Nicholas Bodley wrote:
> In my casual browsing/learning about writing systems, I don't recall
> any mention of a "standard subset" of hanzi corresponding (in
> function) to the Japanese Toyo(?) Kanji. (The latter is an official
> set of kanji, approx 2,300 chars., or thereabouts, recommended for
> ordinary daily use, except for personal names.) (The name "Toyo"
> might have changed; "Joyo"?)
> However, it seems that Chinese-speaking countries don't have their
> own such sets, although there must be such for their school
> systems. Nevertheless, I might simply not know the story.
> (Ken Lunde's magnum opus is rather costly...)

The People's Republic of China does have the equivalent of Toyou Kanzi, and
they give it the same name: "Tongyoung Hanzi" (pronunciation differs but the
spelling is the same). I guess that the Taiwan schooling system has similar

Just like the T.K., the T.H. has an elementary subset which is the basis for
literacy and which is taught explicitly in elementary schools (each
character is assigned to a certain school grade and has to be taught during
that grade), while the rest of characters are learned informally during the
rest of the education career (i.e., characters are learned as soon as they
are met, as the focus of education is not any more bare literacy).

As you can imagine, the Chinese T.H. are much more numerous than the
Japanese T.K. If I recall correctly, the whole set is about 7,000 characters
(vs. about 2,300 in Japan), and the elementary subset is about 2,000
characters (vs. about 800 in Japan).

If you need more precise counts, I need to look up a book which I don't have
with me. I can do that tomorrow.

An information that I could never find, about the Chinese T.H., is the
assignment of characters in the elementary set to the school grades. This
information is very easy to find for the Japanese T.K., but it seems to be a
sort of "top secret" in China.