Category Archives: News

Kanji alive v2 is now available

We’re very pleased to announce the release of a new version of the Kanji alive web application. It took a lot of time, and a great deal of work in particular by our main developer, Josh Day, who put in many, many hours of volunteer time to get us to this point. We owe him and the other developers who helped us along the way (Peter Thorson, Tanya Gray Jones, and Mat Wilcoxson) a great deal of thanks.

Here is an overview of the most important new features in version 2:

Full support for all radicals and their variants

Many of you will already be aware of the 214 traditional kanji radicals and their meanings page on our website. It is a comprehensive resource of all the kanji radicals, including not just their meanings, readings and stroke numbers, but also their position in the kanji, a note on whether a radical is a variant and an indication of the radical’s importance for learners.

Kanji with the sword radical (⼑ and its variant ⺉)

Kanji with the sword radical (⼑ and its variant ⺉)

In the past, we were not able to include all of this data in the Kanji alive web application. Take the radical ⼑ (かたな) for example (“sword, knife”) which is also a kanji. As a radical, it has an important variant ⺉(りっとう) and it appears in the right-hand (つくり) position of kanji such as 則 (“rule, law”), 割 (“divide, split”),  列 (“row”) and 判 (“stamp, seal, judge”). In the old version of Kanji alive no distinction was made between these two radicals (⼑ and its variant ⺉). Both were listed as ⼑. In version 2, the correct radical variant appears alongside each kanji together with (for important radicals) a symbol indicating its position in the kanji.

Details on the sword radical variant ⺉ (りっとう)

Details on the sword radical variant ⺉ (りっとう)

Adding support in Kanji alive for every radical variant required a significant effort — we finally even had to create our own custom radical font for this purpose.

Search for kanji by the position of its radical

Since we had a complete list of all of the kanji radicals we decided to add a new way to search for kanji to highlight the positions a radical can take in a kanji, so that learners would be able to explore and better recognize these differences. Version 2 offers a new advanced search key called ‘radical position’ or rpos. With it you can find all kanji whose radical is in one of the seven main positions highlighted on our 214 traditional kanji radicals and their meanings page. In this way, you can search for kanji by radical position in Japanese or romaji. For example, rpos:かんむり will find all kanji who radical is located at the top of a kanji and rpos:tsukuri will find kanji whose radical on the right-hand side. This new feature is best exploited (as shown below) by using the ‘Sort’ button to view all the kanji in the result grouped by radical.

Kanji with radicals on the right-hand side

Kanji with radicals on the right-hand side

Bookmark, hyperlink, and email your search terms and kanji details

In the past, if you were working with Kanji alive and wanted to share how you found a kanji or group of kanji with someone you typically needed to explain this in some detail. For example, if you just wanted to quickly share with someone how to find all the kanji in Chp. 3 of Genki, you would first need to explain the syntax of the advanced search term text:gen:c3. This could become frustrating and cumbersome.

In version 2, there is a better way. Each search in Kanji alive is now automatically represented by a custom URL or web address in your browser which can be bookmarked, hyperlinked or simply emailed to someone else. To make use of this, just use Kanji alive exactly as before, then copy the URL which appears in your browser for sharing. In the case of the previous example this would be https://app.kanjialive.com/search/advanced?text=gen:c3. As you can see, the URL reproduces the components of the advanced search term and adds them at the end of the app’s web address. This works just as well for basic searches and even for individual kanji. Here are two more examples:  https://app.kanjialive.com/search/read (basic search for ‘read’) and https://app.kanjialive.com/書 (kanji details for 書).

New kanji typefaces

Kanji alive has always tried to encourage a holistic or comprehensive approach towards learning kanji by including all the necessary information in one place. Writing is one very important aspect of this but of course reading is equally important and learners are likely to encounter kanji in many different printed forms in the world. This is why Kanji alive has long offered a way to view not just our own hand-drawn kanji but also printed kanji in the canonical Kyokashotai (textbook), and commonly used Mincho, Gothic and Maru typefaces. In Version 2, we’ve extended our support to include several important historical (TenshoGyoshoKanteiryu) and one fresh (Suzumushi) contemporary style.

