75 Replies ・ Started by gcr at 2015-03-10 14:13:51 UTC ・ Last reply by ruby at 2017-03-31 15:06:15 UTC

Is there any kind of search API?


I'm thinking of writing a plugin for emacs to quickly look up words. Is there any kind of HTTP JSON API for Jisho? Should I screenscrape the results page?

Also, are there any API rate limits? Nobody uses emacs so I hope this won't be a big server load.

Kimtaro Admin at 2015-03-12 18:37:27 UTC

There wasn't :)

I want to have a properly documented and well functioning API that people can use to search Jisho with. Since a lot of people have been asking for this I started working on something simple to get started.

I wasn't going to mention it publicly until it was more finalized, but now I think it's just better to show it off and get feedback.

So, here's the word search API: http://beta.jisho.org/api/v1/search/words?keyword=house

It's very simple, there's no documentation and I'll probably change the format and add some kind of rate limit later down the line.

See it as an alpha inside a beta :)

gcr at 2015-03-13 22:57:33 UTC


You have NO idea how happy I am. This is perfect! I can't wait until after my paper deadline to sit down and play with this!

shred at 2015-03-14 20:00:11 UTC

Thank you! I am learning Japanese. This API will help me convert a vocabulary list of verbs from the -masu form to the -ru form. It would have taken me hours by hand.

Kimtaro Admin at 2015-03-14 21:02:46 UTC

Cool, glad it'll be useful! Let me know if you run into any issues with it.

fasihsignal at 2015-03-15 05:13:04 UTC

+1! This is the kind of thing worth tweeting :D!

shred at 2015-03-15 09:56:41 UTC

Maybe just one idea... Could you add the Hepburn notation to the result? E.g. {"word":"食べる","reading":"たべる","hepburn":"taberu"}

Kimtaro Admin at 2015-03-15 14:05:26 UTC

@shred, good idea, I'll make a note to add romaji to the output.

Nyanko at 2015-04-22 17:19:48 UTC

Any chance that we can use the API to include search tags?

Nyanko at 2015-04-30 22:10:19 UTC


Kimtaro Admin at 2015-04-30 22:51:37 UTC

@Nyanko I'm not sure what you mean. Can you give an example of an API search that doesn't do what you expect it to?

Nyanko at 2015-05-01 09:12:44 UTC

@Kimtaro: When I understand it correct, than you use the search API like this: http://beta.jisho.org/api/v1/search/words?keyword=house

But how do I use the API to, for example, search for all words that are tagged with #jlpt-n5? What do I need to write into the GET parameters?

Kimtaro Admin at 2015-05-01 10:05:24 UTC

@Nyanko, this will work: http://jisho.org/api/v1/search/words?keyword=%23jlpt-n5

But the tag isn't exposed in the API output yet. At some point I hope to put some extended work into making the API great, but I have to concentrate on fixing initial issues with the website first.

octref at 2015-05-04 21:04:53 UTC


Thank you for your hard work :-)
Actually I'm planning to make a Chrome extension for jisho.org to better integrate it into Chrome.
I'm not in a hurry, but is there any way that I can sign up to get notified when you release the API?

Nyanko at 2015-05-05 21:13:56 UTC

@Kimtaro, is the API output limited or is it printing all JLPT N5 words? Because it doesn't seem like it with the json from your link above.

Kimtaro Admin at 2015-05-09 14:07:34 UTC

@octref that sounds great :) There's no signup to get notified when the API is more expanded. But when that happens I will post about it in the forum and make appropriate documentation pages.

@Nyanko It's working correctly, it's just not including the JLPT tags in the output at this point. There's also no indication of pagination, but you can use page=2, page=3 etc to paginate the output. This will all be included once I do proper work on the API.

StarScape at 2015-05-12 13:41:21 UTC

This is awesome! Thank you SO much. I've been searching for an API-able Japanese dictionary forever, but there's just not that much demand for Japanese learners who want to build Anki decks with scripts or write their own learning aids. I'd actually tried to scrape straight off the html before, but I suck at parsing and the page layout was complicated so I just gave up.

This, however, is awesome. Keep up the good work.

StarScape at 2015-05-12 13:54:21 UTC

Any chance of adding inflections to the API? E.g. here it would be cool if it could tell you that it's the polite form of the verb(you'd probably already know that, but just an example). In other words, just the contents of the inflection box.

