Jinmeiyō kanji

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The jinmeiyō kanji (人名用漢字?, lit. Chinese characters for use in personal names) are a set of 861 Chinese characters known as the "name kanji" in English. They are a supplementary set of characters that can be legally used in registered personal names in Japan, despite not being in that country's set of "commonly used characters" (jōyō kanji). As a rule, registered personal names may contain only jōyō kanji, jinmeiyō kanji, katakana and hiragana. Jinmeiyō Kanji is sometimes used to mean only the 861 characters, or to mean the 2997 characters in both the Jinmeiyō and Jōyō sets. All characters outside the Jinmeiyō list in the large sense (2997 characters) are known as Hyōgaiji.

A ministerial decree of 1946 limited the number of officially sanctioned kanji for public use to the 1850 tōyō kanji. Only kanji on this list were acceptable as registered names, despite the fact that the list excluded many kanji frequently used in names up to that point. However, on May 25, 1951, the cabinet extended the set of characters usable in names by specifying the first 90 jinmeiyō kanji.

Over the years, the Minister of Justice has increased the number of name kanji, and has a plan for further addition in response to requests from parents. As of April 30, 2009, there were 985 jinmeiyō kanji, but this number was reduced to 861 in late 2010 when 129 jinmeiyō characters were transferred to the jōyō kanji list, and 5 characters were transferred from the jōyō kanji list to jinmeiyō characters.

In Japan, name kanji are taught at the junior-high level, and mastery of the name kanji is required to achieve Level 2 of the Kanji kentei, a Chinese-character proficiency test.

Before September 27, 2004, there were 2232 government-designated jinmeiyō kanji used in personal and geographical names, with plans to increase this list by 578 kanji, the largest increase since World War II. The plan was not without controversy, however. For example, the characters for "cancer", "hemorrhoids", "corpse" and "excrement", as well as parts of compound words (words created from two or more Chinese characters) meaning "curse", "prostitute", and "rape", were among the proposed additions to the list. This was because no measures were taken to determine the appropriateness of the kanji proposed, with the committee deciding that parents could make such decisions themselves. However, the council dropped these proposed inclusions after public protest. Some of these kanji have led to speculation that the "odd" kanji being added to the names list are being done so in an attempt to make a de facto expansion of the Jōyō Kanji List, rather than with the serious idea that anyone will use them in names. The idea of reducing the number of kanji in use has been a politically contentious issue, with many[citation needed] believing that kanji are culturally Japanese and that people should use them frequently.


Below is a list of changes made to the jinmeiyō kanji list since its creation in 1951.

May 25, 1951[edit]

First 92 characters of jinmeiyō kanji were published:

丑 丞 乃 之 也 亘 亥 亦 亨 亮 伊 匡 卯 只 吾 呂 哉 嘉 圭 奈 宏 寅 巌 巳 庄 弘 弥 彦 悌 敦 昌 晃 晋 智 暢 朋 桂 桐 楠 橘 欣 欽 毅 浩 淳 熊 爾 猪 玲 琢 瑞 睦 磯 祐 禄 禎 稔 穣 綾 惣 聡 肇 胤 艶 蔦 藤 蘭 虎 蝶 輔 辰 郁 酉 錦 鎌 靖 須 馨 駒 鯉 鯛 鶴 鹿 麿 亀

Seven of them were later transferred to the jōyō kanji: 仙 尚 杉 甚 磨 斉 龍, the last one being simplified to (dragon).

July 30, 1976[edit]

28 kanji were added, for a total of 120 characters.

佑 允 冴 喬 怜 旭 杏 梓 梢 梨 沙 渚 瑠 瞳 紗 紘 絢 翠 耶 芙 茜 藍 那 阿 隼 鮎 葵

One was later transferred to the jōyō kanji: .

October 1, 1981[edit]

Introduction of the jōyō kanji list, which includes the 8 characters mentioned above; those 8 are thus deleted from the jinmeyō kanji list. 54 other characters are added for a total of 166 name characters.