The kanji 陽 in the Suzumushi, Kanteiryu, Gyosho, Tensho and Kyokashotai typefaces

陽 rendered in Suzumushi, Kanteiryu, Gyosho, Tensho and Kyokashotai

It is important for students to appreciate that as kanji are an integral part of the Japanese culture they are still very much alive and constantly evolving. We hope that you will find the new typefaces interesting, challenging and even fun to read.

Support for new textbooks

We added ‘search for kanji by textbook’ support for TOBIRA: Gateway to Advanced Japanese Learning Through Content and Multimedia, and for vol. 1, 4th edition of Adventures in Japanese. For some textbooks it’s now also possible to distinguish between kanji which you must be able to learn to read and write, and kanji for reading only. Please consult the Supported Textbooks and Study Lists page for full details.

Improved support for mobile devices (v2.01)

You can now use Kanji alive on a tablet or large smartphone/phablet by zooming out until the app fits the width of your device in landscape mode. On most mobile devices, all of the interactive elements in the (kanji animations, typefaces, radical animations, stroke breakdowns, examples, audio for examples) can be used exactly as on a desktop computer. On smaller, and older smartphones, the kanji animations may play back in a separate view. For best results, iPhone/iPad users should update to iOS 10 or higher.

Free access to our Japanese language data and media files

Although we made an initial version of the language data and media files used in Kanji alive available some months ago on our repository in GitHub, we recently updated these to include new and updated material. All the language data and media is free to anyone to use, or re-use, for private and commercial purposes, under a Creative Commons CC-BY open-access license.

Free public API for developers, and source code to the Kanji alive web app

We warmly encourage any developers who want to create their own Japanese language app (in particular, their own mobile app) to make use of our free API. We’d also be especially grateful to anyone who would be willing to volunteer their time to improve the Kanji alive web application. The full source code for the app is available on GitHub under an Apache 2.0 open-source license. The app’s GitHub repository will soon also include all known bugs in the app, and a list of potential enhancements.

Other miscellaneous improvements

We’ve also made a number of other, more minor improvements. For example, we’ve added support for more keyboard shortcuts in the detail view, improved the appearance of Japanese text in Windows and on OS X, made it clearer that our dictionary references for Nelson refer to the ‘Classic’ and not the ‘New’ version, swapped Latin style parentheses for full-width and larger Japanese parentheses in the ‘Examples’ section and carefully reviewed and revised all of our language data, correcting a small number of typos and spelling errors.

Kanji alive v2 is ready for testing

We’ve just made a new test version of Kanji alive v2 available for testing under http://beta.kanjialive.com (many thanks to Tanya Gray Jones @ Oxford and Peter Thorson @ Chicago for improving the user interface and addressing bugs).

A current version of Chrome, FireFox, Safari or Internet Explorer is required to use the app.

Please take a look and let us know what you think! For an overview of the main new features in v2, please see this previous post.

Significant problems with the beta version:

  1. Searches with many results flow off the bottom of the search results (e.g. rpos:hen Note: rpos means ‘radical position’, a new search term in this version). Fixed
  2. In the search results, it’s possible to continue scrolling horizontally past the last results. Fixed
  3. Combined searches (e.g. text:gen grade:3 or ‘all Grade 3 kanji in Genki’) sometimes ignore one of the two terms, and also place an ampersand between the terms after showing the results. Fixed.
  4. In Windows 10/Chrome v52, using the up arrow in the detail view shifts the whole app upwards. Fixed / not present in Chrome v53. If you see this, please leave a note in the comments. Thanks to the Otaku Team for reporting this error.
  5. In Safari, kanji animations often appear squeezed at first, then stretch to full width. Fixed in Safari v10.
  6. Audio does not play in Internet Explorer Edge. Fixed
  7. Down arrow(s) after initial search results does not show kanji stroke or radical stroke collations.