Kimtaro Admin at 2015-05-18 17:46:16 UTC

@StarScape Yes, I could probably add that when I put some more work into the API. Might make that a separate call though. We'll see.

octref at 2015-05-22 02:26:40 UTC

Can you create a repo for the API on github?
This way I and other people interested in the API could "watch" it to get notified when you make changes to it.

I don't know how you plan to write the doc yet, but I recommend writing it as a Markdown and put it on github.

Kimtaro Admin at 2015-05-23 14:44:20 UTC

@octref, a GitHub repo for the API docs is a good idea. I've created one here for now: https://github.com/Jisho-org/API-docs

octref at 2015-05-24 15:38:22 UTC

@Kimtaro Thanks!

NessDan at 2015-05-30 16:52:10 UTC

So I'm working on a script that would take advantage of Jisho's API, but I can't make requests due to a lack of Access-Control-Allow-Origin headers :(

Is this something that could be added? Really excited to make this thing and share it!

Kimtaro Admin at 2015-06-02 23:29:47 UTC

@NessDan, good point. I'll make a todo to allow cross domain requests in the API.

xtreme1 at 2015-08-30 21:30:44 UTC

Is there any way to access the kanji data with the api?

Kimtaro Admin at 2015-09-02 22:57:33 UTC

@xtreme, not yet, sorry.

cjx3711 at 2015-09-27 17:02:53 UTC

@NessDan I was trying to use the api in a Web app of mine as well, but has the same cross domain error. But I managed to work around it by creating a proxy that could reside on my host but called this api.

NessDan at 2015-10-06 19:44:13 UTC

@cjx3711 My solution as well! http://blog.javascripting.com/2015/01/17/dont-hassle-with-cors/

I modified that a bit and called a proxy function during the requests that did the translating for me.

I ended up converting my script to be fully node.js and that also seemed to fix my issues :)

NeedleOrchard12 at 2015-11-16 17:51:32 UTC

I tried pulling a few words from this and it seems like the example sentences aren't included in the data. Is there a way to specifically get those? I don't need ongoing access to this stuff, so I'd also be happy to download a DB dump of some sort for offline processing.

Example: http://jisho.org/api/v1/search/words?keyword=%E5%A4%A7%E7%B5%B1%E9%A0%98

Clearly it appears in many sentences, but none appear in the API JSON.

Also, the API docs repo seems to be empty. Has it moved?

Kimtaro Admin at 2015-11-17 10:22:03 UTC

@NeedleOrchard12 Sorry, I haven't added sentences to the API yet. So far the API is just a very early test and I haven't added much to it.

The API docs repo is a just a placeholder until I finish the API and write some proper documentation :)

felixmark at 2015-11-17 20:50:23 UTC

I've written an Android Mobile App using your API, and wanted to ask if it's free to use.

The App however is not published yet.

If your API is free to use, I'll link you in the App so you receive the credit for the great great API you offer,
and I'd like to know if there are any further conditions for using it.

I hope you can figure out what I wanted to ask in my kind of broken english (sorry for that) ^

txtsd at 2015-11-25 14:06:18 UTC

I could use the API like yesterday. I need to make a list of all "#jlpt-n5 #kanji" and "#common" to revise for the upcoming JLPT.

Kimtaro Admin at 2015-11-28 00:26:41 UTC

@felixmark just provide credit to Jisho.org for the API and make sure you adhere to the licenses of the data sources that Jisho uses, listed on http://jisho.org/about

@txtsd hope to have a more complete API next year.

pietroventurini at 2016-01-20 19:40:46 UTC

I have some problems using this API..
I'm building an app which uses this API but I got this error: "Control-Allow-Origin' header is present on the requested resource"
For simple CORS requests, the server needs to add the following header to its response: " Access-Control-Allow-Origin: * "
I don't know any other way to get access to JSON data through that API

Lugo at 2016-01-21 14:43:52 UTC

Thank you very much for the API, will be very useful =)

Rak at 2016-01-21 17:02:54 UTC

You are probably making a $.get ( or similiar ) request from within your browser ( maybe your index.html).
This does only work if the target ( in this case jisho.org ) has explicitly allowed a request from within the browser. As of now, it's not allowed to do that.
If you look upwards in this thread you can see a statement from Kimtaro that he planned to enable this feature, but this was some time ago so it may not be the same anymore.

