Here at Japanese SE, we see many questions along the lines of "Do you know any books/programs/websites that would help me learn XYZ in Japanese?", even though we (and the stack exchange network in general), are specifically not set up to handle those questions well. Inspired by Chinese Language and Usage's method for handling resource information, we decided to try it here. The idea is to provide a go-to list for those interested in resources while the discussion about whether to allow resource questions is ongoing.

Please do not create resource questions on the main site asking for websites, books, courses, word-lists, or other "shopping recommendations", the question will be downvoted, closed and possibly deleted. Resource related questions are off-topic for Japanese SE.

If you are looking for a particular resource that you do not see on this list, the appropriate place to ask is almost certainly the Japanese SE Chatroom.

Likewise, ask in the chatroom if you have a resource you would like to add to the list, or if you have other questions. The small group that maintains this list overlaps quite a bit with those you will likely find in the chatroom.

Organization

  • Each answer covers a particular category.
  • Where relevant, state whether the material is suited to a beginner, intermediate or advanced audience.
  • Don't include links to any illegal/copyright violating content, or sites that host such content.
  • Follow our community rules on self-promotion.
  • Keep your entries as succinct as possible to maintain a easy-to-follow list format.
  • Add the resources in alphabetical order so they're easier to find.
  • Please avoid using comments for questions or comments here. If you have something that needs to be said, please discuss it in the chatroom and we'll edit an entry if we need to.

Index

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I wonder if there are any good sites explaining common Japanese netspeak in English. I've been Googling for a bit but haven't found much besides one page explaining one term. –  atlantiza Apr 20 '12 at 6:45
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Added KanjiBox (online website and iOS app)... Full disclaimer: I am the author of both... Feel free to edit my entries if you feel they lack objectivity. –  Dave Apr 20 '12 at 6:53
    
@atlantiza Japanese Wikipedia has lots of nice examples. Not sure it's worthy of this list, though. edit: sorry, I missed the "in English" requirement. It's still the best link I can find, though. –  ジョン Apr 20 '12 at 15:26
    
iKnow/Smart.fm seems to be missing from this list. I used to use it when it was free and in my opinion it was one of the best ways to memorize Japanese vocabulary. –  Ian Apr 29 '12 at 2:47
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@Ian Strange, I thought I had seen it here. It's a community wiki so feel free to add it if you think it's a useful resource :) –  ジョン Apr 29 '12 at 9:27
    
Should some of the older resource questions over on the main site, e.g. this be somehow absorbed into this list? –  nkjt Jun 12 '12 at 15:15
    
Added Zanzou (online website). Full disclaimer: I made the website for my CS degree thesis. If you feel it's not supposed to be listed there, feel free to edit it out. –  pootzko Sep 3 '12 at 11:46
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17 Answers 17

Websites

(see also the "Online Courses" section)