An early look at the next version of Kanji alive

It’s been a very long time since we’ve shared news on updates and improvements to Kanji alive with our users. Kanji alive is part-time and largely volunteer effort supported by some modest institutional funding for our software developers. As a result, it’s seldom possible for us to work as quickly and efficiently as we would like. Nonetheless, behind the scenes we’ve been making incremental improvements to our language data and adding new features to the Kanji alive web application.

We’d like to share the details of these enhancements with you now and give you an opportunity to try out the next version of Kanji alive at http://beta.kanjialive.com.

I’ll first cover what’s new in the beta version, then go over a list of known problems, and finally end with an invitation to you to help us find and fix the remaining issues in the test version so that it can be made available for general use.

What’s new in the beta version?

  1. Full support for all radicals and their variants. Many of you will already be aware of the 214 traditional kanji radicals and their meanings page on our website. It’s a comprehensive resource of all the kanji radicals, including not just their meanings, readings and stroke numbers, but also their position in the kanji, a note on whether a radical is a variant and an indication of a radical’s importance for learners. In the past, Kanji alive didn’t include all of this data. Take the radical ⼑ (かたな) for example (“sword, knife”) which is also a kanji. As a radical, it has an important variant ⺉(りっとう) and it appears in the right-hand (つくり) position of kanji such as 則 (“rule, law”), 割 (“divide, split”),  列 (“row”) and 判 (“stamp, seal, judge”). In the current version of Kanji alive no distinction is made between these two radicals (i.e. ⼑ and its variant ⺉). Both are listed as ⼑. In the beta, you will see the correct radical variant appear alongside each kanji as well as a symbol indicating its position in the kanji. Adding support for every single radical required a significant effort — we even had to create our own custom radical font.

    Sword radical ⺉ (りっとう)

    Kanji which use the ⺉ (りっとう) radical

  2. Search for kanji by the position of their radical. Since we had a complete list of all of the kanji radicals we decided to add a new way to search for kanji to highlight the positions a radical can take in a kanji so that learners would be able to explore and better recognize these differences. The beta offers a new advanced search key called ‘radical position’ or rpos. With it you can find all kanji whose radical is in one of the seven main positions highlighted on our 214 traditional kanji radicals and their meanings page. You can search by radical position in Japanese or romaji. For example, rpos:hen will find all kanji whose radical is on the left. You can carry out the same search by entering rpos:へん.

    Kanji with radicals in the へん (hen) position

    Kanji with radicals in the へん (hen) position

  3. Bookmark, hyperlink, and email your searches. In the past, if you were working with Kanji alive and wanted to share how you found a kanji or group of kanji with someone you typically needed to explain this in detail. For example, if you just wanted to quickly share with someone how to find all the kanji in Chp. 3 of Genki, you would first need to explain the syntax of the advanced search text:gen:c3. This could get a bit frustrating and cumbersome. In the beta, there is a better way. Each search in Kanji alive is now automatically represented as a custom URL or web address in your browser which can be bookmarked, hyperlinked or simply emailed to someone else. To make use of this, first search for your kanji as before, then copy the URL which appears in your browser for sharing. In the case of the previous example this would be http://beta.kanjialive.com/search/advanced?text=gen:c3. As you can see, the URL reproduces the components of the advanced search term and adds them at the end of the app’s web address. This works just as well for basic searches and even for individual kanji. Here are two more examples:  http://beta.kanjialive.com/search/read (basic search for ‘read’) and http://beta.kanjialive.com/書 (kanji details for 書).
  4. New kanji typefaces. Kanji alive has always tried to encourage a holistic or comprehensive approach towards learning kanji by including all the necessary information in one place. Writing is one very important aspect of this but of course reading is equally important and learners are likely to encounter kanji in many different printed forms in the world. This is why Kanji alive has long offered a way to view not just our own hand-drawn kanji but also printed kanji in the canonical Kyokashotai (textbook), and commonly used Mincho, Gothic and Maru typefaces. In the beta, we’ve extended our support to include several important historical (Tensho, GyoshoKanteiryu) and one fresh (Suzumushi) contemporary style. It is important for students to appreciate that as kanji are an integral part of the Japanese culture they are still very much alive and constantly evolving. We hope that you will find the new typefaces interesting, challenging and even fun to read.

