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” words – they are given with their English translations in “Dictionary – Level 1” at this site. The scope of vocabulary used to illustrate characters at higher levels is obviously wider, but again the illustrating words are most frequently used among those which are written with the help of a particular character.
Although students using this site can follow a traditional path of learning characters – one by one, the very practical emphasis laid by this site allows them to follow another route and completely change the very strategy of character learning. One can start from mastering the words included into the “Dictionary – Level 1” (in fact, most of these words are quite familiar to intermediate level students as these words are normally included in ordinary courses and textbooks of Japanese) and only after that enjoy the first 200 most basic characters: then you can see which readings and meanings of a particular character are actually very important, if some reading or meaning is missing among the illustrating words, don’t worry: you will definitely have a chance to learn them at a more advances level! The first level gives you a firm basis to advance to higher levels: for characters from 2, 3 and higher levels examples of usage written with their help that appeared at previous levels are included in the list of illustrations for the particular character. The numerous examples of character usage and, consequently, their meanings presented by this site are, in fact, the strict minimum one should be very familiar with. If you know more, it is fine, but if you know less, it’s a problem.
Level 1 characters are available without any registration. If you want to get access to higher levels, you need to register. Registration is free.