9 strokes
knife, sword 刀 (刂)
in front, before
Jōyō kanji, taught in grade 2
JLPT level N5
27 of 2500 most used kanji in newspapers


Stroke order

On reading compounds

  • 前 【ゼン】 last (i.e. immediately preceding), previous, ex-, former, pre- (e.g. premodern), before, before, earlier
  • 前衛 【ゼンエイ】 advance guard, vanguard, avant-garde (e.g. music)
  • 中前 【チュウゼン】 front of center field, front of centre field
  • 風前 【フウゼン】 where the wind blows

Kun reading compounds

  • 前 【まえ】 in front (of), before (e.g. a building), before, earlier, previously, prior, ago, (minutes) to (the hour), (the) front, frontal part, fore, head (e.g. of a line), forward, ahead, (in the) presence (of), in front (of someone), previous (e.g. page), prior (e.g. engagement), first (e.g. half), former (e.g. example), portion, helping, front (of one's body or clothing), breast (of a coat, kimono, etc.), privates, private parts, criminal record, previous conviction, (a) prior
  • 前売り 【まえうり】 advance sale, booking
  • 左前 【ひだりまえ】 wearing a kimono with the right side over the left (normally used only for the dead), going badly (one's business, one's fortune, the economy), being in a bad financial situation, front left, front and left, before and left
  • 出前 【でまえ】 home delivery (of food), outside catering


Japanese names:
さき、 さと、 まい
Mandarin Chinese (pinyin):


  • antes
  • delante de


  • em frente
  • antes


  • devant
  • avant
102 A Guide To Reading and Writing Japanese (Florence Sakade)
177 A Guide To Reading and Writing Japanese 3rd edition (Henshall, Seeley and De Groot)
159 A Guide To Remembering Japanese Characters (Kenneth G. Henshall)
38 A New Dictionary of Kanji Usage
595 Classic Nelson (Andrew Nelson)
139 Essential Kanji (P.G. O’Neill)
23 Japanese Kanji Flashcards (Max Hodges and Tomoko Okazaki)
921 Japanese Names (P.G. O’Neill)
2.3 Japanese for Busy People
47 Kanji and Kana (Spahn and Hadamitzky)
47 Kanji and Kana, 2nd Edition (Spahn and Hadamitzky)
29 Kanji in Context (Nishiguchi and Kono)
196 Kodansha Compact Kanji Guide
2819 Kodansha Kanji Dictionary (Jack Halpern)
1453 Kodansha Kanji Learner’s Dictionary (Jack Halpern)
1957 Kodansha Kanji Learner’s Dictionary, 2nd Edition (Jack Halpern)
296 Les Kanjis dans la tete (Yves Maniette)
2011X Morohashi
2266 New Japanese English Character Dictionary (Jack Halpern)
490 New Nelson (John Haig)
290 Remembering The Kanji (James Heisig)
309 Remembering The Kanji, 6th edition (James Heisig)
53 The Kanji Way to Japanese Language Power (Dale Crowley)
182 Tuttle Kanji Cards (Alexander Kask)
943 2001 Kanji
2o7.3 The Kanji Dictionary
2-3-6 SKIP code
2-2-7 SKIP code
8022.1 Four corner code
1-33-16 JIS X 0208-1997 kuten code
524d Unicode hex code