    The kanji 陽 in the Suzumushi, Kanteiryu, Gyosho, Tensho and Kyokashotai typefaces

    The kanji 陽 in the Suzumushi, Kanteiryu, Gyosho, Tensho and Kyokashotai typefaces

  5. Support for new textbooks. We added ‘search for kanji by textbook’ support for TOBIRA: Gateway to Advanced Japanese Learning Through Content and Multimedia, and for Vol. 1-4 of Adventures in Japanese. Please refer to the Supported Textbooks and Study Lists page for further details.
  6. Miscellaneous improvements. We’ve also made several other, more minor improvements. For example, we’ve added support for more keyboard shortcuts in the detail view, made it clearer that our dictionary references for Nelson refer to the ‘Classic’ and not the ‘New’ version, swapped Latin style parentheses for full-width and larger Japanese parentheses in the ‘Examples’ section and very carefully reviewed and revised all of our language data.

What work remains to be done?

All of the new features described above are already present in the beta/test version of Kanji alive which you can access at http://beta.kanjialive.com. However, some additional, planned features are still missing, and some things still don’t work or look quite as they should. Here is a list of the most important known problems with the beta:

  1. The user interface isn’t finished. This manifests itself in different ways. Many visual elements such as arrows or blocks of texts are not aligned properly. Some text is in the wrong font. Some images have the wrong size. Some functionality related to the user-interface, such as the ability to search for kanji directly from the detail view is not yet in place. Here is a mock-up of what the detail view should look like (please note that the mock-up uses fake data in place of proper entries):
    Mockup of the Detail view

    Mockup of the Detail view with fake language data

    And here is an overlay of the same Detail view which compares the actual positions of interface elements such as arrows and animation control with their intended positions:

    Actual vs. Intended Interface

    Actual vs. Intended user interface

    As one can see, in the current beta almost nothing is aligned correctly. The initial Search & Display view has similar problems.

  2. Mobile use is still poorly supported. The beta works slightly better on mobile devices (especially large devices such as tablets) but overall, this is an area that still needs a good deal of work and attention. The user interface is not yet responsive and doesn’t adapt to different screen sizes.
  3. Online help and user guide need to be updated. The new keyboard shortcuts are listed in the online ‘Quick Reference’ guide (click on ‘Info’ in the web app) but this needs to be revised and styled properly.
  4. Misc. interactivity bugs. For example on some browsers, the main kanji animations don’t play back at the correct speed. The keyboard shortcuts don’t work properly in the search results. A small number of kanji example texts don’t fit into the space available for them in the web app.
  5. Too slow. The beta app is quite slow. On a slow (e.g. cellular 3G) connection it can take a few seconds for text, images and animations to load.
  6. Incomplete features. Although we will likely not get to them in this version, we do have a shortlist list of features and improvements we’d like to incorporate into Kanji alive in the future. For example, the ability to print from the web app in a useful layout, in particular from the detail view. Looking further ahead, it would be very useful to be able to practice writing kanji by drawing in the app on a tablet, and to share these efforts with someone else (e.g. with one’s friends, or with an instructor) via email and/or social media. We’ve also made preparations to offer support for viewing search results sorted alphabetically by kana in Gojūon order.

How can I help finish the new version of Kanji alive?

First, please try out the beta at http://beta.kanjialive.com and send us your impressions either by email (kanjialive@gmail.com) or in the comments section at the end of this post. As you have seen, we’re aware of several issues already but we’re also quite sure that there are more bugs lurking in the beta we don’t know about yet. Please contribute your comments even if you suspect these might refer to already known problems. All comments are helpful!

