Does the Nanori area of the kanji entries ever come into play?

At level 16 and I don’t think I’ve ever seen example of pronunciations in that slot

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They have stated plans to add names (and some kanji in the 50’s still have no vocab because name items are all they plan to give them).

But they haven’t added them yet.

If they ever do, and those names use a nanori reading, then presumably they’ll add it to the kanji’s page.


For a lot of those kanji, names are all they have. :stuck_out_tongue:

Do you have an example? Pretty much every kanji has some kind of meaning and reading that allows it to be slotted into a word somewhere, even if it’s a very rare or old way to write said word.


This here’s the key, though. Sure, they can be used in words, but it’d be fairly unusual to ever encounter those words in this day and age.

But let’s say… 智, for example. Or 昌. Um… 輔?

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What IS “nanori”, anyway?

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Yeah, it would be unusual, but that hasn’t stopped them in the past :slight_smile:

In studying for Kanken I will have to know these kinds of things.

智慧 is a way to write 知恵. It could be on Kanken pre-1.

捕佐 is another way to write 補佐.

昌ん is another way to write 盛ん.

Maybe preparing for Kanken and watching quiz shows every week distorts my perspective, but those are just things I’m going to be studying once I pass Kanken level 2.


It’s basically a category of readings that only get used in names. Even the common, low-level kanji have nanori readings that aren’t going to be taught here.


For example, the nanori for 一 are かず、 い、 いっ、 いる、 かつ、 かづ、 てん、 はじめ、 ひ、 ひとつ、 まこと. And considering (a) there’s so many of them, and (b) some of them are absolutely daft and random, you can see why WaniKani doesn’t teach them.


How would you even know which one to use? By the pairings?

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By asking the owner of the name how it’s pronounced. :stuck_out_tongue:


Personal names are like their own set of vocabulary. And if you’re a Japanese person, you learn them by meeting and talking about and reading about thousands of people. You just know most of these without really thinking about it.

Some names can defy rules, but those probably wouldn’t be listed as nanori then.

And yeah, when multiple readings are possible you just have to ask.


I’ve been wondering for some time how it is for Japanese people to watch credit rolls in games or movies - how many names can average person read/recognize?


I would say the average person would take an accurate guess at quite a lot of names in a credit list.

To be fair, I don’t know how to pronounce all the names I see in American movies either.

Sometimes baseball comes on TV when I’m watching with my girlfriend, and neither of us are Japanese baseball fans. I often try to guess the names and like 9 times out of 10 she’s pretty sure what they are, and is able to note when multiple are possible.

I am bad… I get maybe 3 right per 10 guesses.

The average person has an average name. The outliers do stand out though.


Oh. I’ve always wondered how the names were pronounced.

I know this is an old thread but today I learnt a kanji that teaches the nanori reading, 輔 (help) on level 52 but it’s nanori reading seems to be the kun’yomi of 助 (help). I wonder why 輔 is being taught…

In the 51-60 range, there are a handful of kanji that are mostly used in names, but none of the name vocab has been added yet. It’s been on their to-do list for years.

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What do Western players in Japan do for names? Do they katakana-ize their actual names, or do they adopt appropriate kanji?

Almost all foreigners katakanize their names. It’s more common to see kanji in stage names (e.g. 厚切りジェイソン) than it is to see foreigners using kanji in their actual name.


I disagree. Chinese people use kanji, and most Korean I know do as well. People of Japanese descent do as well. :thinking: