12 strokes
strict, hard, solid, tough, tight, reliable
Jōyō kanji, taught in junior high
JLPT level N1
1049 of 2500 most used kanji in newspapers


Stroke order

On reading compounds

  • 堅 【ケン】 strength, solidity, firmness, armour, armor
  • 堅持 【ケンジ】 holding on to, sticking to
  • 中堅 【チュウケン】 nucleus, backbone, mainstay, key figure, medium-level, mid-level, middle-ranking, midsize, main body (of troops), crack troops, select troops, center field, centre field, center fielder, centre fielder, athlete competing in the middle-number match in a team competition, i.e. second in 3-on-3, third in 5-on-5 (kendo, judo, etc.)
  • 米利堅 【メリケン】 America, American, fist

Kun reading compounds

  • 硬い 【かたい】 hard, solid, tough, stiff, tight, wooden, unpolished (e.g. writing), strong, firm (not viscous or easily moved), safe, steady, honest, steadfast, obstinate, stubborn, bookish, formal, stuffy
  • 堅い商売 【かたいしょうばい】 sound business


Japanese names:
Mandarin Chinese (pinyin):


  • duro
  • sólido
  • firme
  • apretado
  • estricto


  • de confiança
  • apertado
  • duro
  • sólido
  • firme
  • estrito


  • tenace
  • dur
  • strict
  • solide
  • ferme
  • fiable
1217 A Guide To Remembering Japanese Characters (Kenneth G. Henshall)
914 A New Dictionary of Kanji Usage
1096 Classic Nelson (Andrew Nelson)
995 Essential Kanji (P.G. O’Neill)
1155 Japanese Kanji Flashcards (Max Hodges and Tomoko Okazaki)
1796 Japanese Names (P.G. O’Neill)
1289 Kanji and Kana (Spahn and Hadamitzky)
1363 Kanji and Kana, 2nd Edition (Spahn and Hadamitzky)
1228 Kanji in Context (Nishiguchi and Kono)
356 Kodansha Compact Kanji Guide
3502 Kodansha Kanji Dictionary (Jack Halpern)
1805 Kodansha Kanji Learner’s Dictionary (Jack Halpern)
2457 Kodansha Kanji Learner’s Dictionary, 2nd Edition (Jack Halpern)
861 Les Kanjis dans la tete (Yves Maniette)
5210 Morohashi
2823 New Japanese English Character Dictionary (Jack Halpern)
1038 New Nelson (John Haig)
853 Remembering The Kanji (James Heisig)
917 Remembering The Kanji, 6th edition (James Heisig)
1513 Tuttle Kanji Cards (Alexander Kask)
3472 2001 Kanji
3b9.13 The Kanji Dictionary
2-9-3 SKIP code
2-8-3 SKIP code
7710.4 Four corner code
1-23-88 JIS X 0208-1997 kuten code
5805 Unicode hex code