Kanji Dictionary Publishing Society

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Who is KDPS
Jack Halpern




Kanji Learners' Dictionaries

What scholars have said about
KDPS' Kanji Dictionaries

(See what users have said.)

Ken Lunde
Manager, CJKV Type Development, Adobe Systems, Inc.
In brief, the New Japanese-English Character Dictionary is an excellent reference for understanding kanji. Each kanji entry provides core meanings, and this is very useful to the student of Japanese. I wish I had this dictionary when I first began studying Japanese back in 1985, and I recommend it without reservation. Now for the details... Kanji dictionaries are one of the most useful language tools for the student of Japanese. While there are many such works in print, most are designed for the native speaker of Japanese. (Read the full review.)
world-renowned authority on Chinese characters Former Professor of Literature at University of Tokyo and Waseda University
Jack Halpern ... has based himself on authoritative research conducted in both China and Japan. The unique arrangement of this dictionary makes the study of Chinese characters a fascinating pursuit for foreigners. The publication of this dictionary will beyond doubt be invaluable in promoting international cultural understanding.
authority on Japanese writing system (JAPAN) Professor of Japanese at Center for Japanese Language, Waseda University

There is no doubt that this dictionary is superior to other kanji dictionary published so far. I am convinced that it is an extremely useful work for learners of Japanese.

classical Chinese scholar (JAPAN) President of Showa Women's University
Character meanings and compound words are arranged in a manner that shows how each character functions as a word-building element ... We are confident that students of Japanese using this dictionary will make rapid progress in their studies by deepening their knowledge and understanding of kanji, and will be completely gratified with its effectiveness.
Japanese education specialist (USA) Director of Japanese Language Program, Macalester College
I am very excited by your dictionary project ... One of my pedagogical interests is in the teaching of kanji, especially in developing ways of cracking the "system" so that students can learn the kanji in the most effective and efficient way possible ... This dictionary is a significant achievement for all of us teachers and students of Japanese.
Associate Professor, Hokkaido University
Speaking as a teacher of the Japanese language to overseas students, I am delighted at the release of the Electronic Edition of the Kodansha Kanji Learner's Dictionary. Previously, kanji practice has been a passive activity for learners as they simply tried to memorize the characters, but with this tool learners can read and understand written information for themselves, turning it into a task based activity. This kind of activity used to be limited to intermediate level or above but with the introduction of this innovative dictionary even at the beginner stages this is possible. (Read the full review.)


international authority on Japanese (USA) Professor/Distinguished Fellow, Johns Hopkins University The Mary Donlon Alger Professor of Linguistics Emeritus, Cornell University
... should provide a useful reference for all those interested in the serious study of the Japanese writing system. ... several very useful features of your work are not found elsewhere, and accordingly it should prove to be a welcome addition to the existing literature. For example, you have provided for each character a core meaning or meanings, which will furnish the basis for analysis of actual occurrences.... I applaud your decision to provide supplementary information on the discrimination of homophones and of characters representing closely related meanings that are easily confused. This kind of information is invaluable.
world authority on Japanese (USA) Professor of Japanese at Columbia University
This comprehensive dictionary offers the learner a full understanding of how kanji are used in Japanese. The grouping of entries around core meanings should be a valuable aid to learning. The simple and novel classification of characters will appeal to both beginners and advanced users.
World authority on Japanese language education, President of the Association for Japanese Language Teaching, and Honorary Director of The National Language Research Center
The ingenuity with which the content of this dictionary is presented offers many important hints in teaching [kanji] to students [of Japanese]. An good example of this is the presentation of character meanings as an expansion from a core meaning, and of the formation and usage of compound words.
Japanese education specialist (USA) former head of Department of East Asian Studies, University of Hawaii
Students who bought the dictionary are very happy with it and like it very much. I constantly use it when I make my teaching material and quizzes. I just love it! Thank you for producing such a great dictionary!
computational linguistics expert (JAPAN) Institute for New Generation Computer Technology
I was deeply impressed by the high degree of precision, the wealth of ideas in the front matter and appendixes, and the profoundness of your scholarship. Above all, I believe that the method of presenting core meanings and the classification of kanji [compounds] by meaning is of outstanding excellence. I would like you to know that the director of our institute and many of our staff speak [of your dictionary] in terms of high praise.

Updated: December 12, 2010