5 strokes
lord, chief, master, main thing, principal
Jōyō kanji, taught in grade 3
JLPT level N4
95 of 2500 most used kanji in newspapers


Stroke order

On reading compounds

  • 主 【シュ】 (one's) master, Lord, the main thing, the majority, the primary concern
  • 首位 【シュイ】 first place, head position, leading position
  • 自主 【ジシュ】 independence, autonomy, self-reliance
  • 盟主 【メイシュ】 leader (of an alliance), leading power
  • 主 【ス】 honorific (or familiar) suffix used after a name
  • 法主 【ホッス】 high priest
  • 座主 【ザス】 temple's head priest
  • 主 【シュ】 (one's) master, Lord, the main thing, the majority, the primary concern
  • 主従 【シュウジュウ】 master and servant, lord and retainer, employer and employee

Kun reading compounds

  • 主 【ぬし】 head (of a household, etc.), leader, master, owner, proprietor, proprietress, subject (of a rumour, etc.), doer (of a deed), guardian spirit (e.g. long-resident beast, usu. with mystical powers), long-time resident (or employee, etc.), husband, you
  • 馬主 【うまぬし】 owner of a horse (esp. racehorse), registered owner (of a racehorse)
  • 船主 【せんしゅ】 shipowner
  • 主 【おも】 chief, main, principal, important, main secondary or supporting role (in kyogen)
  • 主に 【おもに】 mainly, primarily, mostly, largely, chiefly
  • 主 【あるじ】 head (of a household), proprietor (of a store), proprietress, landlord, landlady, master (of a servant), entertaining someone as one's guest
  • 女主 【おんなあるじ】 female owner, proprietress, landlady
  • 坊の主 【ぼうのあるじ】 master of the priests quarters


Japanese names:
かず、 ず、 もん
Mandarin Chinese (pinyin):


  • señor
  • jefe
  • dueño
  • patrón


  • senhor
  • chefe
  • mestre
  • coisa principal
  • principal


  • maître
  • seigneur
  • chef
  • principal
  • propriétaire
  • mari
237 A Guide To Reading and Writing Japanese (Florence Sakade)
315 A Guide To Reading and Writing Japanese 3rd edition (Henshall, Seeley and De Groot)
299 A Guide To Remembering Japanese Characters (Kenneth G. Henshall)
91 A New Dictionary of Kanji Usage
285 Classic Nelson (Andrew Nelson)
49 Essential Kanji (P.G. O’Neill)
106 Japanese Kanji Flashcards (Max Hodges and Tomoko Okazaki)
196 Japanese Names (P.G. O’Neill)
2.10 Japanese for Busy People
155 Kanji and Kana (Spahn and Hadamitzky)
155 Kanji and Kana, 2nd Edition (Spahn and Hadamitzky)
70 Kanji in Context (Nishiguchi and Kono)
19 Kodansha Compact Kanji Guide
2437 Kodansha Kanji Dictionary (Jack Halpern)
1231 Kodansha Kanji Learner’s Dictionary (Jack Halpern)
1696 Kodansha Kanji Learner’s Dictionary, 2nd Edition (Jack Halpern)
272 Les Kanjis dans la tete (Yves Maniette)
100 Morohashi
1938 New Japanese English Character Dictionary (Jack Halpern)
38 New Nelson (John Haig)
266 Remembering The Kanji (James Heisig)
284 Remembering The Kanji, 6th edition (James Heisig)
34 The Kanji Way to Japanese Language Power (Dale Crowley)
252 Tuttle Kanji Cards (Alexander Kask)
472 2001 Kanji
4f1.1 The Kanji Dictionary
2-1-4 SKIP code
4-5-2 SKIP code
2-2-3 SKIP code
0010.4 Four corner code
1-28-71 JIS X 0208-1997 kuten code
4e3b Unicode hex code