Kanji Dictionary Publishing Society

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Who is KDPS
Jack Halpern




Kanji Learners' Dictionaries

What users have said about
KDPS' Kanji Dictionaries

(See what scholars have said.)

Christopher Siwy
software developer and learner of Japanese (USA)
I've been an avid Japanese learner and have used EXTENSIVELY your reference work - Kanji Learner's Dictionary. I must admit that no other Japanese character dictionary comes close in organization and beauty; for this I thank you.
Amazon customer
It's a great source for kanji. Just flipping to random pages is cool!
M. Araya Salas
learner of Japanese
I was amazed to see all the great tools this dictionary has and a great way to start in the world of Kanji, eventhough I think a person that knows a lot can still use it as a great tool.
Amazon customer

As a beginning-to-intermediate Japanese language student, I've found the Kodansha Kanji Learner's Dictionary (KLD) to be a fabulous resource. Although I have several kanji dictionaries, this is the only one that I use on a regular basis....

[I]t has a great visual design. Simply put, this dictionary comes as close to being "beautiful" as any dictionary can. Once you've located the kanji of interest, the clean design makes it easy to find the information you need, and different sets of meanings are broken out very nicely. I usually get pulled in by browsing through the compounds, discovering interesting sets of meanings that are fun to read and think about. This is both educational and fun (at least for me). (Read the full review.)

Kirt Senser
learner of Japanese
This book has made looking up Japanese kanji something that I no longer dread. (Read the full review.)
Someone from Brazil
Amazon customer
I really liked this dictionary, because it shows many of the uses of each kanji in it. It's also really easy to the eyes.
Russell Marcus
computer consultant, learner of Japanese (USA)
I got a birthday present which allows me to look up
any kanji I see on a sign or in a newspaper with about the same speed as I use a Spanish dictionary. It's awesome. The system takes one minute to learn. I can't figure out why it was never done before. Then when I find the character, I get a clear and concise meaning for the character and an easy-to-read list of senses and submeanings in ,Frequency use order, not just randomly.
Christopher Fung
Amazon customer
This dictionary is an excellent tool if you are a student of Japanese language who has a strong grasp with hiragana and katakana, but still a bit shaky when it comes to kanji. But after using Halpern's KLD, the fears of not knowing where to look up kanji will melt away. (Read the full review.)
Kevin Tuite
professor of Georgian language, learner of Japanese (USA)
This is not only an extremely user-friendly reference work, but also the sort of dictionary ideally suited for browsing. Your lifework is a triumph of the dictionary-writer's art, and I will recommend it to my colleagues back in the US.
Charles E. Stevens
learner of Japanese

I've been using the Kanji Learner's Dictionary for almost three years now and have nothing but good things to say about it....

If you are looking for your first kanji dictionary, definitely buy this one- you'll find yourself going back to it again and again. If you only have a huge kanji dictionary, buy this one too- you'll love the size, and be surprised by the fact that this dictionary actually has the vast majority of kanji/compounds that you're looking for.

Goram Svob
learner of Japanese (former YUGOSLAVIA)

Using such a splendid book makes the study of kanji
a real pleasure.

from California

The SKIP system really works, and obviates the need to memorize a bunch of radicals. Stroke order and multiple meanings are provided. The only thing lacking is an explanation of the origin of each character.

Amazon customer

This book is awesome for all levels. Please read the beginning pages to learn how to use the dctionary. Once you do so you will not be disapointed and your kanji knowledge will grow.

Christopher M. Siwy
from Pennsylvania

Never has a Kanji Dictionary been so EASY! Including over 2,000 Kanji this Dictionary has it all! This Dictionary uses a new system to easily look up Kanji - and it WORKS! Each entry contains a main keyword and lists numerous uses for the Kanji, including compounds. I loved how this book also teaches you the stroke order of the Kanji. This is the Ultimate Kanji Dictionary.

from Osaka

Possibly the best designed reference work I've ever seen? It really is a joy to use! With just a few minutes getting the hang of stroke counts, any kanji can be found with little trouble. Each character has so much information packed in, from core meanings, pronounciations, stroke order, frequency of use, Unicode, common compounds, etc, but the page design is such that the information never seems cluttered. Hiragana dictionaries are a pain to use; but with this one I often find myself flipping to adjacent pages.

Htrick Danielson
engineer, learner of Japanese (CANADA)

I am a great fan of your new dictionary, and find it a little hard to believe that someone didn't think of SKIP sooner. In any case I'm glad to be using it now, and have been wondering recently if and when you might come out with a CD- ROM format of the dictionary.