English

  • About.com Japanese - Japanese learning resource, including lessons for writing Hiragana and writing Katakana etc.
  • Charles Kelly's Online Japanese Study Materials - a variety of online quizzes, and other resources such as photos of Japanese signs for reading practice.
  • Google Transliterate - Handy mechanism to type Japanese if you're on a system without an IME
  • KanjiBox - Online drill/quiz-based application using SRS to train on kana, kanji, vocab and reading. Keeps detailed stats by JLPT level and allow sharing of scores using Facebook. Kanji and Vocab drills partially available in non-English languages (French, German, Russian, Spanish, Italian, Turkish...).
  • kanji.koohii.com - An online flashcard system for users following the "Remembering the Kanji" book.
  • NihongoNoMori - A site that has a great deal of videos that explain grammar points in Japanese. Also has an 教えて section where you can ask the instructors questions on what you don't understand. Ranges from basics to N1. Videos are also uploaded on YouTube.
  • nihongoresources.com An excellent introduction to the language. The author also wrote a freely available textbook. The site is currently undergoing a long-term redesign.
  • POPjisyo - Allows adding popup definitions on Japanese text or websites.
  • Real Kana - A clean and simple site dedicated to hiragana/katakana practice using flashcards.
  • Reddit's LearnJapanese sub - A reddit community dedicated to learning Japanese. Somewhat less structured than here.
  • renshuu.org - Has study material for grammar, kanji and vocabulary. You can do quizzes and track your progress.
  • Rikai - A similar tool to POPjisyo.
  • sci.lang.japan FAQ - An older site, but it's still a wealth of information. Has some excellent information on counters/numbers/dates, grammar and slang etc (be aware the slang section has some offensive content.) Also includes a Handwritten Kanji Search, allowing you to look up kanji by drawing them.
  • Tae Kim's Guide to Japanese - Includes both a guide to confusing parts of the language, and the beginnings of an online textbook.
  • University of Virginia Library - Japanese Text Initiative - A collection of online texts in Japanese.
  • Wikibooks Japanese - A collaborative project to create an online textbook for Japanese.
  • Zanzou - Flashcard type kana learning website that prioritizes specific flashcards based on success and groups similar kana symbols to decrease logical elimination of wrong answers.

Japanese

Conversation Exchange

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Online Courses

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Corpora

  • Balanced Corpus of Contemporary Written Japanese - A balanced corpus of contemporary (1971-2008) written Japanese comprising 143 million words. A site called 少納言 allows you to query the data online for free, but only allows basic text matching. For more advanced work, you can subscribe to 中納言 or purchase an offline version on DVD. A page describing the corpus in English is also available.
  • Oxford Corpus of Old Japanese (OCOJ) - A long-term research project which aims to develop a comprehensive annotated digital corpus of all extant texts in Japanese from the Old Japanese period. Old Japanese is the earliest attested stage of the Japanese language, largely the Japanese language of the Asuka and Nara periods of Japanese history (7th and 8th century AD).
  • CHILDES Database - Transcripts of children's speech. Files are also available for download to use in their original program, CLAN. XML download is also available. (License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA)
  • Tanaka Corpus - Japanese example sentences. Please note that this corpus is now maintained by the Tatoeba project and it's generally recommended to use it over this file. (License: Public Domain)
  • Tatoeba - Includes much of the original data in the Tanaka Corpus plus a bit more available for download. (License: Creative Commons BY)
  • WikiCorpus - Provides some matching English translations from Japanese Wikipedia. (License: Creative Commons BY-SA)
  • 日英対訳文対応付けデータ - Provides matching English/Japanese translation sentences from books from Project Gutenberg, 青空文庫, プロジェクト杉田玄白 etc. (License: Creative Commons BY-SA)
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Dictionaries

Most of these are focused on Japanese<->English resources.

Online Dictionaries with English Interface

Most online J-E dictionaries, and a lot of free software dictionaries, are based on the free EDICT file, invented and managed by Jim Breen

  • Bisqwit's - Typical dictionary plus search for kanji by SKIP code, four-corner code, commonness, stroke count, radical number, or components. Also has a verb and adjective conjugator/deconjugator and a few other random Japanese tools. (EDICT based)
  • Denshi Jisho - A dictionary with a clean interface. The "Kanji by Radicals" tool is very useful (EDICT based)
  • JLex and Tangorin are some other EDICT-based dictionaries similar to Denshi Jisho.
  • Sanseido Web Dictionary - Partial English interface is available. Has a collection of Sanseido's Daily Concise dictionaries.
  • Tatoeba - A sentence dictionary. Has a fairly large number of example sentences and is now the official home of the Tanaka corpus (after it was under WWWJDIC for a while). The sentences are user contributed, and as of May 2013, contains 171,417 Japanese sentences.
  • English edition of Wiktionary - A wiki like its sister project Wikipedia, but it's a dictionary, not an encyclopaedia. Entries about English words list translations into other languages, and there are entries about Japanese words with definitions in English. This is not based on EDICT.
  • WWWJDIC - Takes a bit of time to get used to, but can be a very powerful tool if you read through the user guide. WWWJDIC is the original web interface for EDICT, KANJIDIC and the other dictionaries used on various websites such as jisho.org.
  • Japanese Accent Study Website - A small dictionary / description of pitch accent in Japanese, oriented toward English-speaking learners of Japanese. Also has a Japanese interface available.

