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Kanji List by Grade [free download!]

Updated: Jan 18

Kanji List by Grade [free download!]

This is a kanji list tailored to the learning curriculum for elementary school students in Japan.

(The download links are provided at the end of the document.)

■About the Japanese Kanji learning curriculum

In Japan, education follows the curriculum recommended by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT), with specific learning objectives set for each grade.

The Kanji characters taught in elementary school are also designated by grade, and textbooks introduce them gradually, aligning with the curriculum guidelines.

Japanese elementary school students aim to master 1,026 kanji characters in six years.

This is a challenging task even for native Japanese speakers, and students with learning disabilities (such as dyslexia), developmental disorders, those whose native language is not Japanese, or returnees face particular difficulties in learning kanji.

Therefore, I have been creating support tools for Japanese elementary school students and distributing them through a website. However, this time, I have improved them to be more user-friendly for individuals overseas and children from foreign backgrounds.

This kanji list is aligned with the latest curriculum guidelines revised in the 2020 academic year in Japan.

■On-Yomi and Kun-Yomi index

The index uses the same color coding as the Hiragana chart and is arranged in the order of On-Yomi(Chinese-derived reading) followed by Kun-Yomi (native Japanese reading).

While Kanji characters have been transmitted from China since ancient times, Japan had its original language before that, leading to multiple readings of the same kanji.

"On-Yomi" represents a pronunciation closer to Chinese, while "Kun-Yomi" reflects a reading closer to the original Japanese language.

For example, the Kanji meaning "花" is pronounced as "Ka" in On-Yomi and "Hana" in Kun-Yomi.

The usage tends to differ; On-Yomi is often used in combination with other Kanji to form compound words, while Kun-Yomi is commonly used when the Kanji is standalone or combined with Hiragana.

However, there are various combinations of On-Yomi and Kun-Yomi in compound words, as well as words where Hiragana is inserted between Kanji characters, resulting in a variety of combinations and pronunciations. My children at home often get confused by these different combinations and readings 😂.

We have also made available downloadable kanji lists with furigana (in Katakana/Hiragana, and the Alphabet) prioritizing commonly used readings in the order of On-yomi/Kun-yomi.


Usage example Kanji list by Grade
Usage example (Japanese Ver)

The printouts are designed to be postcard-sized(The kanji list with furigana is designed for A4 size).

Punch holes in the corners and secure with rings for convenient portability. Adjust the size as needed for A4/B5 or other formats, print, laminate, or place in a transparent file for use as a substitute for a desk mat. You can also save the images on tablets or smartphones.

The basic usage is the same as the Hiragana/Katakana Tables.

  • As a learning resource for those who want to study Japanese!

  • To support the homework and reasonable accommodations for foreign children studying in Japan!

  • For the comprehensive kanji checklists for Japanese children studying abroad for six years!

Feel free to use it as you like.

[free download!]

Kanji list by grade
Download PDF • 861KB

Kanji list by grade-with Furigana
Download PDF • 1.24MB

For Japanese students/advanced learners↓

Download PDF • 861KB

Download PDF • 1.24MB

Please read my website terms of use for more information.



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