伍 伶 侑 尭 孟 峻 嵩 嶺 巴 彬 惇 惟 慧 斐 旦 昂 李 栗 楓 槙 汐 洵 洸 渥 瑛 瑶 璃 甫 皓 眸 矩 碧 笹 緋 翔 脩 苑 茉 莉 萌 萩 蓉 蕗 虹 諒 赳 迪 遥 遼 霞 頌 駿 鳩 鷹

March 1, 1990[edit]

118 kanji were added for a total of 284 characters.

伎 伽 侃 倖 倭 偲 冶 凌 凜 凪 捺 於 旺 昴 晏 晟 晨 暉 曙 朔 凱 勁 叡 叶 唄 啄 奎 媛 嬉 宥 崚 嵐 嵯 巽 彗 彪 恕 憧 拳 捷 杜 柊 柚 柾 栞 梧 椋 椎 椰 椿 楊 榛 槻 樺 檀 毬 汀 汰 洲 湧 滉 漱 澪 熙 燎 燦 燿 爽 玖 琳 瑚 瑳 皐 眉 瞭 碩 秦 稀 稜 竣 笙 紬 絃 綜 綸 綺 耀 胡 舜 芹 茄 茅 莞 菖 菫 蒔 蒼 蓮 蕉 衿 袈 裟 詢 誼 諄 邑 醇 采 雛 鞠 颯 魁 鳳 鴻 鵬 麟 黎 黛

December 3, 1997[edit]

1 kanji was added, for a total of 285 characters.

February 23, 2004[edit]

1 kanji was added, for a total of 286 characters.

June 7, 2004[edit]

1 kanji was added, for a total of 287 characters.

June 11, 2004[edit]

No addition to the jinmeiyō kanji was made on this date. However, a plan for 578 additions was put forward to the council on jinmeiyō kanji of the legislative council of the Ministry of Justice. The list included certain characters in strong demand by parents for use in their children's names, such as:

  • (ichigo, "strawberry")
  • (haruka, "distant", traditional variant)
  • (akira, "scintillating")
  • (kiba, "fang")

Many others were included not for their potential uses in names (as is noted), but rather because of their frequent use and being easy to read and write. Examples include:

  • (kuso, "excrement")
  • (noroi, "curse")
  • (shikabane, "corpse")
  • (gan, "cancer")

At this same council, the decision was made to call for suggestions on characters to be included or excluded via the Ministry of Justice website, until July 9, 2004.

July 12, 2004[edit]

3 kanji were added, for a total of 290 characters.

毘 瀧 駕

July 23, 2004[edit]

No additions were made. After sharp protests, the council decided to withdraw nine characters from the 489 whose inclusion had been discussed. These nine characters were:

  • (see above)
  • (see above)
  • (see above)
  • (see above)
  • (kashimashii, "rape, seduction")
  • (midara, "obscene")
  • (urami, "resentment")
  • (ji, "hemorrhoids")
  • (mekake, "concubine")

The 480 other characters still remained under consideration for inclusion, with one additional character added to them, namely (kiku, "to draw up water with one's hands").

September 27, 2004[edit]

484 characters and variant forms of 209 jōyō kanji were added, bringing the total number of the jinmeiyō kanji to 983.

April 30, 2009[edit]

2 more characters for a total number of 985 characters.

祷 穹

November 30, 2010[edit]

In late 2010, the Japanese government added 196 characters to the jōyō kanji list. The list now includes 129 characters previously classified as jinmeiyō kanji, 11 of which are currently used in Japanese prefectures or nearby countries:[1][2]

At the same time, 5 characters deleted from the jōyō kanji list were added to the jinmeiyō kanji list:

  • (shaku, an old unit of measure approx. 18ml in volume, or 0.033m² in area)
  • (sui or tsumu, a spindle or weight)
  • (sen, pig iron)
  • (chō or fuku[reru], to swell or bulge; mostly used in the compound 膨脹, normally rewritten with instead)
  • (momme, a unit of weight approx 3.75g)

January 7, 2015[edit]

1 kanji was added, for a total of 843 characters.

List of jinmeiyō kanji[edit]

The list is split into two parts:

  • 632 characters which do not appear in the list of jōyō kanji (regular-use kanji). 18 of these have a variant, bringing the number of character forms to 650.
  • 212 characters which are traditional forms (kyūjitai) of characters present in the list of jōyō kanji.

