Mastery of even two thousand Kanji is a considerable challenge to the student of written Japanese. While such an endeavor is intimidating to say the least, it is not impossible with patience, perseverance and the right tools. This dictionary will present only the first 996 Kanji introduced in Japan's school system and is intended to be used primarily as a learning aid for drilling Kanji and their associated readings, meanings, etc. However it aims to fulfill two needs:
- To provide a learning guide and tool to aid the student of Japanese in learning Kanji
- To provide a useable reference to intermediate and advanced students of Japanese
How to Use This Dictionary
The following is a description of the search screens and the output screens and the various parts therein. Diagram 1 shows an example of a search screen, Diagram 2 is an example of an output that includes all fields, and Diagram 3 is part of an output that excludes the Meaning and Pinyin fields:
Observe Diagram 1. There are three noteworthy parts:
Field 1: The Search By menu. Switch between the 5 search methods available here. There are further explanations of the search methods on their respective pages.
Field 2: The Input field. This is a text field for searching romaji reading or english meaning, and a drop-down menu for radical, stroke and grade.
Field 3: Output customization options. Here you select which items you wish to be included in the output of your search. It is hoped that the ability to customize the output will aid students of Japanese as they learn Kanji. By removing the Kanji and Compounds and Radicals, for example a student can create an output for a specific character or set of characters that they can echo out in a form that includes only the readings and meanings of the characters, and blank spaces where the Kanji, compounds and radicals would normally be echoed. They can then use this form as a test sheet to "fill in the blanks." Conversely the Kanji, compound and radical fields could be included and the readings or meanings fields could be removed in order to test these. Another useful application, for those students who have interest, would be to remove the radical or stroke count fields in order to drill these.
Diagram 2 shows the output of a search by reading for "inu" with all fields filled:
Field 1: The Kanji field. Pretty straight forward. For an introduction to Kanji, click here.
Field 2: The Stroke Count field. This lists the number of strokes the character is composed of.
Field 3: The Radical field. The radical the Kanji is listed under using the Radical Priority System.
Field 4: The Meaning field. The English equivalent.
Field 5: The Reading field. Onyomi is listed first in Katakana, followed by Kunyomi listed in Hiragana.
Field 6: The Compounds field: This lists various compound words which use this Kanji
Field 7: The Pinyin field: The Mandarin Chinese pronunciation of the Kanji, romanized using Pinyin. By default, this field is not selected because this website assumes most of its visitors will be attempting to learn or find a reference for Japanese. However it has been included for those visitors learning Chinese who may find this feature of use as well. For a description of Pinyin and how to pronounce it click here.
All seven of these fields have the option to be included or not. Simply check the fields you wish to be included before clicking Submit on the search screen. For example, if you wanted to drill the meanings for all Kanji that have a reading of "ka" you would select the readings option in the Search By field, then type "ka" in the Romaji Input field and uncheck the meaning selection below. After clicking submit you would get an output as shown in Diagram 3 below:
You can then echo out this output and use it to drill the meanings for all Kanji with a reading of "ka." You could just as easily do a search by grade and remove the meanings and readings in order to drill them. There are a multitude of variations available to customize the output to meet your needs.