Grade 1 Kanji (小学一年漢字)


   Some websites and books teach you kanji by giving you an image of the character along with different readings that you are expected to remember. The truth is, Japanese people do not remember all these readings. When Japanese people read, they see whole words instead of different possible readings.

   In our kanji lessons we will teach you how to write full words. Before you learn kanji make sure you can read Hiragana and Katakana and know basic Japanese. When you learn a new character practice writing the character on a blank piece of paper so you remember the stroke order. Then practice writing the new words you are taught to write.

Ichi, Hito - one

One (bite) - hito kuchi (一口)
One (thing) - hitotsu (一つ)

Eat one apple
りんごを一個食べる



Ni, Futa - two

Two (things) - futatsu (二つ)
Two (times) - nikai (二回)

There are two birds.
鳥が二羽いる



Jin, hito, nin - three

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Jin, hito, nin - four

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Jin, hito, nin - five

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Jin, hito, nin - six

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Jin, hito, nin - seven

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Jin, hito, nin - eight

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Jin, hito, nin - nine

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Jin, hito, nin - ten

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Jin, hito, nin - person

Canadian - kanadajin (カナダ人)
100 people - hyakunin (百人)
That person - ano hito (あの人)

That person is a Canadian.
あの人はカナダ人です。

There are 100 people.
百人がいる。


・When this word is said alone, its pronounced hito. When it is attatched to the name of a country it becomes jin.

・Most of the time when it is used with a number it is pronounced nin, but sometimes it is different.

1 Person = hitori (一人)
2 People = futari (二人)

Ka, hi, nichi, ni, jitsu - day, sun

1 day - ichinichi (一日)
5th day of month - itsuka (五日)

・The word day can be pronounced either hi or nichi. Depending on the situation, most of the time hi is prefered when talking about day.

Today is good day eh
きょうはいい日だね。

Hon, moto - book, origin

Japan - nihon (日本)
Book - hon (本)

This book is a Japanese book
この本は日本の本です。

watashi, watakushi - I, me

・Both the regular and formal version of this word have the same kanji. If you are in a formal situation while reading this you would read it as watakushi.

I am Japanese
私は日本人です。

Dan, nan, otoko - man, male

Man (polite) - otoko no hito (男の人)
Man (casual) - otoko (男)

That man likes books
あの男は本がすき。

Jo, nyo, onna, me, nyou - woman, girl

Woman (polite) - onna no hito (女の人)
Woman (casual) - onna (女)

Woman and man are friends.
女と男はともだちです。

Shi, ko, su - child

Girl - onna no ko (女の子)

Girls friend is American.
女の子のともだちはアメリカ人です。

En, maru(i) - round, yen

1 yen - ichi en (一円)


Tsuki, gatsu, getsu - moon, month

January - ichigatsu (一月)


Mei, myou, a(kari), aka(rui), aki(raka), a(keru), a(ku), a(kasu), aka(ramu), aka(rumu), a(kuru) - light, bright, clear, next, be open

Tomorrow - myounichi (明日)


You - day of the week

Sunday - nichiyoubi (日曜日)


Ka, hi, (ho) - fire

Tuesday - kayoubi (火曜日)


Sui, mizu - water

Water jug - mizugame (水がめ)


Moku, boku, ki, (ko) - tree, wood

Lumberjack - kikori (木こり)
Thursday - mokuyoubi (木曜日)

Kin, kon, kane, (kana) - gold, money, metal

Gold metal - kin medaru (金メダル)


Do, to, tsuchi - soil, ground, earth

Native - dojin (土人)
Sandbag - donou (土のう)

Dai, tai, oo(kii) - big, large

Large amount of money - taikin (大金)
Adult - otona (大人)

Shou, chii(sai), ko, do - small, little

Dwarf - kobito (小人)
Insignificant person - shoujin (小人)

Chuu, naka - middle, inside, throughout

All over Japan - nihonjuu (日本中)


