I came across this kanji

enter image description here

It is said to read ぼんのう、meaning worldly desires and comprising 108 strokes. I am curious if it does exist because after some searching I couldn't find any more information about this.

Almost every single image I found about this kanji is apparently the same original image with some editing. Every source I found says basically the same thing, its meaning, reading, and stroke count.

Searching for kanjis with highest numbers of strokes, the most knowledgeable ones seem to be this interesting compilation and a Wikipedia page talking about the kanji taito, which is written with 84 strokes and thus the most graphically difficult character. No one is really talking about this kanji in question.

Can anyone point me to any other resource related to this kanji?

3 Answers 3


Your only question appears to be "does it exist?", and the answer to that is obviously yes, because someone has created it. Other than that, it is not listed in any dictionaries and has no historical usage. It appears to have been created recently (the earliest I could find was this, from 2012) based on the idea that there are 108 'worldly desires' and the kanji presumably incorporates some of them.

Theoretically anyone can create a legitimate kanji, as there is no standard or language authority that would prevent it. The only problem is getting it into dictionaries, which is a a difficult prospect these days as it would probably have to be incorporated into unicode.

  • 1
    Informative and Interesting. By the way, of course by 'existence' I actually want to refer to the existence in the language (e.g. being historically used anywhere, etc.), not the trivial existence (like it exists just because someone created it and wrote it down). Jan 22, 2017 at 15:23

This is a work of art by the Twitter user @shoshokaki. The 108 strokes represents completeness in Buddhism.


It's not a kanji, either in Japan or in Taiwan.

Such kanji-looking shape(works) is a painting in east cultures. It's composed of a phrase or a sentence, so as its pronunciation (long). The trick or fun is that some parts of kanji are shared by adjacent kanjis.

You can find more works like enter image description here, standing for "招 財 進 寶", which is the most popular sign for New Year. (The two parts, 貝 and 才, are used twice.)

And more: enter image description here

There is a book making a good collection of such works: enter image description here

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