sci.lang.japan FAQ / 1. Writing / 1.2.

1.2.4. What are the Jōyō 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 and ?).[1] 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.

Originally there were 1945 Jōyō Kanji,[1] but due to changes to the list in 2010, there are now 2136.[2] Another list, the Jinmeiyō Kanji, lists extra characters which may be used in naming. See 1.2.14. What are the Jinmeiyō Kanji?. The Jōyō Kanji list also specifies the readings and the shape of the characters.

References

  1. Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology: 常用漢字表 [Jōyō Kanji Hyō] (1 October 1981)
  2. 常用漢字表 Jōyō Kanji Hyō (PDF) (30 November 2010), Agency for Cultural Affairs

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