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I have found many lists of kanji ordered by their usage in newspapers, but are there any lists that order by their usage in novels and other fictional material?

This might be useful to have because if someone wanted to be able to read Japanese novels well, they could study the kanji in the list.

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Here are some frequency lists that don't meet your criteria: The Agency for Cultural Affairs list: Here's one based on modified Wikipedia data: And another newspaper-based one: And based on a web corpus: This one IS based on novels, but is based on attempted lexical chunking rather than individual kanji: – snailboat Oct 14 '12 at 13:51
I'm in favor of resource questions being allowed here, but... isn't this a resource question? Why are people not jumping on this like usual? Edit: I didn't notice how crazy old this is. Probably predates the no-resource-questions rule. – William - remote Jun 9 at 17:33

2 Answers 2

up vote 24 down vote accepted


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Interesting that Heisig misses #66 (俺) and #158 (誰). – Mechanical snail Jan 6 '13 at 3:24

I managed to collect the data of kanji usage frequencies from various sources:

  • Japanese Wikipedia's snapshot
  • About 12900 files from Aozora Bunko - these are mostly novels, I believe
  • Public tweets from Twitter's Streaming API

You can find it here (the one you're looking for is aozora.json). Each file contains JSON table, format is described in

In case you get "404 Page not found", check the main page - I might move some files.

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Funny that 笑 is #1 on Twitter! – looki Jun 9 at 16:32

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