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Kanji Information Sheet for 元  ( PDF version of this Kanji PDF version )

stroke order illustration  
former time
Bushu (Radical) Info:
二 (に) – two
儿 (にんにょう) – human legs
Henshall Mnemonic: two persons of same origin
Levels: JLPT N4 | JLPT 3 (old) | Grade 2
Frequency: #192 of the 2500 most used kanji in newspapers

Common Words and/or Phrases Using this Kanji:

Click any individual kanji to view a similar information sheet for it.
Click [K] to look up the word's individual character(s) at WWWJDIC.
Click [D] to look up the word at WWWJDIC (definition is the same but other useful features exist).

Click [Jisho] to look up the word at

JLPT N5 Words

  •   [げんき]
    (adj-na,n) health(y); robust; vigor; energy; vitality; vim; stamina; spirit; courage; pep   [K] [D] [Jisho]

JLPT N3 Words

  •   [もと]
    (n,n-suf,n-t) (1) origin; original; (2) former   [K] [D] [Jisho]

JLPT N2 Words

  • 々   [もともと]
    (adv,adj-no) originally; by nature; from the start   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [がんじつ]
    (n) New Year's Day   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [あしもと]
    (n) (1) at one's feet; underfoot; (2) gait; pace; step   [K] [D] [Jisho]

JLPT N1 Words

  •   [かんげん]
    (n,vs) resolution; reduction; return to origins   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [じもと]
    (n) local   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [げんしゅ]
    (n) ruler; sovereign   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [てもと]
    (n) (1) (money) on hand or at home; one's purse; (2) usual skill   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [げんそ]
    (n) chemical element   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [がんねん]
    (n-adv,n-t) first year (of a specific reign)   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [がんらい]
    (n-adv) originally; primarily; essentially; logically; naturally   [K] [D] [Jisho]

Other Popular Words Not Classified by JLPT

  •   [ねもと]
    (n) origin; source; foundation; root; base; principle   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [じげん]
    (n) dimension   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [たげんてき]
    (adj-na,n) pluralism; plurality   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [いえもと]
    (n) head of a school (of music, dance); head family of a school   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [えりもと]
    (n) front of neck   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [ちゅうげん]
    (n) 15th day of the 7th lunar month; (last day of) Bon lantern festival; Bon gifts   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [きげん]
    (n) (1) era; (2) A.D. (Christian era)   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [きげんぜん]
    (n-adv,n-t) pre-era; B.C.   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [みみもと]
    (n) close to the ear   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [みもと]
    (n) person's identity; ID; past; background   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  • より   [もとより]
    (adv) from the beginning; from the first   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [がんきょう]
    (n) (1) ringleader; main culprit; (2) main cause; source   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [ふくげん]
    (n,vs) restoration (to original state); reconstruction   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [がんきん]
    (n) capital; principal   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [おちゅうげん]
    (n) Bon Festival gifts   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [げんごう]
    (n) era name   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [かまもと]
    (n) pottery   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [げんすい]
    (n) (field) marshal; (fleet) admiral; general of the army   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [がんそ]
    (n) originator; founder; pioneer; inventor   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [がんたん]
    (n) New Year's Day   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [がんぽん]
    (n) principal (invest.); capital   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [げんろう]
    (n) elder statesman; authority   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [げんろく]
    (n) period in the Edo era   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [いちげん]
    (adj-no,n) unitary   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [いちげんか]
    (n) unification; centralization   [K] [D] [Jisho]
Find more details for at, Yookoso! or WWWJDIC


The sofware used to generate this kanji information uses the EDICT and KANJIDIC files. These files are the property of the Electronic Dictionary Research and Development Group at Monash University and are used in conformance with the Group's license.

NOTE: I converted the sources just mentioned years ago and have never really updated so there may be some missing or incorrect information that has been addressed in the original sources but not here.

The first Stroke Order image used on this page is courtesy of Ulrich Apel's excellent open source KanjiVG project. The second image is from the folks at the excellent Jisho Japanese-English dictionary site and it too is based on KanjiVG.

Classifying the kanji and popular vocabulary by the new JLPT levels was done by consulting Jonathan Waller‘s JLPT Resources page, renshuu, Wictionary, and Nihongo Ichiban.

The Henshall Mnemonics are the copyright of Tuttle Publishing and are the result of the hard work by Professor Henshall. See the list I used here.

If you are curious about the lexicography shown in the word definitions, visit the WWWJDIC abbreviations and codes guide and the JMdict/Edict Lexicographical details page.