Are these supposed N1 kanji actually useful? lists the following as N1 kanji not on WaniKani. And yes, I know there’s not really an official list. I’m not asking if these are actually needed for N1 (I assume almost entirely not). I’m really asking if any of these stand out as useful to learn.


Looking through the list, I recognize these:

  • 伍 as the fancy 五
  • 凜 as the name りん (though I know the meaning too)
  • 凪 from the anime 凪のあすから
  • 只 though I didn’t really know what it meant until I happened to encounter it in a manga an hour ago
  • 壱 as the fancy 一
  • 弐 as the fancy 二
  • 栗 because this shows up when reading a lot for some reason
  • 霞 which I learned recently from 霧のむこうのふしぎな町 (though they wrote it in kana)

A lot of them seem to be used in names, but as I don’t see Japanese names often I don’t recognize most of those. Also, somehow I think I can ignore the ones with the 木 radical since I’m not planning to catalog any plants in Japanese any time soon. So do any of these stand out as (relatively) common or useful?


I don’t know how the lists were originally put together, but you can imagine someone just collecting all the kanji that appeared on the test and not discriminating between things that had notes or furigana, and actual kanji you would be expected to read.

Some of them are legitimately worth knowing, like 只 can be seen on signs in stores and stuff, but a lot of those are not really N1 kanji in the sense people should study them.


Do you see any others in that list that you’ve encountered several times? Outside of studying for Kanken that is. :stuck_out_tongue:


These are probably worth knowing, just glancing over it 冴叶宵壱弐韻窯翁倣

And obviously you have to take shelter if you don’t recommend learning 蚕


Oh, I know 叶う. Didn’t see that one.

I’m looking at the list (knowing I won’t know any of the kanji), and I notice that 李 feels very familiar. As it turns out, it’s the name for 李小狼, a Chinese character in Cardcaptor Sakura…


I’d also say know that 苑 is basically the same as 園. I see it a lot.


李 is one of, if not the most, common surnames in China. It is spelled out as either “Lee” or “Li”. I’ve seen some Japanese names that use it too such as 高橋李依 (Takahashi Rie). I think it’s a good one to know despite it not meaning anything really useful.


I honestly reckon these two are worth knowing. Aside from anything else, they’re used on the currency.


The zodiac characters (those which are not also WK characters with other meanings) are in there, and will come up each New Year’s:

うし ox
いのしし boar
う rabbit
とら tiger
み snake
たつ dragon
とり rooster

I can’t find いぬ dog in there, but maybe I’ve just burned out my retinas scrutinising this list…


Since we’re on the subject, apparently 弐, 貳 and 貮 are all used as alternative ways to formally write 二. Are 貳 and 貮 even worth bothering with? I was going to add SRS items for all the formal 1-10 numbers, and 2 seems to be the only number with variants like this.

You might see them written in names from time to time. For example, I see Tadano written as 只野 sometimes up here in Tohoku. Can’t say I’ve seen these in too many words, but then again I’m not exactly a high level Japanese reader.

I eat these a lot. Especially in 炊き込みご飯


I think it really depends on what you’re reading. I’m not sure how many of these would be useful to most people but in the context of learning beyond WK some of these might be considered somewhat useful or at least fun to know and you might run into them at some point.

A lot of them would probably show up in kana only or with furigana but it always feels great to be able to read something without furigana or to think “I really wish they wrote that with kanji because I know how to read it.”

These are all characters I think I’ve actually run across while reading (in novels, LN, VN, and/or games mainly) versus just in study and they should have at least one vocab word you might see them in. This turned into a much longer post than planned so I’ll leave them as a list for now.

Some others I’ve seen mainly in character names or other names. I’m sure others are also common in names that I haven’t noticed yet or in actual real people’s names.

Finally, a few with related vocab:

Kanji Vocabulary Reading Meaning Notes
袈, 裟 大袈裟 おおげさ grandiose, exaggerated -
お伽話 おとぎばなし fairy tale I’m not sure what the most common way of writing this one is
硝子 ガラス glass If you ever happen to see it written that way, maybe, or just because it’s cool?
かま stove, kiln I think this one comes up in 獣の奏者 at least once so you could learn it ahead of time
ひな chick (young bird) -
- 雛祭 ひなまつり Girls’ Day (Festival) -
蜃気楼 しんきろう mirage -

Again, this is just what I’ve come across. I don’t mean to say that any of these are really all that useful in general or that anyone should go out and learn every one of them.

Edit: Converted vocab list to table and added reading/meaning


霞 is also useful because 霞ヶ関 (かすみがせき) is a district of Tokyo with almost all the cabinet ministry offices, so it’s sometimes used as an image for the government itself. Same as when american news say something like “The White House declined to comment”.


Just having a quick look:

但し often comes up in formal documents that I have to read for work
丙 is the C to WK’s 甲乙 (A and B) (It’s the third item in a list, also used in formal documents)
凱 I’ve come across it in 凱旋門. It also shows up in 霧のむこうのふしぎな町!
於 from 於いて, also used in formal documents
朕 comes up often in medieval/fantasy based work. Also in 風の谷のナウシカ
柚 because 柚子 is delish.
梢 comes up once in a while in descriptions of forests and whatnot.
耗 from 消耗
蔦 from 蔦屋 (well, I guess it’s a name anyway)
薪 comes up a lot in cold places (fiction or otherwise).

There’s more stuff that I have seen, but usually they would come with furigana in fiction, or feel quite rare, so it’s hard to include them.


Did you reset again?

Anyways all of the kanji I have seen and remember have already been mentioned by other people to add something somewhat helpful to the thread, 猪 is actually in the name of the place I’m going right now lmao


Not to pick on you, but why do people always point this out in question form. Is there another way to go from level 60 to level 1?


There could always be some bug in forum software :wink: After all, sometimes the levels displayed next to the avatars weren’t correct.


Being so heckin dum that you go backwards in levels >:(