Online Dictionaries with Japanese Interface

Most of these are backed by files from the paper dictionaries listed below.

  • Benricho's Dictionary of counters - A very handy collection when you're not quite sure what the appropriate counter is for some object.
  • dictjuggler's dictionary with translation corpus - Search for phrases from a selection of books translated from/to Japanese/English.
  • Eijiro at Space ALC - An extensive collection of example sentences. One of the largest dictionaries in terms of entries. Provides a free interface to the for-fee 英辞郎 japanese-english database file.
  • Excite - Has slightly different dictionaries to the others on this list (新【しん】和英【わえい】大【だい】辞典【じてん】 based.)
  • Gogen-allguide - Provides a fair amount of information about the etymology of Japanese words, in Japanese only. Please bear in mind it doesn't include the etymology of many characters/morphemes originating from Chinese (see also the meta discussion.)
  • Goo - A popular Japanese, Japanese <-> English, and Japanese <-> Chinese dictionary with fairly high-quality definitions. Includes example sentences for words too.
  • Google Image Search - Japan - Not a "dictionary" per-se. But if you are searching for a manga/anime term that you can't seem to find anywhere else, it's worth looking.
  • Hatena::Keyword - A fairly large dictionary which links to Hatena diaries. Sometimes has useful information about words/expressions etc which aren't in a lot of the other dictionaries (Japanese only.)
  • Kanjigen - @Leonardo Boiko's tool to search several kanji etymology websites
  • Kotobank - Another dictionary with both 大辞林 and 大辞泉 as well as several encyclopedias. See here for a full list.
  • Naver Japan - A fairly extensive dictionary with filtering of example sentences to specific fields. Based on a collection of Shogakukan dictionaries.
  • Niconico's dic - A fairly good slang dictionary, provides pretty good coverage of lingo used on niconico and 2ch.
  • Nihon Jiten - Has a lot of information on proverbs, four/three-character idiomatic compounds, On and Kun homonyms, antonyms, onomatopoeia, prefixes/suffixes/counters, Okurigana, names, seasonal words and difficult Ateji etc.
  • Weblio - A very large collection of examples and domain-specific vocabulary. The thesaurus is also very handy. Weblio has a large selection of dictionaries, notably including 大辞林{だいじりん}, as well as one of the only freely available dictionaries of classical Japanese, 学研【がっけん】全訳【ぜんみゃく】古語辞典【こごじてん】.
  • Japanese edition of Wiktionary - A wiki like its sister project Wikipedia, but it's a dictionary, not an encyclopaedia. Japanese words and English words are defined in Japanese. Japanese words also have a list of translations into other languages.
  • Zokugo-dict - An up-to-date, colloquial language dictionary with new and trending words and expressions (Japanese only.)

Paper

Software Only

  • JISHOP Kanji Dictionary - Features a simplified "by-radical" lookup that works extremely well and quickly. Dictionary is not "yet another kanjidic skin". Also available for iOS, Android and WindowsMobile.

Japanese <-> Japanese Dictionaries

  • 大辞泉 - Shogakukan's dictionary is available in book form, on CD for Win/Mac, as well as on iOS. It's also available (for free) on several of the Japanese-Language dictionary sites listed above.
  • 大辞林 - Sanseido's dictionary is also available in various formats, including on Weblio, in book format and on iOS.

Smartphone and Tablet Dictionary Apps

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Tablet/Smartphone Apps

Note that several of the dictionaries are also available on these platforms. Many of the programs listed in software also have iOS or android variants.

