Study Japanese language, Kanji; learn about Japanese travel, culture, life, music (JPOP) and more

Kanji Study

You can use this page to randomly display a Kanji, display a specific Kanji or display a previous Kanji of the Day from the mailing lists.

Display random Jōyō Kanji

Display random kanji by grade level: Grade 1  |   Grade 2  |   Grade 3  |   Grade 4  |   Grade 5  |   Grade 6

Display random kanji by JLPT level: N1  |   N2  |   N3  |   N4  |   N5

Find a previous mailing list Kanji:    

Find a specific Kanji:  


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

stroke order illustration  
English:
fate
command
decree
destiny
life
appoint
On-Yomi:
メイ
ミョウ
Kun-Yomi:
いのち
Bushu (Radical) Info:
人 (ひと) – person
化 (カ, ケ, ば.ける, ば.かす, ふ.ける, け.する) – change; take the form of; influence; enchant; delude; -ization
个 (カ , コ, こ, ひ) – counter for articles; individual
口 (くち) – mouth
Henshall Mnemonic: life can hinge on a spoken order
Levels: JLPT N3 | JLPT 2 (old) | Grade 3
Frequency: #465 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 N4 Words

  •   [いっしょうけんめい]
    (adj-na,n-adv,n) very hard; with utmost effort; with all one's might   [K] [D] [Jisho]

JLPT N3 Words

  •   [せいめい]
    (n) life; existence   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [いのち]
    (n) (mortal) life   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  • じる   [めいじる]
    (v1) to order; to command; to appoint   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [めいれい]
    (n,vs) order; command; decree; directive; (software) instruction   [K] [D] [Jisho]

JLPT N2 Words

  •   [けんめい]
    (adj-na,n) eagerness; earnestness; risking one's life   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  • 寿   [じゅみょう]
    (n) life span   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [じんめい]
    (n) (human) life   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  • ずる   [めいずる]
    (vz) to command; to appoint   [K] [D] [Jisho]

JLPT N1 Words

  •   [うんめい]
    (n) fate   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [かくめい]
    (n) revolution   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  • 使   [しめい]
    (n) mission; errand; message   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  • 宿   [しゅくめい]
    (n) fate; destiny; predestination   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [にんめい]
    (n) appointment; nomination; ordination; commission; designation   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [めいちゅう]
    (n) a hit   [K] [D] [Jisho]

Other Popular Words Not Classified by JLPT

  •   [えんめい]
    (n) (1) long life; longevity; (2) macrobiotics   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [きゅうめい]
    (n) lifesaving   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [せいめいほけん]
    life insurance   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [せいめいりょく]
    (n) one's life force   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [たんめい]
    (adj-na,n) short life   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [ちめいしょう]
    (n) fatal wound   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [ちめいてき]
    (adj-na) fatal; lethal   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [ぼうめい]
    (n,vs) emigration; exile; flight from one's country; defection   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [ほんめい]
    (n) favorite; sure thing; likely winner; certainty   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [めい]
    (n) command; decree; life; destiny   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [めいうん]
    (n) fate; doom   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  • け   [いのちがけ]
    (adj-no,n) life and death; risking one's life; risky; desperate   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [めいだい]
    (n) proposition; thesis   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [めいにち]
    (n) death anniversary   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [めいめい]
    (n,vs) naming; christening   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [よめい]
    (n) remainder of one's life; one's remaining years   [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.