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

stroke order illustration  
English:
before
ahead
previous
future
precedence
On-Yomi:
セン
Kun-Yomi:
さき
ま.ず
ぽん
Bushu (Radical) Info: 儿 (にんにょう) – human legs
Henshall Mnemonic: those dead people preceded us in life
Levels: JLPT N5 | JLPT 4 (old) | Grade 1
Frequency: #173 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 Jisho.org.

JLPT N5 Words

  •   [さき]
    (adj-no,n,n-suf,pref) (1) previous; prior; former; (2) point (e.g. pencil); tip; end; nozzle; head (of a line); (3) destination; (4) the first priority; the future; objective; sequel; remainder; the other party   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [せんげつ]
    (n-adv,n-t) last month   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [せんしゅう]
    (n-adv,n-t) last week; the week before   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [せんせい]
    (n) teacher; master; doctor   [K] [D] [Jisho]

JLPT N4 Words

  •   [せんぱい]
    (n) senior (at work or school); superior; elder; older graduate; progenitor; old-timer   [K] [D] [Jisho]

JLPT N3 Words

  • ず   [まず]
    (adv) (1) first (of all); to start with; about; almost; anyway; well; now; (2) hardly (with neg. verb)   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [せんじつ]
    (n-adv,n-t) the other day; a few days ago   [K] [D] [Jisho]

JLPT N2 Words

  •   [まっさき]
    (n) the head; the foremost; beginning   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [せんぞ]
    (n) ancestor   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [せんたん]
    (n) pointed end; tip; fine point; spearhead; cusp; vanguard; advanced; leading edge   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [さきほど]
    (n-adv,n-t) some time ago   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [せんとう]
    (n) head; lead; vanguard; first   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [そせん]
    (n) ancestor   [K] [D] [Jisho]

JLPT N1 Words

  •   [つとめさき]
    (n) place of work   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  • だって   [せんだって]
    (n-adv,n-t) recently; the other day   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  • に   [さきに]
    (adv,n) before; earlier than; ahead; beyond; away; previously; recently   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [せんこう]
    (n,vs) preceding; going first   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [せんだい]
    (n) family predecessor; previous age; previous generation   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [せんちゃく]
    (n) first arrival   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [せんてんてき]
    (adj-na,n) a priori; inborn; innate; inherent; congenital; hereditary   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [ゆうせん]
    (n,vs) preference; priority   [K] [D] [Jisho]

Other Popular Words Not Classified by JLPT

  • ペン   [ペンさき]
    (n) pen nibs   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [あてさき]
    (n) address; destination   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [のきさき]
    (n) edge of the eaves; house frontage   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [くちさき]
    (n) lips; mouth; snout; proboscis; professions; lip service; mere words   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [いきさき]
    (n) (1) destination; (2) whereabouts; address   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [さいせんたん]
    (adj-no,n) ultra-fine   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [ゆびさき]
    (n) fingertip   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [はるさき]
    (n-adv,n-t) beginning of spring   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [こてさき]
    (n) (superficial) cleverness   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [はさき]
    (n) edge of blade   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  • 々   [さきざき]
    (n-adv,n-t) (1) distant future; inevitable future; (2) places one goes to   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [さきやす]
    (n) lower future quotations   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [せんく]
    (n) (1) forerunner; pioneer; outrider; precursor; (2) herald; (3) pilot car   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  • け   [さきがけ]
    (n) charging ahead of others; the first to charge; pioneer; forerunner; harbinger   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  • ける   [さきがける]
    (v1) to be the first   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [せんけつ]
    (n) previous decision   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [せんけん]
    (n) foresight; anticipation   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [せんけん]
    (n,vs) sending ahead   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  • き   [さきいき]
    (n) the future   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [さきごろ]
    (n-adv,n-t) recently; the other day   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [せんしゅ]
    (n,vs) earning the first (runs); preoccupation   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  • り   [さきどり]
    (n,vs) receiving in advance; taking before others   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [せんて]
    (n) (1) the first move; forestalling; initiative; (2) black player (shogi)   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [せんじゅう]
    (n) previous priest or resident   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [せんしん]
    (n) seniority; advance; leadership   [K] [D] [Jisho]
Find more details for at jisho.org, Yookoso! or WWWJDIC

Acknowledgments

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.