What are JIS level one and two kanji?

JIS level one and two kanji, Dai-ichi Suijun Kanji (第1水準漢字) and Dai-ni Suijun Kanji (第2水準漢字) are sets of kanji created by the Japanese Industrial Standards Committee, Nihon Kōgyō Hyōjun Chōsa Kai (日本工業標準調査会). They are the basis of a kanji encoding for computers called JIS-X-0208 (see Encodings of Japanese).

Level one contains the set of 2,000 commonly-used kanji called the Jōyō kanji (see What are the ?), a further set of kanji used for names called the Jinmeiyō kanji (see What are the ?), and a few hundred other commonly-used kanji. Level two contains 3,390 less commonly used kanji, which are mostly characters used in place names. It also contains characters known as yūrei-moji (幽霊文字), "ghost characters", resulting from incorrect transcriptions. See What are the Yūrei Moji or Ghost Kanji?

The higher grades of the Chinese-character test called the Kanji Kentei (see Kanji Kentei) are based on the JIS levels.[1] The jun'ikkyū (準一級), "pre-first class", certifies knowledge of the JIS level one kanji, and the ikkyū (一級), "first class" test is based around the kanji of JIS levels one and two, although not all the JIS level two kanji are included in the "first class" Kanji Kentei. For example the above-mentioned yūrei-moji are not included.

There are also further levels, level three and four. These Chinese characters are very seldom used in Japan. See Encodings of Japanese and Encodings of Japanese for more on these.

External links


  1. Kanji Kentei: 各級の出題内容と審査基準 [kaku-kyū no shutsudai naiyō to shinsa kijun] (Contents of the test by level, and examination criteria) (in Japanese)

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