Characters with high stroke counts are visually the most complicated. Of the kanji characters in the JIS level one and level two kanji (see What are JIS level one and two kanji?), the ones with the highest stroke count are 驫 and 鸞, with thirty strokes each.
The most complex kanji of the Jōyō Kanji (see What are the Jōyō Kanji?) is 鬱, with twenty-nine strokes.
The most complex of the Jinmeiyō kanji (see What are the Jinmeiyō Kanji?), 鱗, 鷹, 鷺 and 麟 contain twenty-four strokes each.
Of the kanji learnt at elementary school, the most complex learnt in years one to six are 森 with 12 strokes in year one,
曜 with 18 in year two,
題 with 18 strokes in year three,
競 and 議 with 20 strokes in year four,
護 with 20 strokes in year five,
and 臓 and 警 with 19 strokes each in year six.
See also How is Japanese writing taught to Japanese children? for more on the education system, and List of kanji by elementary school grade for a list of kanji by elementary school grade.)
Further, more complex kanji exist with increasing stroke counts, and these may be found in specialized Chinese dictionaries.
See also What are the kanji numbers on bank notes? for more on the complex forms of kanji used in financial documents.
The stroke number data in this page comes from "kanjidic".
Copyright © 1994-2017 Ben Bullock
If you have questions, corrections, or comments, please contact Ben Bullock or use the discussion forum / Privacy