Second, please feel free to let us know what you think about Kanji alive more generally and how we can make it better. What new features would you like to see in the app? Is there something which already exists in the app but could be improved? A few years ago, we undertook a survey of our users to help us understand how you’re using Kanji alive. Perhaps the most important thing we learned is that how students prefer to study Japanese is constantly evolving. We know we can’t rely on our old assumptions so please let us know how you’d like to integrate Kanji alive into your current study habits.

Finally, as some of you will be aware, some months ago we released the data and media files underlying Kanji alive as open-source. We also provided a free API to Kanji alive for developers who wanted to build their own web and mobile apps on the basis of this data. If you are a software developer and would like to volunteer some of your time to improve Kanji alive, please let us know! We may not be able to pay you but we greatly appreciate all contributions and we will always credit your work in full. In the near future, we plan to release and host the source code for the current and beta version of Kanji alive on GitHub alongside our data and media so that you can pick-out and offer patches on individual features and bugs.

There are many ways to participate — we welcome your involvement!

Kanji alive language data and media files are now freely available as open source

For what seems like a long time we’ve been meaning to make the language data and media files we created to build Kanji alive freely available for anyone to use under an open source license. Well, we finally did it!

Please visit our new open source repository on GitHub where you’ll find all of the language data used in Kanji alive in Excel and CSV spreadsheet formats, our custom Japanese Radicals font as well as all of our kanji animations, audio examples and image files. Everything (with just a handful of exceptions due to copyright restrictions) is freely available under a generous Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC-BY) license.

What does this mean in practice? Well, if you are a student, this means that you can copy all or part of our files and data onto your laptop or tablet to help you study Japanese even if you’re not connected to the internet, or perhaps re-use some of it to create your own Anki flash cards. If you are an instructor, it means, for example, that you can re-use our kanji animations or audio on your class website or on your institution’s course management system. And if you are a developer, it means that you are allowed to use this material to build (and even sell) your own kanji mobile app. Update: Developers, please take a look also at our public API on Mashape.

However, please note that under the terms of the Creative Commons CC-BY license, you must always give appropriate, public credit to Kanji alive, provide a public description of the changes (if any) you’ve made to our material  and offer a clear link back to our website (https://kanjialive.com). Lastly, you may not call your own work “Kanji alive” or re-use the Kanji alive logo. Please see our Credits page for additional details or contact us if you have any questions.

We’re very happy to be able to share all these items with you – they were the product of a great deal of hard work over many years by a group of dedicated and talented individuals.

Now we’re eager to find out what new & creative uses you’ll find for this material. Please let us know!

Added support for “TOBIRA: Gateway to Advanced Japanese Learning Through Content and Multimedia”

Following a request we are pleased to add support for a new textbook in Kanji alive: TOBIRA: Gateway to Advanced Japanese Learning Through Content and Multimedia, by Mayumi Oka (et al), Kurosko Publishing (2009).

To search for kanji for writing & reading in TOBIRA by lesson please use the textbook abbreviation “jt”. To search for kanji for reading only, use the textbook abbreviation “jtr”.

For example, to find all kanji for writing & reading in TOBIRA, Lesson 1, enter the following search term:

text:jt:c1

Or, if you wish to find all kanji for reading only in TOBIRA, Lesson 15, enter the following search term:

text:jtr:c15

Please note that the following 13 TOBIRA kanji for reading only (the kanji 躍 in lesson 7, 環 in lesson 9, 及 and 徴 in lesson 10, 江 lesson 11, 隠, 丈 and 飾 in lesson 12, 憶 in lesson 13, 剣 and 雰 in lesson 14 恵 and 寿 in lesson 15) are neither second level JLPT kanji nor educational kanji and thus are not supported by Kanji alive.

For more information on searching for kanji by textbook, please refer to the section on Advanced Search in the User Guide.

