Jisho is a powerful Japanese-English dictionary. It lets you find words, kanji, example sentences and more quickly and easily. Our goal is to build a new kind of dictionary that doesn't just let you look up single words or kanji, but rather helps you understand any Japanese text. Ultimately we want to see it be a Google Now or Wolfram Alpha for the Japanese language. Just paste what you want to understand into Jisho, be it English, romaji, a single word or an entire paragraph of Japanese text, and it will search a myriad of data to help you understand the words, kanji and even grammar patterns.
Jisho is a labor of love for Kim Ahlström, Miwa Ahlström and Andrew Plummer with immense help from our friends Brian Takumi, who created Jisho's kickass new icon, and Sophian Bensaou, who has provided invaluable guidance.
There are many search options in Jisho that aren’t exposed in the interface. Please see the search options documentation for a full list of available options.
The data used in Jisho comes from a variety of open source projects. We are immensely thankful to the people who work on these projects and make them available for everyone studying Japanese to benefit from.
JMdict, created by Jim Breen and now managed by the Electronic Dictionary Research and Development Group (EDRDG), is a great general dictionary with roughly 170 000 entries and is actively maintained by Jim Breen and a team of volunteers. This dictionary file is the source of the bulk of the words in Jisho.
JMnedict, also from Jim Breen/EDRDG, is an immense database of Japanese proper names for people, companies and locations.
KANJIDIC2, also from Jim Breen/EDRDG, is a database of kanji that includes readings, meanings and a lot of metadata around kanji like lookup numbers for kanji dictionary books, stroke count and information about variant forms.
RADKFILE, also from Jim Breen/EDRDG, is a database of the radicals that make up kanji. This is used to drive the radical lookup feature in Jisho.
Jisho uses high quality example sentences from the Jreibun project. These sentences are created by professional teachers of Japanese, and translated into English by experienced translators. The project is currently in the early phases, and as of Feburary 2023 there are 407 sentences from Jreibun available on Jisho, with more to come.
Most example sentences in Jisho come from the Tatoeba project, which got them from a large collection of sentences compiled by Professor Yasuhito Tanaka at Hyogo University and his students, and later extensively edited by Jim Breen.
Stroke order data for kanji come from the excellent KanjiVG project, by Ulrich Apel and several contributors.
Jisho includes articles from Wikipedia that have both a Japanese article and a corresponding English article. The data source for this is the fantastic DBpedia project.
Information about what word and kanji belong to which JLPT level comes from Jonathan Waller‘s JLPT Resources page.
Audio files in Jisho have been graciously provided by the awesome people at Tofugu from their sweet kanji learning application WaniKani.
Open source contributions
We have made parts of Jisho.org available as open source when we think it would benefit the community.
The stroke order diagrams that were used on the old Jisho.org are generated with my kanjivg2svg Ruby script using data from the KanjiVG project.