Most recent non-WK kanji you've learned?

You can learn a lot of kanji on WaniKani. But still, there are lots more out there.

I learned (くじ lottery, raffle) while looking up the word あみだくじ, those lotteries where you draw lines in a ladder-like pattern (which, btw, is 阿弥陀籤 in kanji, since it comes from the Buddhist term, which I was also unaware of)

Other common words that use it are 宝籤 (たからくじ, lottery) and 籤引き (くじびき, drawing lots)

How about you?


I learned 藪 - やぶ - bush - through reading books. It seems to appear a lot in various contexts - after all, people seem to walk around in the woods quite a bit, I guess.


Nice, I actually learned that one earlier this year from a student in my school with the last name 藪本 (やぶもと).


Most of the vocab I add to Anki nowadays are words that include non-Joyo kanji.
I think my most recent additions were
寓話 (ぐうわ・fable, allegory), and
乖離 (かいり・divergence, deviation, separation)


I learned 祠 - ほこら - small wayside shrine - not a Jouyou, not even in the RTK 3000 (book 3)!

It’s surprising how many uncommon kanji you can encounter reading media targeted towards young adults - even if it’s a rare occurence, like one out of 1000 kanji.
Maybe the writers just overlook that it’s rare and that it may be more accessible in hiragana.
On the other hand, it’s a learning opportunity.


I learned this one from the fact that this is the kanji used in The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild for the shrines.

But yeah, you get a good feel for the modesty of Japanese people when they tell you how impressive your kanji knowledge is, but they know tons of kanji outside the jouyou set.


I’m not really reading native material yet so I generally don’t see much outside the most common joyo kanji, but I did learn 糎 センチ from a Jisho search and was surprised at how simple it was, as well as how it could probably be used pretty frequently if people wanted it to be. Plus it’s a kokuji which is kinda neat.


I wouldn’t say I have learned these yet but, just yesterday, I had to look up the following kanji whilst reading ハリー・ポッターと賢者の石 (Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone):

  • fence used in the word 安堵感 (sense of relief)
  • sir as in ‘Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington’
  • baron as in ‘The Bloody Baron’

I didn’t realise I would come across so many non-WK just reading Harry Potter but it has opened my mind as to how much more there is to learn!


I think I had been aware of this one in the past, but seeing it again still felt somewhat fresh to me… 餡, あん, red bean paste.

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Here is a daily life special. Today in less than 10 minutes, I learned (or relearned) 3 non-WK, non jouyou kanji.

  1. In front of a restaurant, there was a lawson with 野菜・果物・肉・惣菜 written in big on the front. Well, easy, of course vegetable, fruit, meat and … huu…somethingざい ? Hold on, what is 惣 ? It’s just 物+心, it should be a super basic kanji ? But actually no, it’s a kanji used almost only in 惣菜 = そうざい = side dish and I’m still in complete disbelief how I did not manage to notice that word sooner.

  2. The restaurant was a soba place, so of course in the menu there was 蕎麦 written everywhere… which made me realize I somehow didn’t know (or forgot?) the 蕎 of そば :sweat_smile:

  3. The restaurant had a notice on the front with 大晦日の案内 in bold letter. And I was thinking what does “guide to the big every day” mean ? Finally noticed it was not 毎 but 晦 ! 大晦日 = おおみそか the last day of the year. Knew the word, but not the kanji.


Yeah, 惣菜 is a legitimately useful one to know. There are many お惣菜屋さん around me.

Was just watching a random TV show talking about rice, and encountered 糠 (ぬか, rice bran) and 澱粉 (でんぷん, starch). I already knew 蛋白質 (たんぱくしつ, protein) from some food packaging, but they also used that.


, a kanji I’ve seen in the books 本好きの下剋上 and 博士の愛した数式.

First in the word 簀桁 (すけた).

Click here for photo of what that is

A tool for making paper, 和紙.

Then I saw the kanji in words for “order of magnitude” as in 一桁、十桁、百桁、万桁 and so on.


笈 (おい・きゅう backpack bookcase)

Yes, backpack bookcase.

images (13)

Backpack bookcase


猪突猛進ー(ちょとつもうしん)“Headlong rush” “Rushing recklessly” (Definition according to jisho)

A pen pal showed me this kanji a month or so ago, I quite like it. Not sure I’d ever use it at all, but eh

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In volume 3 of 本好きの下剋上, 桁違い comes up. Maybe you can guess what it means. :slight_smile:

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臥薪嘗胆 (がしんしょうたん). Can be shortened to 嘗胆 (preserving Chinese syntax) or 胆を嘗む (Japanese syntax, read as いをなむ) with the same meaning.
Source: Haganai NEXT

  • To take great pains and make great efforts to destroy an enemy (original meaning)
  • To make great efforts to to achieve a goal

I already knew this proverb in Chinese, but I didn’t know it existed in Japanese too.
Origin: During the Spring and Autumn Period in China, the Kingdom of Yue was defeated by the Kingdom of Wu, and the King of Yue was taken prisoner. In order to keep himself motivated to avenge his nation, the king slept on firewood every night, and took a gall bladder before every meal and before he slept (because it was bitter, like his condition). Eventually, the Kingdom of Yue made a comeback and defeated the Kingdom of Wu.


I was familiar with おかず( お菜)but not 惣菜. The dictionary has both as ‘side dish’ but my understanding is that 惣菜 is more of a store sold pre-made side dish while お菜 is a homemade dish I believe.

I came across 梳かす today to comb, brush (hair) but likely 梳 is not used much.

I just watched a Detective Conan episode where they talked about よみがえる (to be revived). The かえる part made sense to me but I was curious to see how よみ is written (for sure it is not 読み, right?)
Turns out it has its own kanji altogether:


This is a Jinmeiyou kanji which means “be resuscitated”, “revived”, and surprisingly also “perilla / shiso” (you may have seen its beautiful leaves as a tasty decoration for Japanese dishes).
Why it has these two very different meanings is beyond my imagination, though.


This is one of those “special” kanji where the reading was derived from another combination of words/kanji. In this case, it’s derived from 黄泉から帰る.


Ah thanks, that explains the reading!

Now why would they use the same kanji for the plant? :thinking: It’s an annual plant, and maybe it’s quite the pest, so that it feels like each year it returns from the underworld to haunt the gardens? :rofl: