Kodansha Kanji Synonyms Guide 4+

Bilingual kanji thesaurus


Designed for iPad

    • 4.7 • 3 Ratings
    • $14.99



The Kodansha Kanji Synonyms Guide is the first-ever reference work to group together kanji characters that are related in meaning (share the same concept). Arranged alphabetically by concept, these groupings let users focus on the often-subtle differences and similarities between them.

The words of a language form a closely linked network of interdependent units. The meaning of a word or expression cannot really be understood unless its relationships with other closely related words are taken into account. For example, such words as 'kill," "murder," and "execute" share the meaning of ‘put to death’, but differ considerably in usage and connotation. Similarly, in Japanese there are many kanji that share a common meaning but differ in detail, such as 破 BREAK, 崩 CRUMBLE, 壊 BREAK DOWN and 折 BREAK OFF. Intermediate and advanced learners of Japanese need to distinguish between such similar kanji in order to gain a full understanding of their individual shades of meaning.

The Kodansha Kanji Synonyms Guide helps the learner gain this full understanding by allowing one to compare the character meanings and illustrative compounds of the synonym group members to each other, providing a deeper understanding of their (often subtle) differences and similarities.

Like The Kodansha Kanji Learner's Dictionary, and all of Jack Halpern's previous publications, The Kodansha Kanji Synonyms Guide is an innovative, authoritative, and impeccably-prepared resource that helps Japanese language learners deepen their knowledge of written Japanese, and provides educators, scholars, writers, and translators with an invaluable reference tool.


* 1,245 synonym groups, arranged alphabetically by shared concept
* Covers 5,630 synonym members from the Jōyō Kanji, Jinmei Kanji, and non-Jōyō Kanji characters sets
* Nearly 21,000 compounds illustrate the function of kanji as word elements
* Compound words and readings in hiragana
* Ability to search using ON-KUN readings of characters and/or compounds, and core meanings
* No Internet connection required
* History and bookmarks

The CJK Dictionary Institute is directed by Jack Halpern, editor of the New Japanese-English Character Dictionary and The Kodansha Kanji Learner's Dictionary, now standard reference works.

Be sure to check out our other dictionary apps available for iOS (search for "cjki").

What’s New

Version 1.3

Three updates:
1. Migration from UIWebView to WKWebView (highly technical but basically means the app remains in compliance with iOS guidelines).

2. Updated the Contact Us functionality so we have more information when dealing with any bugs.
3. Fixed an issue where the app wasn't functioning optimally when the device is in Dark Mode.

Ratings and Reviews

4.7 out of 5
3 Ratings

3 Ratings

cjksdcijbsdv73847 ,

An amazing app

This app is amazing. It contains almost all the kanji you’ll typically see, and the groupings are very logical and give a good overview of the differences between similar kanji. You also get a sense of connectedness between different characters that makes Japanese feel like a network of meaning rather than a collection of confusingly similar terms in a dictionary.

I hope in the future there will be more characters. I notice that some of the example jukugo words provided don’t have both of the characters defined, but these are somewhat rare.

If CJKI were ever to release a EJJE dictionary intended for English speakers (contrary to the vast number of existing ones oriented towards Japanese learners of English), I would buy it right away. Something with multi-word definitions rather than simple translations would be nice too, but beggars can’t be choosers.

At any rate, thank you for your hard work in compiling these amazing, quality resources for Japanese learners.

MioAkiyamaLove_ ,

Accidentally Bought

Accidentally bought the bundle but really like this synonym app. The apps are a bit confusing at first though.

App Privacy

The developer, CJKI, indicated that the app’s privacy practices may include handling of data as described below. For more information, see the developer’s privacy policy.

Data Not Collected

The developer does not collect any data from this app.

Privacy practices may vary, for example, based on the features you use or your age. Learn More


  • Family Sharing

    Up to six family members can use this app with Family Sharing enabled.

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