Documentation:Bibliography of Source Materials in Japanese Studies/Reference works/Dictionaries/Kanwa jiten

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【Work in Progress】

Dictionaries available via Japan Knowledge


On Japan Knowledge, you can selection 『字通』from the list of available dictionary and reference books under the tab of "詳細(個別)検索," which is between the tab of "基本検索" and "本棚" on the top of the page.

***Please remember to log out of Japan Knowledge after finishing use it.***

Bibliography of
Source Materials in
Japanese Studies
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About this Bibliography
This open bibliography will provide an overview of foundational sources and tools in Japanese studies. It is currently being developed by students in ASIA 521A.
Table of Contents
  • Please visit Documentation:JB for the workspace for developing this bibliography.
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Smart Phone Apps

*A note on how to look up kanji: The handwritten input for traditional Chinese characters on iOS devices are found to be most efficient in recognizing kanji. Besides, one can also try to use the handwritten function built into each dictionary App. Sometimes, using pinyin to input traditional Chinese character can also lead you to the right entry.

*Search by radicals: Both of the two Apps includes radical of search for each kanji, which provides a great opportunity to learn about how to look up kanji by radicals. Familiarizing yourself with this convention can help you use print versions of more comprehensive Kan-Wa dictionaries.


This dictionary includes most common kanji in everyday life and in classical Chinese texts.

Price on Google devices: $17.99

Price on iPad and iPhone: ¥108.00

  • Publisher: 大修館書店
  • Chief editors: 鎌田 正 and 米山 寅太郎
  • In each entry for a character, you will find:
    • The radical of search, three ways to read this kanji (kun'yomi and on'yomi in the Japanese language; pinyin for modern Chinese mandarin pronunciation).
    • The common print and the less common print.
    • Entires of definitions for the kanji. Some entries include example sentences from Classical Chinese texts.
    • Towards the end of each entry, pictures of how the character looks like on oracle bones and seal font.

『全訳 漢辞海 第三版』

Price on App Store: $24.99

  • Publisher: 三省堂
  • Chief editors: 戸川 芳郎, 佐藤 進, 濱口 富士雄
  • Index for basic knowledge of kanji and Kanbun: Although this App is more expensive than 新漢語林(NKGORIN2), it offers concise and clear explanations about kanji, readings of kanji, and Kanbun grammar in modern Japanese. It is a great way to review what you learned in class and refresh your memory about the basics.
  • In terms of the amount of kanji and vocabulary, the two dictionaries are about the same.


***Other than Kanbun-specific dictionaries, you can also consider comprehensive dictionaries that cover a great range of both modern and premodern Japanese vocabulary, such as Daijirin 大辞林 and Nikkoku 日国 (日本国語大辞典). But this is not absolutely necessary for learning Kanbun. One of the two Kanbun dictionaries should be sufficient for your initial steps of taking Kanbun.***

Hard Copies of Reference Books at the Library

  • 諸橋轍次 (1994-1996)『大漢和辞典 修訂第 2 版』東京:大修館書店
  • 白川静 (1996) 『字通』東京:平凡社 (Also available via JapanKnowledge)