I want to count the number of kanji characters in a word. What is the counter for characters? I am thinking that the term mai would be used as they are written on paper.

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    I think you already asked this in the past, didn't you? I recall writing an answer for that. However, can't find the question
    – jarmanso7
    Commented Oct 8, 2019 at 11:21
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    @jarmanso7 The OP previously asked and deleted a very similar question, which you commented on but did not answer. Users with enough reputation to see deleted questions can read it here: japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/72184
    – user1478
    Commented Oct 8, 2019 at 12:40
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    I suspect the down vote was because of lack of research. If you put your question word-for-word into Google the top result answers your question. This should have been your first step. If you still had questions after reading that you should have presented what you have learnt and explained why you still have problems. I don't want to sound rude or condescending but why should people take time to help you when you aren't taking the time to help yourself? Commented Oct 8, 2019 at 15:30
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    No. Google Translate is inaccurate. I'm talking about using the search engine. Commented Oct 8, 2019 at 15:34
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    I put "what is the counter for kanji characters" (your exact question) into Google and the top result was this site: koipun.com/blog/what-is-the-counter-word-for-kanji Did you see this? Why did this not answer your question? Why after reading this did you think the counter might be 'mai'? Commented Oct 8, 2019 at 15:42

1 Answer 1


The counter for kanji characters is 字 or 文字. For example:

200字  - 200 characters

150文字 - 150 characters

四字熟語 - an idiomatic phrase with 4 characters

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    Note that for 〜文字, it is in the "counter group" (not sure if there's a name for that) where 1 and 2 are counted with 訓読み reading, and the rest are 音読み. That is, 1 and 2 are [一文字]{ひと・も・じ} and [二文字]{ふた・も・じ} respectively.
    – istrasci
    Commented Oct 8, 2019 at 14:37

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