The only solution for you is to make a request not from within your browser, but from your server.
If you are running your website from your file system ( the path in the browser for your application reads like 'file:://.....index.html' instead of 'localhost:...') you have to add a server side part where you can make requests.

JBRadio at 2016-03-16 15:41:30 UTC

Like the other posters here, I think it would be nice to have a browser extension/add-on for Jisho.org whether officially or 3rd party. It looks like this forum post has some good information on API and site requests regarding the sharing of Jisho.org information. I was just curious to know if there has been any update on this or maybe there is a developer blog for this that I can follow (outside of the GitHub API watch feature).

I am definitely interested in the API documentation and the "Access-Control-Allow-Origin"error issues as these seem to be the biggest roadblocks to making a browser extension/add-on without the need of a proxy server or server-side script.

Thank you for your hard work on this site so far and in the future.

Squib01 at 2016-03-18 01:25:56 UTC

The only impediment I'm facing in using the API at this time is not being able to favor if it searches in English or Japanese. Like if I search for "man" it will show results for the Japanese man but not for the English man.

JBRadio at 2016-03-18 02:43:02 UTC

Before the new version of Jisho.org, you could've created searches specific to English and Japanese in terms of GET variables:

- In this case, you would add a value to "Jap" for Japanese or "Eng" for English

Now, these types of searches change to http://jisho.org/search/. However, it seems like you can still specify if you are searching an english word by encasing it in quotes. There's a "hint message" after searching for man which indicate you can search for "man", so these search results are different:


I haven't tested many results but this seems to be the case.

Kimtaro Admin at 2016-03-18 18:37:35 UTC

@JBRadio no updates beyond what's in this thread I'm afraid. I don't have a developer blog. Been thinking about creating one though. I have far less time to work on Jisho than I have things I want to add :)

It's correct that using quotes is the right way to prevent Jisho from changing searches based on what it thinks you want.

JBRadio at 2016-03-18 23:59:28 UTC


I didn't really seem to find it on the homepage (http://jisho.org/) or the advance search options page (http://jisho.org/docs) but, there seems to be some additional search features. For example, uppercase english letters seem to indicate that you are writing in KATAKANA and lowercase letters seems to search in hiragana. A lowercase search can yield katakana results and likely vice versa but you'll notice that not all results are the same between both lower/uppercase search results.

The search comments are really helpful:
"Searched for アップル."
"Searched for あっぷる."

gawara at 2016-07-11 18:33:10 UTC

I'd love if it was possible to get API data from kanji entries as well. I tried keyword=瓦%20%23kanji, sadly this doesn't work I see. Will this be a feature in the future? I am very happy being able to search on just simply keywords though, but this would add a lot.

Kimtaro Admin at 2016-07-19 09:08:27 UTC

Yes, kanji data will be included in the API in a future update.

fta2012 at 2016-08-02 01:08:42 UTC

Hey what's the status on enabling CORS? e.g., adding "Access-Control-Allow-Origin:*"

fta2012 at 2016-08-02 02:29:46 UTC

Hmm nvm, it seems like the thing I needed (text reading assistance for a sentence) is not currently exposed through the api anyway.

And thinking about it more, what I really want is just a stripped down version of the jisho results that I can embed (e.g., highlight a sentence and get definitions / text reading assistance in a popup).

For example I considered using WWWJDIC's glossing in an iframe:


But it's so ugly compared to jisho's.

There's currently a bug with your 'X-Frame-Options' on chrome:

Invalid 'X-Frame-Options' header encountered when loading 'http://jisho.org/search/%E6%98%A8%E6%97%A5%E3%81%99%E3%81%8D%E7%84%BC%E3%81%8D%E3%82%92%E9%A3%9F%E3%81%B9%E3%81%BE%E3%81%97%E3%81%9F':
'ALLOW-FROM http://www.wanikani.com' is not a recognized directive. The header will be ignored. 

So I did play around with just embedding the existing jisho.org in an iframe. But it's way too cluttered with the search bar / side bar. If there's a version of the page that's just the main results that would be great (and account related or other sensitive stuff stripped if you're worried about clickjacking).

Kimtaro Admin at 2016-08-08 10:42:39 UTC

I haven't considered providing a paired down version of the page for embedding. First I'd like to "finish" the API, and then maybe provide other ways of accessing the data.

Noam at 2016-08-31 20:53:33 UTC

Hi Kimtaro,
i noticed with the jlpt3 query above that the json file also produces words of jlpt4 and 5, should that be doing that or is there a way to only have jlpt3 words return?
also, i do not see any jlpt property name in the json file. how does it know it is what it is?

thanks a lot for all you've done so far!

