かず (kazu)
  82. 多 (many) – た (ta), おお (oo)
  83. 少 (few) – しょう (shou), すく (suku), すこ (suko)
  84. 万 (ten thousand) – まん/ばん (man/ban)
  85. 半 (half) – はん (han)
  86. 形 (shape) – けい/ぎょう (kei/gyou), かた (kata)
  87. 太 (thick) – たい/た (tai/ta), ふと (futo)
  88. 細 (thin) – さい (sai), ほそ (hoso), こま (koma)
  89. 新 (new) – しん (shin), あたら (atara)
  90. 古 (old) – こ (ko), ふる (furu)
  91. 広 (wide) – こう (kou), ひろ (hiro)
  92. 長 (long) – ちょう (chou), なが (naga)
  93. 点 (point) – てん (ten)
  94. 丸 (circle) – がん (gan), まる (maru)
  95. 交 (mix) – こう (kou), まじ (maji)
  96. 光 (light) – こう (kou), ひかり (hikari)
  97. 角 (corner) – かく (kaku), つの (tsuno)
  98. 計 (measure) – けい (kei), はか (haka)
  99. 直 (straight) – ちょく/じき (choku/jiki), なお (nao)
  100. 線 (line) – せん (sen)

Effective Practice Methods

  1. Flashcards: Use flashcards to practice recognition, pronunciation, and meaning. Apps like Anki can help with spaced repetition, ensuring you review Kanji at optimal intervals to enhance retention.
  2. Writing Practice: Regularly writing each Kanji character helps solidify your memory of its shape and stroke order. Use notebooks designed for Kanji practice, often including grids to guide your writing.
  3. Mnemonics: Create or use existing mnemonics to remember Kanji meanings and readings. Associating a story or image with a character can make it easier to recall.
  4. Reading in Context: Practice reading sentences or short texts that use these Kanji. Children’s books, graded readers, and simple manga are excellent resources as they provide context and help reinforce your understanding.
  5. Kanji Apps: Utilize Kanji learning apps like WaniKani, Kanji Study, or LingoDeer, which provide structured lessons, quizzes, and practice exercises tailored to learners at different levels.
  6. Consistent Review: Schedule regular review sessions to go over previously learned Kanji. Consistent review is crucial for long-term retention.
  7. Kanji Lists and Charts: Use Kanji lists and charts as visual aids to track your progress. These can serve as quick reference guides and help you see the relationships between different characters.
  8. Language Exchange: Engage in language exchange with native speakers. Speaking and listening can reinforce your Kanji knowledge and improve your language skills.
  9. Kanji Games: Incorporate fun activities like Kanji games or puzzles. Games like “Kanji Connect” or “Kanji Memory Hint” can make learning more enjoyable and less monotonous.
  10. Immersion: Surround yourself with the language as much as possible. Label objects in your home with their Kanji names, watch Japanese shows or movies with subtitles and try to read simple Japanese news articles or blogs.


The 100 most common Kanji list is strategically organized to introduce the most frequently used and fundamental characters first, gradually building up to more complex ones. This approach ensures learners acquire a solid foundation in essential Kanji, enabling them to understand and use the language more effectively. Learners can efficiently memorize and retain these characters by combining various practice methods such as flashcards, writing, mnemonics, reading, and interactive apps. Consistent practice, contextual reading, and immersion are key strategies that facilitate the effective learning of Kanji and overall Japanese language proficiency.

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