W. Kimball
learner of Japanese
It was the front inside cover and the easily-understood SKIP system that made me decide to buy this book over all others. I knew nothing about radicals, but I could count strokes. I experimented with the book right where I was standing -- after all, I was surrounded by Kanji. I very quickly realized that the SKIP system was THE BEST POSSIBLE SOLUTION for someone who knew NOTHING about Kanji. I could tell that SKIP was far superior to the radical/stroke-count systems in the other dictionaries for a beginner like me. (Read the full review.)
Raditya Pradipta
learner of Japanese (Singapore)
I have several kanji dictionaries and so far this book is the best. Highly recommended!!
A. Manning
learner of Japanese
In sum, it is extremely good---this dictionary may very well be the best English Kanji dictionary ever made. The principal outstanding features are its unique character lookup method, the presentation of the meanings and senses for each character, and the presentation of compounds.
learner of Japanese
It was a real pleasure to receive this huge, beautiful book printed on luscious paper with appealing fonts and even color ink. The people who put this together clearly understand the essential aesthetic value of the Japanese language....I could spend the rest of my life perusing this fascinating text. Highly recommended.
Gillian Kay
English teacher, learner of Japanese (UK)
Learners of Japanese who are sometimes perplexed or
bewildered by the wide nuances many kanji have may also find the insights into Japanese words offered by this character dictionary both fascinating and enlightening.
Amazon customer from Toronto
This dictionary actually makes me want to learn Kanji. The definitions and detail, compounds, pronunciations and print quality are all top notch.
Amazon user
Whether you're just a casual learner, a beginner or an intermediate user, look no further, IMHO for this level, there are no Kanji dictionaries as good as this. (Read the full review.)
learner of Japanese (IRELAND)

Looking at it briefly in the book shop it looked quite complicated. But within a few minutes I'd realized how useful the SKIP system method could be and before I even purchased the book I had chosen an example, looked it up in the dictionary and found it the first time ... 95% of the time I find the kanji the first time....

This dictionary makes kanji very enjoyable. I find the layout is really self-explanatory. The compounds section I find extremely useful. In fact, brilliant. My Japanese friends were very surprised at the power of this dictionary. I look forward to learning Japanese very much and I'm certain your dictionary will be the best teaching aid for the foreseeable future.

Amazon user
I cannot recommend this dictionary highly enough. There is simply no better dictionary for beginning and intermediate students, and it can be used even into advanced studies....If you are a beginning through advanced-intermediate student of Japanese, buy this dictionary now! Save yourself the pain of struggling to learn a primitive and outmoded indexing system that requires knowledge of the characters that you are obviously still trying to acquire. Every minute you spend unsuccessfully looking for a character is a minute you could be studying instead. (Read the full review.)
Carlos Felipe Rodriguez
from Maturin, Venezuela

This book is nearly perfect. It is very complete and comes in a very handy presentation. You can quickly find the 2000 most used Kanji and learn how to write them correctly. Besides a kanji core meaning, you learn frequent combinations with other kanji, which helps a lot for context interpretation. The layout invites you to read on, even after you found what you wanted, it is beautiful! My fear of kanji is gone. I learnt to break them down in pieces and remember them easier.

David Ayer
from Toronto

Reading Japanese just became a viable possibility Tracking found kanji compounds is still not always the quickest thing to do (I can still mis-count numbers of strokes, etc.,) but with some patience it is possible with this dictionary to find virtually any kanji you set out hunting for. And when you find it, that's where the real value is--core meanings, rankings according to frequency of use, stroke order diagrams, and most of all a wack of compounds containing the kanji in question, regardless of where it appears in the compound. You're sure to feel empowered in your running battle with the outrageous number of kanji to be reckoned with in this nutty language. Gotta love it.

from Los Angeles

Excellent, easy to use learning book As a beginner, learning a new language is not easy. However this is one of the most effective translation books I've seen. In a very short time i was able to quickly and accurately find and understand what i needed time after time.

Amazon customer

The dictionary is comprehensive and easy to use for a beginner learning Japanese. I feel this dictionary will continue to be of use as I advance in my new language proficiency.

Nicolas R Cueto
from Japan

Having once been awed by Spahn & Hadamitzky's opus, I was certain I'd never ever want or need another kanji-jiten. Then, a few months back, I spotted your KLD on a web-page somewhere, checked it out later at the bookstore and, wham!, purchased it on the spot. What I liked best about the KLD, aside from the unique, simple and elegant look-up system, was its adherence to frequency counts.

Updated: October 3, 2008