MCManuelLP at 2016-09-02 14:26:03 UTC

Is there a specific reason why the JLPT level of a word isn't included in the tags section?

Kimtaro Admin at 2016-09-02 17:47:00 UTC

@Noam Yeah there seems to be something odd with the search index for the jlpt tags. I'll look into it.

@MCManuelLP The current API was a very quick test and not all data is included, like the JLPT tags. I'll add them in a future update.

felixmark at 2016-09-05 13:38:23 UTC


Hey there~
I haven't been writing for sooo long - gomennasai @__@
So.. I've finally made a signed APK of the "Japanese Dictionary" App I was working on (I know I was gettin' creative by choosin' that name) :D
I stopped working on it.. but I actually use the app from time to time so I thought.. propably somebody else does too (:
I've uploaded the Project too, so if somebody likes to edit/enhance the app, you're free to do so~

So.. the homepage is http://japanese-dictionary.weebly.com/

Thank you again that the app is able to use the API you provide!
The best API I've seen so far~

Arigato gozaimasu Senpai~

Yaku at 2016-09-07 18:15:32 UTC

Hello! I've read that there it is possible to do a jlpt search and that it would return 20 paginated items. It would be nice that it also returned the total pages that the query has. Also, when a wrong request is made (i.e: &page=1241490409432) the response is not a JSON.

Also, is there a way to contribute in the building of the API? the repo (https://github.com/Jisho-org) is empty :(

dekaikiwi at 2016-09-10 14:20:03 UTC

Hey! Any progress on Cross Domain Headers at all? Would be keen to integrate this with a NodeJS App I'm building at the moment :)

Reline at 2016-09-19 01:23:20 UTC

@Kimtaro So is web scraping okay for retrieving some of the data that isn't supplied in the API?

Mistval at 2016-11-27 03:45:32 UTC

I'm using this API to good effect working on a Discord bot for language learning Discord groups.

But I have the same question, is it okay to scrape for extra data?

All my results link back to Jisho.

makevoid at 2016-11-28 21:08:15 UTC

@Kimtaro Thanks a lot!

makevoid at 2016-11-28 21:08:30 UTC

@Kimtaro Thanks a lot for the API!

yorika at 2016-11-30 16:24:58 UTC

Hey, @Kimtaro!

Can't find right words of gratitude for API you've provided to the community!
It's really helpful and easy to use.

One of my students found out my passion for learning Japanese language, and decided to make a chrome extension, that translates unknown words for me.

You can take a look at it:

This extension has its github repository:
so it will be really great if somebody leaves some issues with found bugs or just propositions of enhancement.

We didn't know the right way to mention jisho.org's ownership of data in ext, so decided to provide a couple of links. But let me know if we have to do something else!


Kimtaro Admin at 2016-12-02 20:54:38 UTC

@felixmark, @makevoid, @yorika - I'm very happy that the API is working well for you, and that you've managed to build cool stuff with it despite it being so basic :)

@Yaku - Yeah I should add better pagination information. I should also make sure that errors are JSON, not HTML :)

@dekaikiwi - No, I haven't yet, sorry. I hope to have some time over the next few weeks to take a look at adding cross domain support.

@Reline, @Mistval - Sure, scraping is fine, but I can't guarantee that the HTML won't change. I really should finish adding all data in Jisho to the API.

shotaro at 2016-12-05 15:25:21 UTC

This is exactly what I am looking for make an iOS app!!
Thank you for your contributions.

Reline at 2017-01-02 19:07:00 UTC

@Kimtaro I saw something of concern within the API for the "attribution"->"dbpedia" field. Is "dbpedia" supposed to be a boolean or string value? There were two different results for "house":
"attribution": {
"jmdict": true,
"jmnedict": false,
"dbpedia": false
"attribution": {
"jmdict": true,
"jmnedict": false,
"dbpedia": "http://dbpedia.org/resource/House"
Is this a bug? Just thought I'd point it out, not a big deal.

Kimtaro Admin at 2017-01-06 18:24:54 UTC

@Reline oops! :)

It should be a string. When there is no attribution it should probably either not be present at all, or null. I'll add a todo to fix that.

