I read jisho a lot and I run into words with outdated kanji. Does this mean that the kanji term is outdated for a particular word or all words that use it?


1 Answer 1


The database used by https://jisho.org/ is WWWJDIC by Jim Breen.

The code (oK) stands for "word containing out-dated kanji". This simply means that nowadays the word is not written with these kanji. It does not say that these kanji are "out-dated" (whatever this would mean), just that they are out-dated for writing the particular word listed.

As an example, look at the entry for 遡る

さかのぼる 《遡る(P); 溯る; 逆上る(oK); 泝る》 (v5r,vi) (1) (uk) to go upstream; (2) (uk) to go back (in time, to origin); to date back to; to trace back to; to make retroactive; (P)

The code (P) indicates that 遡る is a ""Priority" entry, i.e. among approx. 20,000 words deemed to be common in Japanese". It can also be written 溯る, 逆上る, or 泝る. (The colour coding (see above link) says that 溯 and 泝 are not jōyō kanji.)

However, even though 逆 and 上 are j­ōyō kanji with jōyō readings 逆【さか】 and 上る【のぼる】, the kanji representation 逆上る【さかのぼる】 is out-dated, which is indicated by the code (oK).

(Of course the etymology of sakanoboru is just saka + noboru and might well have been written 逆上る, but nowadays it just isn't. See Kanji for native Japanese concepts: Kun'yomi spanning multiple morphemes for similar such words.)

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