Are there any 2 kanji that look exactly the same?

So I kind if messed up a little and did not realise that 未 and 末 as well as 部室 and 部屋 looked different… for a while I thought they looked exactly the same in appearance so it I got the meaning wrong I would just ignore answer and go for the second meaning. I know there are a lot of kanji that look similar but arent like 僕 業 働く 動く but I have not had any issue noticing these differences. So, will I encounter any kanji that look exactly identical or will there always be at least a minute difference?

柿 (persimmon, vertical line on right side is two strokes) and 杮 (wood chips, vertical line on right side is one stroke) look identical in some fonts. And some fonts don’t bother having two characters.

But this is mostly a trivia thing, you’re unlikely to ever see the wood chips one in real life.


I see! I will just have to look more closely with some of these.

There’re a decent number of kanji that look extremely similar in certain fonts (or if they’re small enough), but there’s usually some sort of difference. Like can look a lot like or in writing or with small fonts.

Though when I read this question, the first thing I thought of was this one. It looks identical to the very common 芸, but it’s not.


日 and 曰 look quite similar if you’re not paying attention.


I don’t know about completely identical but 烏 (crow) and 鳥 (bird) look very similar depending on the font.


Well… I came to this thread expecting the answer to be no. And well that might be true your answer also broke my brain. WHY JAPANESE PEOPLE!!! WHY!!!


We also have words in English that have the exact same spelling and pronunciation, but two different meanings. No reason to hold Japanese to higher standards of reasonableness.


In my browser both get rendered the exact same kanji and Rikaichamp also agrees. What’s the difference?


Yeah hang on a moment, what IS the difference?


The cut on the top left.

Edit: or are you talking about 芸?

1 Like

美 業 寒 実
I remember these used to trip me up heaps, and they’re not even that similar. I’d always think it was one or the other, but overtime vocab helped mend this.


1 Like

Then there’s no physical difference. It used to look different, but fonts are using the same character now.
You can see the older version here for instance:

(The top part used to be cut)


If the kanji are exactly the same, then wouldn’t it be a single kanji with several meanings? :thinking:


That’s more a problem of standardized font. But sure, I guess eventually people will see it this way. In the meantime, though, it’s still officially a different kanji.

1 Like

Oh man! I had that particular problem for what felt like ages. Eventually I’ll latch on to some detail that lets me distinguish similar-looking kanji.


That’s exactly what I came here to say.

Basically, if they’re the same, they’re not different. :slightly_smiling_face:


Y’all are way too advanced.

Despite living in Japan and studying everyday now since January, I still mix up ソwith ン… :sweat_smile:


laughs in ancient Japanese


I understand this with different intonation on the word itself differentiates itself from the noun form from the verb form.

I was mainly just referencing good old Jason.

My main gripe with this is the font styling… not sure of the exact name.

But of course this is a very rare case it seems. Also all the resources I use actual don’t give tell you how to write 杮 (こけら) vs 柿 (かき). I asked some of my teachers and they actually only knew the second one and read the first one as the second one. These are going to be a great addition to the kanji I know to impress the old guys I go drinking with.

1 Like