Is there a resource that shows you the span of words you can make from some set of kanji?

Since there are plenty of kanji that WK doesn’t teach, and I assume plenty of vocabulary that WK doesn’t teach even when made from the kanji that are taught, I am trying to figure out what words are technically accessible to me from the kanji I know, and what words will become accessible if I decide to add a kanji to the list of ones I already know.

Is there a resource that takes a list of kanji and shows words (or sentences) that could be made only making use of kanji from the list?

(First post here so sorry if I posted in the wrong place).

Thank you!


You could just search the kanji in, and see what comes up? Oh you mean also combos with different kanji on a list, huh. Not sure then.


I don’t think a full list exists, since there are simply too many Japanese words that would unlock even for the first few levels. The closest thing would indeed be using a dictionary and searching for the kanji like @Saida mentioned.


You could use and go to the kanji you’d like to see words for - it’ll show a lot of them. You can even review words there if you want!

I know you asked for a list, but there can be hundreds of words per kanji, and it wouldn’t make much sense to try to do that. You’d be better off reading…

Maybe you could ask on the thread to be able to sort vocab by WK level of kanji? :man_shrugging:

Hundreds of words per kanji‽ Could you give an example? I think I might have not been clear in what I was saying. When I currently search Jisho for 四, it returns pages of words that contain 四 as one of the kanji that show up in that word, but with what I am looking for there would only be two (I think) words that come up (namely, 四 and 四つ). So if I did a search the way I am trying to describe on {四,角} it would return {四,四つ,角,四角,四角い} because that is the only set of words (from WKs vocab list anyway) that contain no kanji other than 四 and 角. I can’t imagine how adding one kanji would increase the size of the list by hundreds of words but maybe i’m naive!

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I think they meant for a single kanji.

I don’t know of a tool or website to do exactly what you want. You can use wildcards on, but you’d have to search all the permutations manually. For example, *A*B* to find all words that contain both A and B in that order.


This is actually what makes the big difference. If you’re talking exclusively about the vocabulary available on Wanikani, then the list would indeed be quite small. However if you’re talking about all words in the Japanese language like your initial post seems to imply, the list can grow really fast.

What’s also important to note is that not every words will be used as often as others, so usually knowing the kanji and starting to read will be a much more effective way of encountering common words and phrases using that kanji than just listing all of them.


I would really like for something like that to exist too! It reminds me of an exercise in Genki I, where we eventually came up with a whole bunch of words that were not in the chapter’s vocab list:

Absolutely. Still, it would be fun to see just how many words you could make with a certain set of kanji. Or what the longest possible (reasonable) combination is.


The number of permutations of a list is factorial in the number of items. That’s how you get to hundreds or thousands of possible words very quickly. Not all of those will be actual Japanese words, of course, and many of the ones that are will be specialized or otherwise obscure.

You could write a script to do this: generate a list of all the possible combinations that meet your requirements, and filter that list against a somewhat comprehensive Japanese dictionary. I guess it’s an interesting programming problem, but I’m not sure it’s a useful Japanese learning exercise. It very quickly amounts to trying to memorize the dictionary.



Don’t forget kana - and I’m not even talking about kana-only words! So, 下, 下る, 下り, 下りる, 下ろす, 下がる, 下げる, 下さる, 下さい would all be possible words for 下 (the kanji), and that’s not exhaustive (e.g. 下す exists - I don’t know if any more real words exist with just that kanji).

A little pricey but it’s a well made app and I use it all the time.

On the other hand, you might take a look at the Kanji in Context books, from The Japan Times. They group kanji by meaning (more or less), so you learn a bunch of time-related words, a bunch of color-related words, and so on. Tries to bridge the gap between “beginner” and “advanced” materials, which is exactly the point where the vocabulary you need to know is expanding dramatically.


Does this app have the feature in question? I wouldn’t mind paying a couple bucks if it has it!

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It does not, but it’s a great dictionary regardless.

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There’s no need to generate all the possible permutations. Just start with a large list of Japanese words and iterate over it. For each word grab the kanji ignoring any kana (this can be done with regular expressions over unicode ranges). If any of these kanji aren’t in your allowed set, discard the word. The remaining words will be the list you’re looking for.

Basically you’d need to use the wanikani api to generate the list of known radicals per level. There’s several choices of dictionary, but I’d probably go with jmdict. The original file is a rather incomprehensible mess of xml, but somebody made a much more palatable json version of it here.

I can look into writing a script to do this sometime in the next few days.


This has been my dictionary of choice for years now, and although it does not do exactly what the OP wants, it does let you wildcard. 例えば、you can search 四*角 and should get 四角 and 四つ角, or search just 四* and get every word starting with 四, etc.

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I see, thought it was just a kanji resource for vocab and sentences.

For this specific request @NikaS , I would think it would just be easier just to filter vocab by WK level using the WK Expansion pack or 10K, it’s on various platforms (Anki, Kitsun, memrise…I like Kitsun :fox_face:). And if you want to vocab/sentence mine using your current level, maybe the WK Highlighter extension will get updated to v2 someday.

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There is now a tool to do that. For now it generates the list of words you can learn using the kanji you know at each WaniKani level. Each file is cumulative, so it contains the new words plus all the ones from previous levels. I’ll probably add the option to use an arbitrary list of kanji so people can customize it to their liking later. There are two folders. One features only common words, while the other contains much longer lists with obscure terms. None of the lists include words written entirely in kana since you can learn those at any time. When the same word has multiple possible representations, they are written on the same line separated by a comma i.e. 入り口, 入口. Just download the data in your preferred format from here and extract it. And here’s a bonus because I like making graphs.


I love this! Very much looking forward to the function that allows arbitrary lists but this is great! Thank you!

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