Reline at 2017-01-07 22:57:50 UTC

@Kimtaro thanks! I guess while I'm at it I'll throw in something that would be nice to add to the API :)

Currently it's not possible to determine which furigana belong to which kanji through the api:

"word": "今日は",
"reading": "こんにちは"

That's why I asked about doing web scraping earlier, since the html gives that distinction:



Thanks again for the reply and all your work on this project!

Kimtaro Admin at 2017-01-09 18:50:44 UTC

@Reline The furigana alignment is something I'd like to add to the API as well :)

AviDrucker at 2017-02-08 20:17:01 UTC

@Kimtaro Any updates to the repo lately? I'm attemtping to query the JLPT N5 metadata with the link above (ala http://jisho.org/api/v1/search/words?keyword=%23jlpt-n5) but it only gives me a small selection (maybe 15 words or so). Can I get your advice on how to query all the JLPT N5 words at once?

AviDrucker at 2017-02-09 17:36:26 UTC

@Kimtaro Specifically, how does one do the pagination with queries? I'm trying this atm: http://jisho.org/api/v1/search/words?keyword=%22%23jlpt-n5%22?page=2 .... but I simply get back this: {"meta":{"status":200},"data":[]}

Kimtaro Admin at 2017-02-12 22:48:08 UTC

@AviDrucker You have the correct syntax for pagination, but it looks like you have some extra characters in your query. The keyword is surrounded by "", and you have ?page=2 instead of &page=2. The working query is this: http://jisho.org/api/v1/search/words?keyword=%23jlpt-n5&page=2

lissm at 2017-02-20 00:23:13 UTC

Hi everyone! I made a Ruby wrapper for the Jisho API, available here:


Feedback and contributions are very welcome. I hope it's useful to someone!

gawara at 2017-02-21 03:11:51 UTC

Great API. Thank you a lot.
I have question though about the results. When I am searching on "no" on the website I get the first result is "いいえ".
When I do the same through the API, I do not get いいえ. I cannot find the word on any page even.

See here:
API: http://jisho.org/api/v1/search/words?keyword=%22no%22
First result is 是非とも

On jisho.org website I search "no", and first result is いいえ.

Any reason this is?

Reline at 2017-03-04 23:26:18 UTC

@gawara try removing the quotes in your query, like so: http://jisho.org/api/v1/search/words?keyword=no
The response is still different from the website, but more accurate. You don't get "いいえ" back at all still, oddly enough.

theLongestFerret at 2017-03-08 00:08:24 UTC

Currently, I am trying to implement functionality to return the JLPT level for a given word. Since this isn't returned in the JSON, the only way I can get this info (using this API solely) is to query using something like http://jisho.org/api/v1/search/words?keyword=%22家%22 %23jlpt-n5 and if the exact word is returned, I know that is the JLPT level.
Is there currently any more efficient way of doing this? I know I can just use the JLPT site that jisho uses instead, but was poking around with this.

Kimtaro Admin at 2017-03-09 15:44:08 UTC

@lissm Fantastic! Jisho is made with Ruby so this makes me very happy to see :)

@gawara, @Reline There is a piece of code around quotation marks that isn't being run for API calls. Sorry about that. Once I add that for the API it should work like regular search.

@theLongestFerret Sorry, no, until I make sure it's included in the output that is the best way to check the JLPT level.

mairyu at 2017-03-11 01:11:13 UTC

OMG, I was looking all over for an API, I was crushed when I found out tatoeba doesn't offer one, then I found yours (such a hidden gem !!!)

But I really really hope you add example sentences to it, that would be awesome.

I'm new to Android/Java (doing my own flashcard app) , so I'm not even sure how to work around this, maybe the Forum can give me a hint/nudge:

If there is no API at tatoeba, do most people simple parse the HTML ?

jan at 2017-03-12 05:42:27 UTC

I wrote an Alfred workflow using the API. Thanks @Kimtaro! https://github.com/janclarin/jisho-alfred-workflow
Please let me know if you have any feedback.

Kimtaro Admin at 2017-03-28 13:10:13 UTC

@mairyu, You can download the Tatoeba data for offline processing: https://tatoeba.org/eng/downloads

I hope to add sentences to the Jisho API in the future as well.

@ruby It looks like I capped the API pagination to 100 pages, so anything above 100 is interpreted as 100 :) I'm not sure why I did that. I'll add a todo item to make this much higher.

ruby at 2017-03-31 15:06:15 UTC

@Kimtaro Thanks a lot!

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