A Door to the World of Kanji

Learn how to read buttons on remote controls and appliances, traffic signs, and train ticket machine.

Kanji by Frequency

A simple site that provides lists of kanji sorted in various ways:
– Grade
– Radical
– Shape
– Topic
– to learn

Editor’s Note: only a subset of kanji seems to be listed…

Nintendo DS, kanji dictionary

This article discusses dictionary software for Nintendo DS, specifically Kanji Sono Mama Rakubiki Jiten (漢字そのまま楽引辞典).

Kanji Writing Exercise Sheets

Michael Engel has put together some downloadable .pdf kanji writing exercise sheets, available in various groupings. Some of the site and sheets use German, but don’t let that scare you as the important information exists in English as well.

Kanjiroushi kanji a day RSS feeds

The Kanjiroushi website has put together 4 daily JLPT (noryokushiken) RSS feeds. Of course, I beat them to it, but the more the merrier I say.


Want to study kanji but you left all your flashcards at home? Help is at hand because your iPod is not only musical but literate too.

kanjiPod is a program for generating sets of files for studying kanji on the iPod via the Notes feature. Programming maestros can download the Python based source code here and get cracking putting together personalised files, while code allergic … [ Read more ]

Kanji Networks Etymological Dictionary

Here is a Kanji dictionary geared for the serious learner or for anyone with a curiousity about the historial etymology of the characters. The dictionary covers the 1945 Joyo Kanji.

Each entry is organized as follows. The character; the number of strokes, ON reading(s), KUN reading(s), ancient forms (where applicable) and the etymological explanation. Present-day meanings in Japanese are in boldface. As is customary … [ Read more ]


KanjiGymLight is a Java based application for reviewing the 2042 kanji introduced in Jim Heisig’s book Remembering the Kanji. It is designed to aid in kanji review via either 56 pre-set lessons or using the Heisig numbers. KanjiGymLight comes in a laptop/PC and a Palm version, needs the Java Runtime Environment and all you need do is register to download it.

The interface is straightforward … [ Read more ]


This site uses diagrams to explain the seven basic radical positions, providing examples and even mini Flash demos of the stroke order.

Nihongo Ganbatte!!

This site offers Kanji, Hiragana, and Katakana study quizzes, flashcards and games.

OCha No Kanji

OCha No Kanji is a free, simple software designed to map your knowledge of kanji. This software runs under MS Excel 2000 and above. There are currently three levels : 4 kyuu (80 kanji), 3 kyuu (245 kanji) and 2 kyuu (985 kanji) of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT).

You can test up to 40 kanji at a time. The test consists in … [ Read more ]


The “radical” of a character is more or less its “base component.” Find background on radicals here.

Kanji Practice

Kanji Practice is a site which helps learners of Japanese to master reading and writing kanji. Kanji are grouped in sets of 50, following the order used by learners of Japanese at Dartmouth College. For each kanji, the site offers a brushstroke image, a brief video clip demonstrating stroke order, sample sentences for On and Kun readings with accompanying audio clips, print variations and the … [ Read more ]

Kiki’s Kanji Dictionary

This site combines the popular Kanji dictionary KANJIDIC and Japanese-English dictionary EDICT from Jim Breen. Kiki’s Dictionary is very different from other online dictionaries, such as WWWJDIC. Kiki lets you “browse” to learn useful kanji and compounds, rather than searching for a single kanji and viewing it out of context. Each compound has clickable links to other kanji entries. The meaning of any kanji is … [ Read more ]

Outline of Japanese Writing System

Index to This Document
1. The Origin of Chinese Characters
1.1 The Birth of a Pictographic Scrip
1.2 Formation of Chinese Characters

2. Introduction of Chinese Characters to Japan
2.1 Early Stages
2.2 On and Kun Readings
2.3 Classification of On Reading
2.4 Special Uses
2.5 Language Reforms

3. Chinese Characters in Japanese
3.1 The Japanese Script
3.2 Functions of Kanji
3.3 Word-Formation
3.4 Meaning of Kanji

All About Radicals

A radical (bushu) is a common sub-element found in different kanji characters. Every kanji has a radical or a radical itself can be a kanji. Radicals express the general nature of the kanji characters. A radical is the part of the kanji character that gives you a clue to its origin, group, meaning or pronunciation. Many kanji dictionaries organize characters by their radicals.

There are … [ Read more ]

Henshall Kanji Mnemonics

This page contains mnemonics for the kanji taught in the first six years of school in Japan (i.e. 1,006 kanji), as developed by Professor Kenneth Henshall. They have been extracted from his book: “A Guide To Remembering Japanese Characters” (Tuttle, 1995). The book covers all 1,945 general-use kanji.

This page has been prepared by William Clausing and Jim Breen with the kind permission of Professor Henshall … [ Read more ]


This site is quite distinct from other dictionaries of kanji. It provides students of Japanese with unrivalled opportunity to focus on the most important things. To make the task of learning characters manageable only most frequently used words are presented here to illustrate character usage. The almost 1,700 words illustrating usage of the first 200 most basic characters at level 1 are definitely “must know” … [ Read more ]