Home > JLPT, Rant > JLPT words #4

JLPT words #4

Don’t throw away your JLPT 1 vocabulary lists you got from enthusiasts’ Japanese sites just yet. Let me explain why. Though I have expanded the list I got from the previously mentioned site with around 300 new words from other lists I found online, the number of “unused” JLPT 1 kanji hasn’t decreased much.

Here is the complete list of those kanji:


It might not be obvious at first, but most of these kanji are not ones you would often see in actual use. So why were they listed for the JLPT 1? My guess is, that these kanji are mainly used in names. I don’t know how many names and which ones are required at N1 level (in the 2kyuu I passed, there was no question about names at all), but if I’m right, there must be a list somewhere with the names that were part of the requirements of the old 1kyuu.

Unfortunately zkanji has no name dictionary (yet!), but if it is true that “only” the names are missing, I can continue working on the JLPT list I got. There is still a lot of work to do. (I have to check the meaning of every single word…)

Categories: JLPT, Rant Tags: ,
  1. speedersenpai
    September 24, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    i’m not yet at this N1 with my kanji wall poster, i’m making one similar to the one of white rabbit, altough they didn’t modified with the new N5 i don’t know if to use their order or not.
    do u know any databese with the new kanji grades that i can use with radicals?

    • September 24, 2011 at 3:01 pm

      I don’t know any database of radicals for the JLPT (old or new). The only site I know about, that has kanji by grades with the new 5 levels is http://www.jlptstudy.com
      From the information there, the new distribution was based on Jouyou kanji, but I think that there was little in common in the Jouyou and the JLPT in the old system, and I don’t think that has changed, so I’ll create my own lists. I’ll use word/kanji frequency and the N3 words list to determine the kanji grades. (My guess is just as good as any other, right? 🙂 )

  2. Funbit
    September 24, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    Many of the mentioned kanji are really used only in names (people names, place names, etc). Most of them are so rare so I’m sure even japanese won’t recognize them 🙂 (I can try to ask some of my japanese friends to sort these kanji into 3 categories, for example: “don’t know”, “used very rare”, “used quite frequently”).
    But some from the list are used very frequently, so I see them every day, like these ones: 鶏 (in restaurant menus and stores) 江 (江戸, Edo), 姫 (frequently see it in games for ex) 蛮 (usually used in menu, like: 南蛮定食), 亀 (as turtle) etc. But it’s only about 30-40% of the list… I’m sure that there’s no need to put the rest 60% of almost unused kanji in your head before you actually learn all N5-N2 + frequently used kanji from N1…

    • Funbit
      September 24, 2011 at 4:57 pm

      PS. And thanks for your hard work, I’m really astonished of your aspiration to make zkanji the perfect tool ever existed 🙂

    • September 24, 2011 at 5:51 pm

      Do you know anything about how names are tested in N1? In 2kyuu there were no questions, and no mention of them. I don’t remember, but I think that only the reading comprehension part could have any names, and it didn’t change much how you could understand what was going on in the text.

      Why am I concerned about the N1 (or 1kyuu) kanji then? Actually it doesn’t have much to do with the kanji themselves. I just wanted to know how reliable the N1 lists found online could be. For N5-N2 (or rather 4kyuu-2kyuu) it is clearly stated that the words were taken from the official study materials, but there is no such thing about N1… 😦 It’s basically “here is the N1 list, take it”. No source. You could call it natural distrust or even paranoia, but I don’t trust anything online, unless I feel it is based on reliable information. (If something is repeated on many sites it can still mean they just copied from each other, so I expect some variation in what they say.)

      I thought that matching the kanji with the word list would help, but if over 300 kanji are not used in the N1 list, which is one fourth of all kanji in N1 (other levels excluded), then I don’t know what to think. I don’t want to use a list in zkanji saying what everyone else says: “here is the N1 list, take it”, without trying to confirm its validity. The problem is, I’m out of sources, so I’ll have to use what everyone else uses.

      • Funbit
        October 1, 2011 at 6:44 am

        I have asked my friend who had passed N1 ~8 years ago and he said that there were not any special tests for Names (People, City, etc), they just appeared in the texts sometimes, but were not related to the questions anyhow…
        However, everything is changing, maybe now they have some questions with these N1 kanji… (I doubt though).

      • October 1, 2011 at 2:06 pm

        I see, thanks for asking. I haven’t seen anything relating to names in the new JLPT sample test so I don’t think they will include them any differently.

  3. kanou
    October 3, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    About 50 plant names. And quite a few archaic units of measure….
    尺 shaku (30 cm)
    斤 kin (600g) (斤量 kinryou weight)
    勺 shaku (18ml)
    升 shou (1.6l)
    抄 shou (1.8ml) also: excerpt,extract,copy
    穣 jou 10e28
    畝 se (100sqm); furrow; 畝ねる uneru to undulate
    坪 tsubo (3.3sqm, two std.tatami mats)
    斗 to (18l)
    匁 momme (3.75g)
    厘 rin (0.3mm, 0.1%)

    The weirdest omission is 姫 hime princess, one of the first kanji I ever remembered there also are others that have political/historical/feudal meaning, like 爵 shaku peer, 倭 Yamato old Japan, 蛮 ban barbarian, 靖 yasu peaceful (as in 靖国神社)

    And 20 animals, 15 astrology kanji, a dozen shore/beach/inlet/sail nautical ones and 3 meaning lapislazuli 琉璃瑠. And 竜 ryuu dragon…

    BTW, thanks for your great work !

    • October 3, 2011 at 5:12 pm

      Apart from these, there are some other kanji in that listing that can be found in common and important words. The real question is whether I should add them to a JLPT list (preferably N1) or not. In my opinion not, as there is no proof they would ever be required in the JLPT. Maybe in some other list some other time.
      In the future I want to make some list of other important words, and probably let users create their own lists and share it with others.

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