Kaze, kaza, fuu, fu - wind, appearance, style

Gentle breeze - soyokaze (そよ風)


Ame, u, ama - rain

Rain water - amamizu (雨水)
Downpour - ooame (大雨)

Ka, ge, shita, moto, sa(geru), o(rosu), shimo, o(riru), sa(garu), kuda(ru), kuda(saru) - down, lower, base, fall, hand down, give, get out

Sewer system - gesui (下水)


Jou, ue, shou, kami, uwa, a(geru), a(garu), nobo(ru), nobo(su), nobo(seru) - up, rise, upper, bring up

On the water - suijou (水上)


Sen, kawa - river

Upstream - kawakami (川上)
Mississippi river - mishishippi gawa (ミシシッピ川)

Yama, san - mountain

Volcano - kazan (火山)
Hill - koyama (小山)

Den, ta - rice field, paddy

Honda (name) - honda (本田)
Tanaka (name) - tanaka (田中)

Hata, hatake - cultivated field

Fields - tahata (田畑)


Tou, katana - sword, knife

Long sword - daitou (大刀)
Pocketknife - kogatana (小刀)

Bun, bu, fun, wa(keru), wa(karu), wa(kareru), wa(katsu) - minute, portion, divide, understand

Enough - juubun (十分)


Setsu, sai, ki(ru), ki(reru) - cut, break off

Important - taisetsu (大切)
Piece - hitokire (一切れ)

Koku, kuni - country

Large country - taikoku (大国)
China - chuugoku (中国)

Ji, tera - temple

Mountain temple - yamadera (山寺)


Ji, toki - time, hour

Sometimes - tokidoki (時々)


Aida, kan, ken, ma - between (interval)

Time - jikan (時間)


Sei, shou, i(keru), i(kiru), i(kasu), u(mu), i(mareru), o(u), ki, nama, ha(eru), ha(yasu) - life, be born, live, be alive. grow, raw, pure

Ones whole life - isshou (一生)
Draft beer - namabiiru (生ビール)

Nen, toshi - year

Pension - nenkin (年金)


I - (prefix)

At least 3hours - sanjikanijou (三時間以上)


Mae, zen - before, in front, earlier

Beforehand - maemotte (前もって)
Previously - izen (以前)

Go, nochi - after, later, behind, back

The day after tomorrow - myougonichi (明後日)


Go - noon

PM - gogo (午後)
AM - gozen (午前)

Sen, saki - earlier, ahead, future

Teacher - sensei (先生)
The other day - senjitsu (先日)

Kin, kon, ima - now

Today - kyou (今日)
This year - kotoshi (今年)

Nyuu, hai(ru), i(ru) - go, come, enter, let in

Setting sun - irihi (入り日)


Shutsu, sui, da(su), de(ru) - Take out, send, go, come out

Outbreak of fire - shukka (出火)
Crowds - hitode (人出)

Kou, kuchi, ku - mouth

Population - jinkou (人口)
Exit - deguchi (出口)

Moku, boku, me, ma - eye

Notice - hitome (人目)
Ones superior - meue (目上)

Mimi, ji - ear

Earlobe - mimitabu (耳たぶ)


Te, shu, ta - hand

Postage stamp - kitte (切手)
Skilled - jouzu (上手)
Example - tehon (手本)

Ashi, soku, ta(ru), ta(riru), ta(su) - foot, leg, be enough, add up

Limbs - teashi (手足)


Shin, mi - body

Strong point - shinjou (身上)


Kyuu, yasu(mu), yasu(meru), yasu(maru) - rest, be rested

Day off - kyuujitsu (休日)
Closed - yasumichuu (休み中)
Non-active volcano - kyuukazan (休火山)

Karada, tei, tai - body

The human body - jintai (人体)


Ji, shi, mizuka(ra) - self

One self - jibun (自分)


Ken, mi(ru), mi(eru), mi(seru) - see, be visible, show

Foresight - senken (先見)
Recognize - miwakeru (見分ける)