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13 July 2009 @ 08:02 pm
Oh, Guess What...  
...191 new kanji to learn.

The somewhat awkwardly named Japanese Ministry of Education (, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology -- 文部科学省 in Japanese, henceforth referred to as the Ministry of Education, or MEXT, if referred to at all, which it won't be) has selected 191 new kanji to be put into the 常用漢字 (jouyou kanji, "kanji for daily use"), as well as the removal of 5, for a new total of 2,131 kanji. I don't think it's official quite yet, but it probably will be soonish (the list referred to on Wikipedia appears to merely be a draft list, but I haven't looked very hard yet).

This is really annoying. At least I'm learning them a lot faster than they're getting added, but it means all of my dictionaries are out of date. And I'll need to buy a new kanji poster. :(

So I went and looked at the list, and holy crap -- I knew a bunch. I mean, a whole bunch of them. Which I suppose really is a sign they should have long been included, if even I already know them.

I mean, 熊 (kuma, "bear") isn't in the 常用 already? And about time they added 韓 (the character for Korea, which is extremely common in newspapers and at on 焼き肉 restaurant signs despite not being in the list before). And 阪 (second character in Osaka, a not insignificant city). Actually, a whole bunch of them are kanji in prefecture names (which is mainly how I know a bunch of them) that weren't in the list before. Dusty might be pleased to learn that 媛 made the list -- his old prefecture wasn't in the 常用 before. A lot of place names, not just prefectures.

Huh, I guess it's not so bad as all that.
Aifebruaryfour on July 13th, 2009 11:54 am (UTC)
Keeping the old one for old times' sake anyway?
Douglas Triggs: kanji diagramdoubt72 on July 18th, 2009 04:44 pm (UTC)
Yeah, probably.

Don't think the new one will be available for a while anyway.