|sci.lang.japan FAQ / 1. Writing / 1.2. Kanji|
|A student colours in|
the jōyō kanji
|Photo credit: Claude Estèbe|
|Used under a Creative Commons licence|
The jōyō kanji (常用漢字) are a list of Chinese characters, including their form, reading and stroke order, approved by the Japanese government, first published on 1 October 1981, replacing the tōyō kanji (see 1.2.3. What is the difference between tōyō kanji and jōyō kanji?). There is no official requirement upon Japanese people to use only these characters and their approved readings. They are simply promoted as the set of kanji which are most likely to be understood by all.
There are 1945 characters in the list. Another list, the jinmeiyō kanji, lists extra characters which may be used in naming. See 1.2.14. What are the jinmeiyō kanji?.
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