Japanese Language and Culture


A free kanji flash card program where the student types in the readings. Features mastery score tracking, example compounds tied to readings, and example sentences for many compounds.

While KanjiLab is getting long in the tooth and is definitely in need of some upgrading, it is still a very useful drill mechanism for kanji. The software itself has not been touched since the last version in 2004, and it still says "beta" because I never got around to rebuilding a final release version. It is stable, however, and has been used by a few thousand people.

The most problematic thing about it right now are the included example words, which were developed before the EDICT data set developed much better markings of common words, and the example sentences, which were drawn from the Tanaka Corpus made available by Jim Breen long before all of the work which has significantly improved them and weeded out the many, many errors.

Download KanjiLab 0.5.2B (June 9, 2004)
KanjiLab.zip for Windows, 684KB.

To install, just download and unzip. To enable the example sentence feature, download the sentence file below. If you have a previous installation and would like to keep your history and notes, copy your "user_profile.klu" and "kanji_notes.dat" files into the new installation folder. Double-click KanjiLab.exe to run it. Documentation is included. Requires that Japanese fonts be installed. These come with Windows but generally require separate installation.

Download Example Sentence File for KanjiLab (June 9, 2004)
KanjiLab_Sentences.zip, 7 MB. This file is a supplement to KanjiLab which enables its example sentences feature. Unzip the sentences.dat file in this archive and place it in the installation folder to allow KanjiLab to find example sentences for the example compounds. Note that adding the sentences will cause an increase in startup loading time by about 30 seconds.

Download Replacement Kanji Data File in German for KanjiLab (February 28, 2007)
Download Replacement Word Examples File in German for KanjiLab (February 28, 2007)
These files were created and generously provided by Denis Scheither.


  • Readings drill shows you the exact number of readings of each type that it expects, and reveals each one as you guess it.
  • Fill-in drill shows you a compound with all the readings except for the target kanji. You fill in the missing reading. This is similar to the drills in the Bojinsha book series.
  • Mastery score tracking. Presents kanji you are weakest with more frequently. Score decline mechanism keyed to your past level of mastery provides automatic, graduated review.
  • A large set of common example words keyed to individual readings. Selecting an unrevealed reading shows these compounds without the reading and gloss, to give you a contextual hint. Now also includes a vast set of example sentences keyed to the example compounds.
  • Optionally hide the meanings of the kanji until you click on them.
  • User-customizable study list allows KanjiLab to present kanji in the order you want to study them. Comes with a Jouyou grade ordered list as the default, but has replacement lists for the Bojinsha Basic and Intermediate Kanji Book series and Kanji in Context.

Screen Shots

KanjiLab Screen Shot

KanjiLab Screen Shot

KanjiLab Screen Shot

Copyright © 2010-2011 Collin McCulley. All Rights Reserved.

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