Classical Japanese Dictionary

The Classical Japanese Dictionary is an online English-language-based dictionary developed by the Department of Asian Studies with support from Arts ISIT. Unlike usual English-to-Japanese dictionaries, this one includes translated vocabulary from classical Japanese literature. This resource is directed at UBC students for learning antiquated Kana and Kanji symbols that are considered obsolete in modern Japanese. At this time, the dictionary is password protected and only available to select students and faculty members at UBC.

Why use the Classical Japanese Dictionary?

The online dictionary provides a self-learning tool that can help students quickly find definitions and pronunciation guides. This promotes student autonomy through immersing in them the act of discovery and meaning-making, improving their reading comprehension and study skills.


  • Using online dictionaries promotes learner autonomy and enhances language proficiency.
  • Entries can be found with greater ease compared to print dictionaries.
  • The dictionary tool can be expanded to support other languages and its underlying mechanism can be re-tooled to have wider applications.


  • The use of wildcard search is unavailable.
  • The application is currently available only to select UBC students and faculty.

Key Features

  • Supports pronunciation-based searching and allows for multiple kanji and kana values;
  • Allows for partial search and suggests best match for any misspelled or similar queries;
  • Provides content authoring and editing tools for instructors to manage their online dictionary.


Getting Started

The Classical Japanese Dictionary is currently only available to select students and faculty members.  If you would like to learn more, please contact us.

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