How do kanji and vocabulary learning goes together?

Hi there !
I am not sure to understand how kanji and vocabulary works together. I’m still level one so I hope this will clarify later ! For example :

I have learn that 上 kanji is read じょう. But then in the same lesson, vocabulary goes like :

上 うえ
上る のぼる
上がる あがる
上げる あげる

Wow, are there any examples where うえ read like じょう ?


1 Like

Quite a lot actually. They trickle in in the later levels, more so than the other readings it seems like. WaniKani likes to show you examples of all the readings pretty soon after learning the kanji, even if those readings aren’t super common, so you aren’t completely caught off guard when you see one in the wild.

One example off the top of my head: 以上


It’s not that うえ is read like じょう but rather that the character/ kanji/ symbol has several readings depending on the situation/ context/ purpose

For example, as @ctmf said, 以上 (reading いじょう). English meaning more than
6歳以上 --> 6 years old or older

Example: 上手(じょうず)
Meaning: skilled/ good at
私はピアノが上手だ --> I’m good with the piano (implied at playing the piano)

For examples of each reading, you can check out the meaning at


上 is one of the kanji with the most possible readings. Only a handful have more.


The kanji 上 has a lot of possible readings, so it’s easy to be confused about how kanji readings work…

There are a lot of words using the reading you were taught with the kanji. You will see the on-yomi reading じょう for 上 in compound (jukugo) words. Two (or more) kanji compound words usually* take on-yomi readings. You will start learning words like that on WaniKani once you learnt the other kanjis that form these compounds.

Here’s a tofugu article explaining some things about kanji readings and the history

Below are some examples of 上 words using the じょう reading you will encounter on WaniKani later:
上手 (じょうず) - Good At
以上 (いじょう) - More Than
地上 (ちじょう) - Above Ground
上司 (じょうし) - Boss

*God help me

1 Like

Looking at you, 生

Seems like the more commonly-encountered ones, that happens to, so you get to them pretty quick in WaniKani, and it makes it seem like they’re all like that. I’m only level 27, but that seems to have calmed down some. :slight_smile:


This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.