A list of all kanji supported by Kanji alive

We occasionally receive requests from our users asking us which kanji are supported by Kanji alive. A short and simple answer is that Kanji alive supports the 1235 kanji which are taught in Japanese elementary schools and are included in the kanji lists of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) up to N2. If you want to learn more about the reasoning behind this decision please refer to our User Guide.

However, explaining which kanji we support is not the same as showing them. If you prefer to find these kanji on an actual list by using your browser’s search function, you may use the listing provided below. This shows all 1235 kanji supported by Kanji alive, sorted by their kanji stroke number.

① 一 ② 七 丁 九 了 二 人 入 八 刀 力 十 ③ 上 下 三 与 万 丸 久 亡 千 口 土 士 夕 大 女 子 寸 小 山 川 工 己 干 弓 才 々 ④ 不 中 乏 予 互 五 仁 仏 今 介 元 六 公 内 円 冗 切 分 化 匹 区 午 友 双 反 収 太 天 夫 少 尺 引 心 戸 手 支 文 方 日 月 木 欠 止 比 毛 氏 水 火 父 片 牛 犬 王 ⑤ 世 主 巨 以 仕 他 代 付 令 兄 冊 写 冬 処 出 刊 功 加 包 北 半 占 去 召 右 号 可 句 台 古 史 司 四 圧 外 失 央 左 市 布 平 幼 庁 広 弁 込 辺 払 打 犯 必 旧 未 本 末 札 正 母 民 氷 永 礼 玉 甘 生 用 由 田 申 白 皮 皿 目 矢 石 示 穴 立 ⑥ 両 争 交 企 伝 件 休 任 仮 伏 仲 会 全 先 光 充 兆 共 再 列 危 印 灰 后 同 向 合 名 各 叫 吸 団 回 因 在 地 多 好 存 宇 宅 守 安 字 寺 当 州 年 式 芝 汚 汗 池 忙 成 早 曲 有 肌 机 次 死 毎 気 灯 考 老 百 竹 米 糸 缶 羊 羽 耳 肉 自 至 舌 舟 色 虫 血 行 衣 西 ⑦ 乱 何 伸 低 体 位 伺 似 作 住 余 児 兵 冷 初 別 判 利 助 努 労 医 卵 即 君 告 含 否 吹 困 図 囲 坊 坂 均 声 売 孝 完 対 局 希 序 床 弟 形 役 花 芸 返 近 迎 防 沈 決 沢 汽 抜 抑 技 抗 批 折 投 狂 快 忘 応 志 我 戻 攻 改 更 束 条 来 村 材 災 状 社 男 町 私 究 求 系 良 見 角 言 谷 豆 貝 赤 走 足 身 車 辛 里 臣 麦 ⑧ 並 事 乳 京 依 使 供 価 侮 例 舎 免 具 典 画 券 刻 制 刺 刷 到 効 卒 協 卓 参 取 受 命 和 周 味 呼 国 固 垂 夜 委 妻 姓 姉 妹 始 学 季 宗 宙 宝 実 定 官 届 居 岸 岩 幸 店 府 底 延 彼 征 径 往 若 英 苦 芽 述 邪 