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

stroke order illustration  
drafted labor
Bushu (Radical) Info: 彳 (ぎょうにんべん) – going man
Henshall Mnemonic: move off with weapon in hand to do one's duty
Levels: JLPT N3 | JLPT 2 (old) | Grade 3
Frequency: #315 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 N4 Words

  • つ   [やくにたつ]
    (v5t) to be helpful; to be useful   [K] [D] [Jisho]

JLPT N3 Words

  •   [やく]
    (n,n-suf) use; service; role; position   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [やくわり]
    (n) part; assigning (allotment of) parts; role; duties   [K] [D] [Jisho]

JLPT N2 Words

  •   [しゅやく]
    (n) leading part; leading actor (actress)   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [じゅうやく]
    (n) director; high executive   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [やくしゃ]
    (n) actor; actress   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [やくしょ]
    (n) government office; public office   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [やくにん]
    (n) government official   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [やくめ]
    (n) duty; business   [K] [D] [Jisho]

JLPT N1 Words

  • つ   [やくだつ]
    (v5t) to be useful; to be helpful; to serve the purpose   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [やくば]
    (n) town hall   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [やくしょく]
    (n) post; managerial position; official position   [K] [D] [Jisho]

Other Popular Words Not Classified by JLPT

  •   [ふくえき]
    (n) penal servitude; military service   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  • たり   [あたりやく]
    (n) successful role   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [とりしまりやく]
    (n) company director; board member   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [とりしまりやくかい]
    (n) (1) board of directors; (2) board of directors' meeting   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [たいやく]
    (n) important task or role or duty   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [あくやく]
    (n) villain; baddie; the villain's part   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [じょやく]
    (n) assistant official   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [しやくしょ]
    (n) municipal office; council; city hall   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [ひつけやく]
    (n) instigator; troublemaker   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [まちやくば]
    (n) town hall   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [はいやく]
    (n) cast (of a play)   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [だいやく]
    (n) important mission; heavy role; substitute actor; stand-in; double   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [へいえき]
    (n) military service; conscription   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [そうだんやく]
    (n) counselor; adviser   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [さんやく]
    (n) three highest ranks (wrestling, unions, etc)   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [ちょうえき]
    (n) penal servitude; imprisonment with hard labor   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [こやく]
    (n) dramatic role for child; child actor   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [げんえき]
    (n) active duty; active service   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [くやくしょ]
    (n) ward office; council (regional)   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  • たない   [やくにたたない]
    (exp) be of no avail; be useless   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [やくいん]
    (n) officer; official; executive; staff   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  • り   [やくまわり]
    (n) role; part; (unpleasant) duty   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [かんさやく]
    (n) auditor; inspector   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  • 退   [たいえき]
    (n,vs) retiring from military service   [K] [D] [Jisho]
  •   [わきやく]
    (n) supporting role (actor); minor role   [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.