About the kanji sets and cards order in Asahi Kanji App
1) Japanese Language Proficiency Test levels
Starting in 2010, the Japanese Language Proficiency Test is now divided into 5 levels instead of the former 4.
A new level was inserted between old Levels 2 and 3, meaning N5 corresponds to the old Level 4.
- N1: slightly more advanced than the original level 1, but the same passing level
- N2: the same as the original level 2
- N3: in between the original level 2 and level 3
- N4: the same as the original level 3
- N5: the same as the original level 4
The test measures levels of competence described in a general way.
The Japan Foundation does not publish Test Content Specification as it is discouraged to study from kanji and vocabulary lists.
It means that there is no official kanji list nor a definite number of kanji to know for each level.
However, you will find numerous publications, web sites and smartphone applications dedicated to the preparation of each level.
Their content is based on the kanji and vocabulary used in previous JLPT tests (when it still had 4 levels).
It will take a few years before new (but still non-official lists) can be established.
Until 2010 (old test), a testee had to know:
- about 2000 kanji for 1 Kyū level (N1)
- about 1000 kanji for 2 Kyū level (N2)
- about 300 kanji for 3 Kyū level (N3)
- about 100 kanji for 4 Kyū level (N4)
In this app, levels have been established as follow:
- 2141 kanji for N1 (all the new 2010 Jōyō Kanji + 5 from the old list)
- 1140 kanji for N2 (a few more kanji than the original N2)
- 660 kanji for N3 (in between the original level 2 and level 3 (the split here has nothing official)
- 300 kanji for N4 (the same as the original level 3)
- 120 kanji for N5 (a few more than the original level 4)
Please be aware that kanji in any one exam may be drawn at the discretion of exam authors from outside the lists compiled from past exams.
2) Jōyō Kanji order
The database of the Asahi Kanji application contains the 2136 Jōyō kanji (common use kanji), as defined in 2010 by the Japanese Ministry
of Education, plus five from the former list, bringing the total to 2141 kanji.
Just like the JLPT levels, there is no official order for the Jōyō kanji.
Kanji books authors, software editors and teachers are free to introduce the kanji in the order they wish.
However, after each revision of the Jōyō kanji by the Japanese Ministry of Education, all medias seem to publish the same list.
In this app, the Jōyō kanji follow the order of a list of 1945 kanji established in 1981 by the Japanese Ministry of Education that was subsequently freely available
in all post offices throughout Japan.
It is also the same order the kanji appear in the kanji book "A Guide To Remembering Japanese Characters by Kenneth G. Henshall".
A further 196 kanji have been officially added in 2010. This app follows the order of the added kanji list published by the Asahi Shimbun on May 20, 2010.
You can have more details by contacting the author of the app at: