Japanese learning material – The Kanji Map

Learning kanji is essential for mastering the Japanese language. 漢字 (kanji) is used along with ひらがな (hiragana) and カタカナ (katakana) in the Japanese writing system. Kanjis were adopted from the Chinese language.

Learning kanji is essential for mastering the Japanese language


Following World War II the Japanese government instituted a series of orthographic reforms which lead to the creation of a list called常用漢字 (jōyō kanji – literally regular-use kanji) that includes 2136 characters. Regarding the total number of kanjis there is no definitive count, but it is said that it is over 50,000.

Learning kanji is considered the most difficult part of studying Japanese. However, you can make this process easier. Kanjis consist of radicals and a kanji itself can be contained by a more complex kanji. These kanjis often share the same 訓読み (kunyomi – Chinese reading) so you only have to remember the reading once for multiple kanjis. Knowing these connections helps to distinguish similar looking kanjis as well as speeds up the learning process.

Recommended: 20 Japanese kanjis that are used the most

Radical decomposition of the kanji 憾

I recently found this website called ”The kanji map” where these connections between characters are graphically represented, which makes studying a lot easier.

There are approximately 3000 kanjis included in this website, all with detailed kanji information including the readings, meaning and a list of the most common compound words. Kanjis can be looked up in the search but you can also navigate around by clicking on different kanjis of the graph.

I found this to be a useful tool for learning kanjis and also it is completely free.

I would highly recommend to check out this site here: thekanjimap.com



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