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According to Wikipedia there are exactly 2994 kanji in the level pre-1 (準1級) of the Kanji Kentei (漢字検定) and this number also pops up frequently in other places so I don't think it's incorrect. But these 2994 kanji apparently consist of all kanji in level 1 of JIS X 0208 (JIS第一水準) plus the Jouyou kanji (常用漢字) that are not contained in the former.

The number of kanji in level 1 of JIS X 0208 is 2965 (here is the full list) and there are as far as I can see 30 kanji that are Jouyou kanji and not in level 1 of JIS X 0208, namely

曖彙鬱楷諧毀嗅惧憬錮傲刹恣摯羞箋踪緻嘲貪丼訃璧哺喩瘍拉辣慄籠

These numbers also line up with the numbers in this thread.

This would suggest that there are 2995 kanji in level pre-1. But I have not seen this number come up anywhere. So which kanji is actually not in level pre-1? Or are there really 2995 kanji in level pre-1 instead of 2994?

There's also this line "2994字の漢字は、JIS第一水準を目安とする。 1級同様、一般的には用いない漢字や読みが多く出題されるが、1級よりは比較的使用頻度の高いものが多い。 2010年11月に常用漢字が196字増え、その全てが2級配当漢字となっているが、このうち168字は元準1級配当漢字である" from the aforementioned Wikipedia page of the Kanji Kentei. Which, if I understand correctly, states that there are 2994 in level pre-1 and in 2010 when the Jouyou kanji list was updated by adding 196 new kanji (here is a list), these 196 were also added to level 2 of the Kanji Kentei. So that they automatically got added to level pre-1 as well, but 168 of them were already in level pre-1.

Assuming that before 2010 the level pre-1 kanji were exactly the same as level 1 of JIS X 0208 that would mean that the number of kanji in level pre-1 after 2010 is 2993. So those numbers don't add up either. I think the 168 is wrong it should be 166 with the remaining 30 being the kanji I mentioned earlier.

So is it 2994? And if so what kanji am I adding that's not actually in there?

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  • Why don't you check directly on the 漢検 website?
    – istrasci
    Commented Jan 6, 2023 at 18:20
  • I tried but I couldn't find any definitive info on this. In 漢検の概要 it only says that it is about 3000 and in the FAQ it only gives this pdf of all kanji up to level 2.
    – Moritz72
    Commented Jan 6, 2023 at 18:56
  • It says 目安とする, so there is no exact list.
    – sundowner
    Commented Jan 6, 2023 at 21:38
  • So 目安とする means that there is no exact list? I mean I saw that too but I'm not confident enough in my Japanese to tell whether it definitely means there's no exact list or they just didn't bother to elaborate further. The Wikipedia article and other places also make it sound like 2994 is the number. But if that's what it is then my question is meaningless I guess. I'm still curious how everyone got to 2994 when I can't make sense of it but I guess I'll never know.
    – Moritz72
    Commented Jan 6, 2023 at 22:53
  • Since the official page says 約3000字, any other number is simply inferred. 目安 is おおよその基準.
    – sundowner
    Commented Jan 6, 2023 at 23:26

1 Answer 1

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can't give you the exact number, but here are two options: you can count the number of characters >here< (i would more or less trust this source)

but to be absolutely sure, i guess you would need to count them in the "漢検要覧 1/準1級"

there is also a question of whether old or alternative shapes should be considered as separate kanji from the standard forms

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