I read jisho a lot and I run into words with outdated kanji. Does this mean that the kanji term is outdated for a particular word or all words that use it?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

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.