沿 況 泥 泊 沸 治 法 泣 注 泳 油 波 河 拝 押 抱 招 担 拡 抵 性 怖 怪 念 忠 所 承 放 昇 昔 易 明 肯 服 肩 肥 育 果 東 枚 板 杯 林 松 枝 欧 武 歩 毒 版 物 牧 者 祈 的 直 知 空 突 表 金 長 門 雨 青 非 ⑨ 乗 信 係 保 便 前 則 勇 南 厚 品 咲 型 城 変 奏 姿 宣 室 客 封 専 屋 巻 度 建 待 後 律 荒 茶 草 退 逃 送 追 逆 迷 郊 限 単 活 洋 海 洗 派 浅 挟 持 拾 指 独 狭 思 急 怒 故 政 春 昼 星 映 昨 昭 肺 背 胃 染 柔 査 栄 枯 相 柱 段 泉 炭 点 珍 祖 祝 神 界 畑 発 皇 皆 看 冒 省 県 砂 研 秋 科 秒 紅 級 約 紀 美 要 計 負 軍 重 面 革 音 風 飛 食 首 香 ⑩ 俵 俳 借 倍 倒 値 修 個 候 倉 党 凍 勉 原 員 哲 埋 夏 娘 孫 家 容 害 宮 将 射 展 島 差 席 帰 帯 師 庭 座 庫 弱 徒 従 荷 華 連 通 造 途 速 郡 陛 降 院 除 浮 涙 流 消 浴 捜 捕 悩 悟 恋 恥 恐 息 恩 挙 料 旅 書 時 朗 脂 胸 能 脈 案 株 校 根 梅 桜 格 残 殺 特 班 畜 留 疲 病 益 真 眠 破 秘 笑 粉 素 納 紙 純 耕 般 航 蚕 討 訓 記 財 起 軒 辱 配 酒 針 隻 馬 骨 高 ⑪ 乾 偶 側 停 健 偏 副 務 動 商 唱 堂 基 域 婦 婚 密 寄 宿 巣 常 帳 康 張 強 得 菓 著 菜 進 週 郷 郵 部 都 険 陸 涼 済 深 清 渉 混 液 掛 掘 掃 授 探 接 捨 描 控 推 採 猫 情 患 悪 教 敗 救 断 族 望 脳 脱 械 欲 理 球 現 率 瓶 産 異 略 盛 盗 眼 祭 票 移 窓 章 符 第 笛 粒 経 組 紹 細 終 翌 習 船 術 袋 視 規 許 訳 訪 設 豚 貧 責 貨 販 軟 転 野 閉 問 雪 頂 頃 魚 鳥 鹿 黄 黒 ⑫ 備 偉 割 創 勤 募 勝 博 善 喜 喫 報 堅 塔 場 奥 富 寒 尊 就 属 幅 帽 幾 弾 御 復 落 葉 達 遅 運 道 遊 過 隅 階 陽 隊 営 測 湿 湾 渡 満 温 減 湯 湖 港 揮 換 提 悲 敬 散 敢 替 暑 最 普 景 晴 晩 期 朝 腕 森 棒 植 検 焼 無 然 焦 畳 番 痛 登 着 短 硬 税 程 童 補 策 筒 答 等 筋 筆 結 絵 給 絡 統 絶 衆 街 裁 装 覚 証 詞 評 象 貿 貴 貸 費 買 賀 貯 超 越 軽 量 鈍 開 間 雇 集 雲 順 飲 飯 歯 ⑬ 傷 傾 働 勧 勢 園 墓 塗 塩 夢 奨 嫌 寝 幕 幹 蒸 違 遠 源 溶 準 漢 損 意 愛 感 想 戦 数 新 暖 暇 暗 腹 腰 腸 業 楽 極 歳 殿 煙 照 福 盟 署 罪 禁 置 節 絹 続 義 群 聖 裏 触 解 話 誠 詰 試 詳 詩 誇 豊 賃 資 跡 路 較 辞 農 鉄 鉱 零 電 靴 預 飼 飽 ⑭ 僕 像 増 境 察 層 徳 適 際 障 滴 漁 演 憎 慣 態 旗 暮 模 様 構 概 歌 歴 疑 磁 穀 種 稲 端 複 算 管 精 綿 緒 練 総 緑 製 説 誌 読 誤 認 語 踊 酸 銭 銅 銀 閣 聞 関 雑 静 領 駅 髪 鳴 鼻 ⑮ 億 劇 器 寮 導 影 蔵 選 遺 潮 潔 敵 暴 膚 横 権 標 熱 熟 確 範 箱 緊 線 編 諸 誕 調 誰 談 課 論 質 賛 賞 趣 輩 輪 舞 鋭 震 養 駐 ⑯ 壊 奮 薄 薬 避 隣 濃 激 操 憲 整 曇 樹 橋 機 燃 磨 積 築 糖 縦 興 衛 親 賢 輸 鋼 録 頭 頼 館 ⑰ 優 厳 濯 燥 療 縮 績 覧 講 謝 齢 ⑱ 曜 礎 穫 簡 織 職 観 贈 臨 離 難 題 顔 類 額 験 騒 ⑲ 臓 爆 警 識 鏡 願 ⑳ 競 籍 護 議 響 ㉒ 驚

