In the last half a century or so, has anyone ever tried to write a literary text in Japanese that would cover all (or most) of 常用漢字?

I'm looking for something along the lines of the Thousand Character Classic (千字文) they have in China. Is there anything at all like that in Japan?

  • Are you interested in something aiming at this or a book just happening to include (nearly) all of them? Also, the list got updated in 2010, so no work before that can have the whole current set (at least not on purpose). – Mathieu Bouville Mar 23 at 12:44
  • Oh, I'm not THAT picky. Any connected narrative with a hint of literary value about it and covering at least three quarters of 常用漢字 will do. I don't care if it's the list of 1981 or 2010. Even the 1946 当用漢字 is fine by me. – Surge Mar 23 at 13:01

There is no well-known one. I found that there are several works that intentionally contain all 教育漢字, a subset of 常用漢字:

I found them purely by internet search. I could not find a 常用漢字 version, presumably because of the lack of demand.

  • Thank you, these are excellent for a start. As for the presumed lack of demand, if that's really the reason why there's nothing written with a more substantial coverage in view, than publishers in Japan are laboring under a delusion of some kind. An interesting novel containing all of 常用漢字 would be one of the first things on my shopping list... – Surge Mar 23 at 14:16
  • Middle school students generally can read novels targeted at adults, and they don't need to learn all 常用漢字 by reading a single book. But if a 75% coverage is enough to you, I think many long novels meet that criteria. – naruto Mar 23 at 14:52
  • Oh, I'm sure they can. But for a foreign student of Japanese without the benefit of constant exposure to the language, having such a book would eliminate (or at least drastically reduce) all this mind-numbing memorization by shifting focus from learning kanji to enjoying the narrative. And having all (or nearly all) kanji in one novel would be a huge time-saver... – Surge Mar 23 at 15:33
  • @Surge The list is to an extent artificial, it contains some kanji because they are found in the name of one place or in the constitution -- not all are really indispensable. – Mathieu Bouville Mar 23 at 15:59
  • 1
    The author of 小学校学習漢字1006字がすべて読める漢字童話 wrote another book on the rest of the 常用漢字 learned in middle/high school: 新常用漢字1130字がすべて読める中・高校生の漢字童話 貧乏神は福の神 – JAM Mar 23 at 16:00

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