Proper nouns on JLPT?

This might be a silly question, but does anyone know to what degree are JLPT test takers expected to know Japanese proper nouns, such as the names of places or people? Sure we all know 東京 and 京都, but what about 新潟? What about the names of prominent people such as 菅義偉?

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There’s furigana for anything above the specific level, so 新潟 isn’t gonna show up without it until you’re expected to know 潟.


I think they might be worried about having to know name specific readings though. When you are expected to know a kanji are you expected to know it’s name readings as well?

This says no.

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I would not expect you to ever be required to read proper nouns, unless it’s 日本 or 東京 or something. 新潟 is outside of the “basic” ones. I would basically always expect to see furigana on it if they referred to it.


It does make sense that we wouldn’t be expected to know nanori readings, which are fraught. The names of towns seem to be made of more common readings, but if they have furigana then it’s not a problem.

My post was spurred by reading these sentences from an NHK article:



In the first sentence, 菅政権 refers to the Suga Administration. This isn’t quite a name, but it requires you to know who 菅 is referring to. In the second sentence, 長野 is easy enough to read but I didn’t immediately recognize it as a city. 羽田次郎 is of course a person’s name as well. I suppose learning to recognize proper nouns through context will prove helpful.

I just realized what “proper noun” means… I though “ah an actual noun” and just let it go. Eh, thanks? :smiley:

Not answering the question, just happy that the great 新潟 was used as the example. :smile:


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