Alternatively, it’s also possible to use the Kanji alive web app (http:/app.kanjialive.com) to search for supported kanji by entering just the kanji itself into the search field. The web app also supports many other search methods.

We hope this list will be a useful resource! As always, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you have further questions about Kanji alive.

Added support for “Intermediate Kanji Book”, Vol. 1

Following a request, we are pleased to offer support for a new textbook in Kanji alive. You can now search for kanji by chapter/lesson in Intermediate Kanji Book Vol.1, Chieko Kano, Yuri Shimizu, Eriko Ishii, Hiroko Takenaka, Bonjinsha. Please use the abbreviation “ik1” in the advanced search mode for this purpose. For example, to find all kanji in chapter/lesson 1 of Intermediate Kanji Book, Vol.1:

text:ik1:c1

For further details, please review Supported Textbooks and Study Lists and the User Guide entry on Advanced Search.

Using Kanji alive as a Mac OS X desktop application

If you’ve always wanted to use the Kanji alive web app as a regular desktop application on your Mac, perhaps because you preferred to launch it from your Dock or because you were just tired of juggling so many tabs in your web browser, you’re in luck!

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Fluid is a free application for OS X which turns any web app or website into a normal OS X desktop application. To create a Fluid app for Kanji alive, goto the Fluid website and click on the “Free Download” icon to download Fluid. After you’ve downloaded and unzipped Fluid, launch the app and enter web address for the Kanji alive web app (http://app.kanjialive.com) and a name for your app into the opening screen (see below). Then click “Create”.

fluid-screenshot

Launching and quitting your new Kanji alive application will now work the same as any other OS X desktop application. In addition, you can resize the app’s window and adjust its position, size and magnification to suit your needs. The next time you open the app these settings will be remembered.

However, you’ll have noticed that your new app does not yet have a nice icon! To fix this, simply create your own icon image. There are many ways to accomplish this but to get you started, we’ve prepared an image you can use based on the Kanji alive logo (please do not re-use this image for any other purpose). First download the logo.icns.zip file and unzip it. Next, select your new app in the Finder, goto the File menu and select “Get Info” (or just type command-I). In the top left of the Info window which will open you’ll see a circle with representation of the app’s icon. Drag the “logo.icns” file onto this circle. And that’s it!

What about future updates to Kanji alive? There’s no need to worry about catching up with updates. Since a desktop app created with Fluid is really just a mini-version of Safari dedicated to a single web app, its contents will always reflect the current version of the original web app. Whenever we update http://app.kanjialive.com, the Kanji alive desktop application on your computer will automatically reflect these changes as well.

We don’t yet offer Kanji alive as a desktop application for Windows but if you know how this could be achieved in a similar manner on Windows please let us know in the comments.

A better Japanese font for Windows web browsers

If you’re a Windows user visiting a website with Japanese content you’ve probably noticed that kanji and kana are often rendered noticeably poorly. Here, for example, is what a portion of the Kanji Alive website looks like in FireFox using the browser’s default settings. Aside from small differences, the same would hold true for Internet Explorer and Google Chrome:

Text in MS Gothic with ClearText enabled

Text in MS Gothic with ClearText enabled

This doesn’t need to be the case. In this post, I’ll show you how to easily fix this by switching the Japanese font in your web browser from the old, bitmapped MS Gothic to the newer, anti-aliased Meiryo and turning on Windows ClearType. Once that is done, the same text should render much more clearly as seen below:

Text in Meiryo with ClearText enabled

Text in Meiryo with ClearText enabled

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