Wakaru - Japanese reader 17+

Learn Japanese by reading

Miho Matsuoka

Designed for iPad

    • 3.7 • 21 Ratings
    • Free



Wakaru is a powerful study aid, exclusively created for learners of the Japanese language.

Wakaru is equipped with a fully functional WEB BROWSER and an EBOOK READER.
The ebook reader is versatile and allows vertical and horizontal direction of Japanese text layout, various font sizes, customizable text, background colors and textures as well as proper support for Ruby annotations to display furigana for documents that provide them.

Wakaru is integrated with two online Japanese libraries, Aozora Bunko and Hoshizora Bunko, allowing you to browse and download over a total of 18,000 Japanese ebooks directly from the app. These ebooks can be sorted according to their kanji difficulty level to help you find text adapted to your Japanese level. You may also import your own text documents via copy and paste, through iTunes sharing or by downloading directly into the app using the built-in browser.

A popup dictionary is available as an auto-renewable subscription (monthly or yearly).
It can help to make reading and deciphering Japanese text with its robust search algorithm, enabling you to lookup any word simply by touching and highlighting them.
This elegant pop-up displaying the readings as well as the definitions appear without interrupting your flow of reading. You can also save words and review them later with the built-in flashcards module.

Wakaru's popup word lookup comes built-in with the following dictionaries

•Japanese-English Dictionary (165,000 entries)

•Japanese-French Dictionary (15,000 entries)

•Japanese Proper Names Dictionary (700,000 entries)

In addition to that, from the popup dictionary, you can also make cross references in several web dictionaries, namely:

•Google Translate

•Goo jisho


You can also jump from the popup dictionary into a wide range of other popular external dictionary applications directly from Wakaru, making full use of other dictionaries you own. Wakaru currently supports:






•ウィズダム英和・和英辞典 (Wisdom)

•ウィズダム英和・和英辞典 2 (Wisdom 2)




•大辞林 (Daijirin)



The built-in iOS Dictionary can be accessed directly from the app.

Video demo: http://www.youtube.com/user/WakaruApp
Retina display for iPhone (including iPhone 5) and iPad is supported.

Wakaru is rated 17+ simply because the built-in browser has unrestricted access to the Internet.
Wakaru uses the JMDICT (http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/jmdict.html) and JMnedict dictionary files. These files are the property of the Electronic Dictionary Research and Development Group (http://www.edrdg.org/), and are used in conformance with the Group's license (http://www.edrdg.org/edrdg/licence.html).

Regarding subscription for unlocking dictionary look-up, after a free trial, it will automatically renew for the selected subscription duration unless it is cancelled at least 24 hours before the end of the trial period. 
Renewable subscription "Unlock dictionary look-up" duration is either 1-month or 1-year. It unlocks the dictionary look-up for the duration of the subscription thought out the App.
Payment will be charged to iTunes Account at confirmation of purchase or at the end of trial period.
Subscription automatically renews unless auto-renew is turned off at least 24-hours before the end of the current.
Account will be charged for renewal within 24-hours prior to the end of the current period.
Subscriptions may be managed and auto-renewal may be turned off by going to the Settings after purchase.
Any unused portion of a free trial will be forfeited if you purchase a subscription.

For more information see our terms of use (https://wakaruapp.blogspot.com/p/terms-of-service.html) and privacy policy (https://wakaruapp.blogspot.com/p/privacy.html)

What’s New

Version 2.8.3

Bug fixes

Ratings and Reviews

3.7 out of 5
21 Ratings

21 Ratings

mddrill ,


Edit: updated to reflect that the developer addressed the bugs I pointed out.

The dictionary algorithm works well and is fast. The UX design of the app is not that great, hence 4 stars not 5.

Developer Response ,

One star is a bit harsh, isn't it?
Anyway, those issues have been corrected in the latest release version 2.5.0.

Trackerguy ,

Ok, but....

I’ve had the app for a short while. It works well, but still needs refinement; hence reduction 1 star. The second star is because of the manner in which the transition to a subscription is being made. I fully understand the developer wanting to increase revenue, and I have no issue for new users; but, existing users paid money for the app, and should be grandfathered in with updates. Telling an existing user to just bypass any updates is poor customer relations. Developer is saying to either pay money and update, or switch to manual updates and force the user to update every app individually. I don’t care if it was $.99 per year, I don’t like the attitude of trying to force a paid update or inconvenience the user. Existing users who already paid for the app should be grandfathered in, and the subscription approach should be used with new users who make that purchase with full knowledge of the new price.

DerikOishi ,

Great app for fluid reading practice

I use this app for reading book files and websites online. I love my midori dictionary and this app can connect to it. At first I was upset about the app changing to a subscription model, but the developer explained why it must be this way. I sent a somewhat terse and unfriendly message, but the developer responded calmly and patiently. After I thought about it I realized it's better now. There have been so many updates lately, while so few before the subscription model started. I waited too long to write a review explaining how nice the app is.

App Privacy

The developer, Miho Matsuoka, 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 Linked to You

The following data may be collected but it is not linked to your identity:

  • Purchases

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

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