Jinmeiyō kanji not part of the jōyō kanji[edit]

Variants are given in brackets.


The 18 characters which have a variant included in the list are:


Traditional variants of jōyō kanji (212)[edit]

The modern form (shinjitai), which appears in the Jōyō Kanji List, is given in brackets.

亞(亜) 惡(悪) 爲(為) 逸(逸) 榮(栄) 衞(衛) 謁(謁) 圓(円) 緣(縁) 薗(園) 應(応) 櫻(桜) 奧(奥) 橫(横) 溫(温) 價(価) 禍(禍) 悔(悔) 海(海) 壞(壊) 懷(懐) 樂(楽) 渴(渇) 卷(巻) 陷(陥) 寬(寛) 漢(漢) 氣(気) 祈(祈) 器(器) 僞(偽) 戲(戯) 虛(虚) 峽(峡) 狹(狭) 響(響) 曉(暁) 勤(勤) 謹(謹) 駈(駆) 勳(勲) 薰(薫) 惠(恵) 揭(掲) 鷄(鶏) 藝(芸) 擊(撃) 縣(県) 儉(倹) 劍(剣) 險(険) 圈(圏) 檢(検) 顯(顕) 驗(験) 嚴(厳) 廣(広) 恆(恒) 黃(黄) 國(国) 黑(黒) 穀(穀) 碎(砕) 雜(雑) 祉(祉) 視(視) 兒(児) 濕(湿) 實(実) 社(社) 者(者) 煮(煮) 壽(寿) 收(収) 臭(臭) 從(従) 澁(渋) 獸(獣) 縱(縦) 祝(祝) 暑(暑) 署(署) 緖(緒) 諸(諸) 敍(叙) 將(将) 祥(祥) 涉(渉) 燒(焼) 奬(奨) 條(条) 狀(状) 乘(乗) 淨(浄) 剩(剰) 疊(畳) 孃(嬢) 讓(譲) 釀(醸) 神(神) 眞(真) 寢(寝) 愼(慎) 盡(尽) 粹(粋) 醉(酔) 穗(穂) 瀨(瀬) 齊(斉) 靜(静) 攝(摂) 節(節) 專(専) 戰(戦) 纖(繊) 禪(禅) 祖(祖) 壯(壮) 爭(争) 莊(荘) 搜(捜) 巢(巣) 曾(曽) 裝(装) 僧(僧) 層(層) 瘦(痩) 騷(騒) 增(増) 憎(憎) 藏(蔵) 贈(贈) 臟(臓) 卽(即) 帶(帯) 滯(滞) 瀧(滝) 單(単) 嘆(嘆) 團(団) 彈(弾) 晝(昼) 鑄(鋳) 著(著) 廳(庁) 徵(徴) 聽(聴) 懲(懲) 鎭(鎮) 轉(転) 傳(伝) 都(都) 嶋(島) 燈(灯) 盜(盗) 稻(稲) 德(徳) 突(突) 難(難) 拜(拝) 盃(杯) 賣(売) 梅(梅) 髮(髪) 拔(抜) 繁(繁) 晚(晩) 卑(卑) 祕(秘) 碑(碑) 賓(賓) 敏(敏) 冨(富) 侮(侮) 福(福) 拂(払) 佛(仏) 勉(勉) 步(歩) 峯(峰) 墨(墨) 飜(翻) 每(毎) 萬(万) 默(黙) 埜(野) 彌(弥) 藥(薬) 與(与) 搖(揺) 樣(様) 謠(謡) 來(来) 賴(頼) 覽(覧) 欄(欄) 龍(竜) 虜(虜) 凉(涼) 綠(緑) 淚(涙) 壘(塁) 類(類) 禮(礼) 曆(暦) 歷(歴) 練(練) 鍊(錬) 郞(郎) 朗(朗) 廊(廊) 錄(録)

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Akihiko Shiraishi, 「柿」など9字追加、「鷹」は選外 新常用漢字の修正案 ("New draft table adds 196 everyday-use kanji") in Asahi Shimbun, 23 October 2009, retrieved 25 October 2009.
  2. ^ Japan Times, Get set for next year's overhaul of official kanji, 21 October 2009, retrieved 27 February 2010.