16 strokes
hand 手 (扌龵)
maneuver, manipulate, operate, steer, chastity, virginity, fidelity
Jōyō kanji, taught in grade 6
JLPT level N1
1016 of 2500 most used kanji in newspapers


Stroke order

On reading compounds

  • 操 【ミサオ】 fidelity, honour, honor, constancy, chastity (of a woman), faithfulness (e.g. to one's husband)
  • 操業 【ソウギョウ】 operation (of a machine, factory, fishing boat, etc.), work
  • 柔軟体操 【ジュウナンタイソウ】 calisthenics
  • 器械体操 【キカイタイソウ】 apparatus gymnastics, artistic gymnastics

Kun reading compounds

  • 操 【みさお】 fidelity, honour, honor, constancy, chastity (of a woman), faithfulness (e.g. to one's husband)
  • 操を守る 【みさおをまもる】 to adhere to one's principles, to preserve one's chastity
  • 操る 【あやつる】 to operate (e.g. a machine), to handle, to manage, to control, to maneuver, to steer, to have a good command of (a language), to play proficiently (of a musical instrument), to work (a puppet), to pull the strings of a puppet, to manipulate (a person, public opinion, etc.), to pull the strings, to control from the shadows, to mastermind


Japanese names:
さお、 みさ
Mandarin Chinese (pinyin):
cao1, cao4


  • manipular
  • manejar
  • dirigir
  • castidad
  • fidelidad
  • virtud


  • manobra
  • manipular
  • opera
  • pilotar
  • castidade
  • virgindade
  • fidelidade


  • manipuler
  • manoeuvre
  • faite marcher
  • diriger
  • chasteté
  • virginité
  • fidélité
935 A Guide To Reading and Writing Japanese 3rd edition (Henshall, Seeley and De Groot)
922 A Guide To Remembering Japanese Characters (Kenneth G. Henshall)
985 A New Dictionary of Kanji Usage
2015 Classic Nelson (Andrew Nelson)
1367 Essential Kanji (P.G. O’Neill)
582 Japanese Kanji Flashcards (Max Hodges and Tomoko Okazaki)
2448 Japanese Names (P.G. O’Neill)
1655 Kanji and Kana (Spahn and Hadamitzky)
1769 Kanji and Kana, 2nd Edition (Spahn and Hadamitzky)
1485 Kanji in Context (Nishiguchi and Kono)
928 Kodansha Compact Kanji Guide
948 Kodansha Kanji Dictionary (Jack Halpern)
531 Kodansha Kanji Learner’s Dictionary (Jack Halpern)
693 Kodansha Kanji Learner’s Dictionary, 2nd Edition (Jack Halpern)
678 Les Kanjis dans la tete (Yves Maniette)
12806 Morohashi
769 New Japanese English Character Dictionary (Jack Halpern)
2296 New Nelson (John Haig)
671 Remembering The Kanji (James Heisig)
724 Remembering The Kanji, 6th edition (James Heisig)
995 Tuttle Kanji Cards (Alexander Kask)
1364 2001 Kanji
3c13.3 The Kanji Dictionary
1-3-13 SKIP code
5609.4 Four corner code
1-33-64 JIS X 0208-1997 kuten code
64cd Unicode hex code