11 strokes
fundamentals, radical (chem), counter for machines, foundation
Jōyō kanji, taught in grade 5
JLPT level N1
241 of 2500 most used kanji in newspapers


Stroke order

On reading compounds

  • 基 【キ】 group, (free) radical, counter for installed or mounted objects (e.g. stone lanterns, gravestones, satellites)
  • 起因 【キイン】 to be caused by, to result from, to arise from, to stem from, to be due to, cause, origin
  • 塩基 【エンキ】 base
  • 開基 【カイキ】 founding (of a temple or sect), founder, laying the foundation (for something), base (topology), basis

Kun reading compounds

  • 元 【もと】 origin, source, beginning, basis, base, foundation, root, cause, (raw) material, ingredient, base, mix (e.g. for a cake), (soup) stock, (one's) side, capital, principal, cost price, root (of a plant), (tree) trunk, part (of a brush, chopsticks, etc.) one holds (with the hand), first three lines of a waka, counter for plants or trees, counter for falcons (in falconry)
  • 基 【もとい】 basis, foundation, cause
  • 失敗は成功のもと 【しっぱいはせいこうのもと】 failure teaches success, failure is a stepping-stone to success
  • 生兵法は大怪我のもと 【なまびょうほうはおおけがのもと】 a little learning is a dangerous thing
  • 基 【もとい】 basis, foundation, cause


Japanese names:
きい、 とも
Mandarin Chinese (pinyin):


  • fundamento
  • origen
  • base


  • fundamentais
  • radicais (Quim.)
  • comtador para máquinas
  • fundação


  • fondements
  • radical (chimie)
  • compteur de machines
  • fondations
755 A Guide To Reading and Writing Japanese (Florence Sakade)
670 A Guide To Reading and Writing Japanese 3rd edition (Henshall, Seeley and De Groot)
641 A Guide To Remembering Japanese Characters (Kenneth G. Henshall)
382 A New Dictionary of Kanji Usage
1098 Classic Nelson (Andrew Nelson)
688 Essential Kanji (P.G. O’Neill)
435 Japanese Kanji Flashcards (Max Hodges and Tomoko Okazaki)
1493 Japanese Names (P.G. O’Neill)
450 Kanji and Kana (Spahn and Hadamitzky)
457 Kanji and Kana, 2nd Edition (Spahn and Hadamitzky)
691 Kanji in Context (Nishiguchi and Kono)
354 Kodansha Compact Kanji Guide
3312 Kodansha Kanji Dictionary (Jack Halpern)
1716 Kodansha Kanji Learner’s Dictionary (Jack Halpern)
2330 Kodansha Kanji Learner’s Dictionary, 2nd Edition (Jack Halpern)
1783 Les Kanjis dans la tete (Yves Maniette)
5197 Morohashi
2673 New Japanese English Character Dictionary (Jack Halpern)
1040 New Nelson (John Haig)
1767 Remembering The Kanji (James Heisig)
1904 Remembering The Kanji, 6th edition (James Heisig)
251 The Kanji Way to Japanese Language Power (Dale Crowley)
726 Tuttle Kanji Cards (Alexander Kask)
1972 2001 Kanji
3b8.12 The Kanji Dictionary
2-6-5 SKIP code
2-8-3 SKIP code
4410.4 Four corner code
1-20-80 JIS X 0208-1997 kuten code
57fa Unicode hex code