Kanji alive was originally created at the University of Chicago in 2001-2005 under the direction of Harumi Hibino Lory, with the assistance of Arno Bosse, Michael Erlewine, Russell Horton, Mika Ishino, Justin Jesty, Irene Kimbara, Aiko Kojima, Junko Nishimura, Shunsuke Nozawa, Justin Rounds, Robert Voyer, Keiko Yoshimura and with support from the University of Chicago’s Regenstein Library Digital Library Development Center (DLDC), Information Technology Services (ITS), and the ARTFL Project.

In addition, we would like to thank Jenny Adams, Fritz Anderson, Sarah Arehart, Cornelia Bailey, Charles Blair, Simrit Dhesi, Ted Foss, Eric Ginsburg, Kaylea Hascall, Don Harper, Guillaume Iacino, Tanya Gray Jones, Chad Kainz, Gus Lacy, the late Karen Landahl, Roberto Marques, Dale Mertes, Yasuyuki Nemoto, Mark Olsen, Matt Wilcoxson, and Eric Volpert for their generous assistance. The 2008 version was created with the assistance of Arthur Christoph, Matthieu Felt, Camelia Nakagawara and Peter Thorson. Current Kanji alive web app UI design by Arno Bosse.

We would like to extend our gratitude to Coji Morishita (M+ Fonts), Yasuyuki Nemoto (Kenkyusha Co., Ltd.), and Makoto Watanabe ( for their generous assistance with the current version of Kanji alive. Above all, we would like to express our thanks to our tireless software developer, Joshua Day.


In 2003 Kanji alive received the George B. Walsh Award for “Innovative Computing in the Humanities” from the Division of the Humanities at the University of Chicago.


At the University of Chicago, Kanji alive has been financially supported by the Center for Teaching and Learning, the Provost’s Program for Academic Technology Innovation, the Center for East Asian Studies and the Consortium for Foreign Language Teaching and Learning. In addition, Kanji alive has also received support from US Department of Education Title VI funds.

Licenses & Copyright

Copyright for Kanji alive is held by Harumi Hibino Lory & Arno Bosse. The language data and media files created for the Kanji alive web application and website are freely available under a Creative Common Attribution International 4.0 license with the exception of the four items listed below. These may not be reproduced and/or re-used outside the Kanji alive web application without the permission of Harumi Hibino Lory & Arno Bosse and the respective copyright holders (where applicable):

1) Mnemonic Hints

Mnemonic hints and associated graphics developed by Harumi Hibino Lory and Camelia Nakagawara for Kanji alive, based on: Kanji 2001 by Rev. Joseph DeRoo, 1980 Bonjinsha, used with permission.

2) Supported Dictionaries

3) Supported Textbooks

In response to requests from Japanese instructors, and with authorization from the respective authors and publishers, the kanji lists from the following textbooks were added to Kanji alive:

  • Communicating in Japanese, Hiroyoshi Noto, 1999, Sotakusha
  • Intermediate Japanese for University Students, Hiroyoshi Noto, 1996, Taishukan Shoten
    『英文 中級日本語』
  • Mimi o sumaseba, Hiroyoshi Noto, Harumi Hibino Lory, Yoshiko Uchida, 2000 (Used only at the University of Chicago)
  • Majo no takkyuubin, Hiroyoshi Noto, Harumi Hibino Lory, 2000 (Used only at the University of Chicago)
  • Basic Kanji Book, Chieko Kano, Yuri Shimizu, Hiroko Takenaka, Eriko Ishii, 2004, Bonjinsha
  • Genki, Eri Banno, Kyoko Shinagawa, Yoko Sakane, Hiroki Ono, Kyoko Tokashiki, 1999,  Japan Times
  • Kanji Look & Learn, Eri Banno, Yoko Ikeda, Kyoko Shinagawa, Kaori tajima, Kyoko tokashiki, 2009, Japan Times
  • Adventures in Japanese vol. 1 – 4, Hiromi Peterson and Naomi Omizo, 2005 the second edition, Cheng & Tsui Company
  • Adventures in Japanese vol. 1, Hiromi Peterson and Naomi Omizo, 2014 the third edition, Cheng & Tsui Company
  • Intermediate Kanji Book Vol.1, Chieko Kano, Yuri Shimizu, Eriko Ishii, Hiroko Takenaka, Bonjinsha
  • TOBIRA: Gateway to Advanced Japanese Learning Through Content and Multimedia, Mayumi Oka, Michio Tsutsui, Junko Kondo, Shouko Emori, Yoshiro Hanai, and Satoru Ishikawa, 2009, Kuroshio Shuppan

4) Commercial Fonts

The Kanji alive web application and website use images of kanji drawn from the following typefaces:

  • Kyokashotai (Gakusan Jokai Kyokasho ICA Regular) 学参常改教科書ICA, Morisawa
  • Mincho (Gakusan Jokai Ryumin Medium) 学参常改リュウミン, Morisawa
  • Gothic (Gakusan Jokai Shin Gothic Regular) 学参常改新ゴ, Morisawa
  • Rounded Gothic (Gakusan Jokai Shin Maru Gothic Regular) 学参常改新丸ゴ, Morisawa
  • Shin Ten (DF Shin Ten Japanese Std W5), DynaComWare
  • Hiragino Gyosho (Hiragino Gyosho Std W4), Screen
  • Kanteiryu, Morisawa (via TypeSquare)
  • Suzumushi すずむし, Morisawa

Images of the 1235 kanji characters supported by Kanji alive using the DynaComWare, Screen and Morisawa fonts listed above were purchased from Images of the 1235 kanji using the “Kanteiryu” font are used with permission from Morisawa via Typesquare.

Open Source Fonts

Web fonts derived from “Adobe Source Sans Pro”, “Japanese Radicals” and “M+ 1M Light” are used with permission by the Kanji alive website and web application under the terms of their respective open source licenses:

Kanji alive Logo

紅葉流水図(竜田川図) 尾形光琳
Maple Leaves and Flowing Water, River Tatsuta – Ogata Kōrin. Used with the permission of the Gotoh Museum in Tokyo. Any other use or reproduction prohibited without the explicit consent of the Gotoh Museum.
Kanji alive logo

2 thoughts on “Credits

  1. Enka

    Good Morning.
    I am Enka. Sorry to interrupt, I want to ask something, may I ask about license in your web?
    Could we download and use the Kanji to make a contents as free?


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