Android

  • Aedict - Japanese <-> English EDICT-based dictionary with example sentences.
  • Google Japanese Input - Based on Google's IME for computers. A little more intuitive than Simeji, but still in beta so it might have more bugs too. Allows traditional 12-key tap, flick, tap+flick together, and QWERTY touchscreen input as well as hardware QWERTY input. Kaomoji is easier to access and better organized than Simeji's.
  • Go Keyboard - along with the Japanese for GO Keyboard add-on, provides a Japanese input with flick, toggle and QWERTY support.
  • JED - Japanese <-> English EDICT-based dictionary similar to Aedict.
  • Naver English-Japanese Dictionary - Provides access to the Naver online Japanese <-> English dictionaries as a native Android app.
  • Obenkyo - Practice writing kana/kanji with proper stroke order or just do flashcard tests of kana, kanji, words, and particles. Also has a section for reading numbers in either kanji, hiragana, or romaji.
  • Simeji - Japanese input method. Allows traditional 12-key tap, flick, bell, and QWERTY touchscreen input as well as hardware QWERTY input. If you have Android 1.5 or earlier, then you need to use Simeji Classic.
  • WebDicLauncher - Provides a simple search interface to online dictionaries and resources such as Eijiro, Yahoo and Wikipedia.
  • A variety of other EDICT-based dictionaries are available: Midori, Makimono and Kabuto are three examples.

iPhone/iPad

  • KanjiBox - iPhone/iPod/iPad app offering drill-type exercises and flashcards (both using SRS) for kana, kanji, vocabulary and reading. Extra modules use touchscreen to drill on kanji/kana drawing. Gives out detailed stats and global scores. Links with online version.

  • Imiwa? - Free J<->E dictionary app, with example sentences, kanji stroke orders, conjugations and several kanji lookup methods. Uses the free EDICT dictionary and the Tanaka/Tatoeba corpuses. (This app replaces Kotoba! on the iTunes Store)

  • ジーニアス和英・英和辞典 - The official app for the dictionaries. Included in many 電子辞書, this pair of dictionaries include example sentences and images, and are among the lowest-cost commercial dictionaries. Note that the dictionaries and app are aimed towards Japanese-speakers learning English, but are also suitable for intermediate-advanced students of Japanese.

  • JSensei a series of lessons, gradually increasing in difficulty. Seems to be using the dictionaries/word-lists from smartfm (see the websites section)
  • Midori - EDICT dictionary app
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Dedicated JLPT preparation materials

Note: Questions about the JLPT test format, times, statistics and difficulty level are explicitly OFF TOPIC on japanese.stackexchange.com and will be closed and deleted. Questions about the japanese language that is used on the test, or that involve the underlying language concepts that are tested on the test are on topic.

Books

  • 完全マスター - A series of books that cover the grammar needed for each level
  • 日本語総まとめ - A fairly complete lesson series with different books covering each needed learning component. (Kanji, Vocabulary, Reading, etc)

Websites

  • J-CAT - An adaptive JLPT-like test site
  • JGram - A Japanese Grammar Database. Has materials for all levels of the JLPT.
  • JLPT Official Site - Includes scheduling and sample tests
  • tanos.co.uk - provides resources for the JLPT N5-N1. It includes help for, reading, listening, grammar, kanji, vocabulary, and has past papers. It even has a skill checker that can mark how far you've come/need to go to pass.
  • thbz.org - provides lists for JLPT vocabulary.

(Please note that the JLPT FAQ states that there will not be a list of vocabulary, kanji and grammar items released for the new levels, so many of these are based on the previous JLPT 1-4 lists before the new JLPT N1-N5 came out.)

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Podcasts

  • Japanesepod101 - has Podcasts for Japanese learners of all levels. You can listen to a couple each day for free, or subscribe at various levels for access to more materials.
  • 全国{ぜんこく}こども電話相談室{でんわそうだんしつ}・リアル! - is a call-in radio show for youth to discuss their problems. It may be useful to Japanese language learners because it balances simple language with interesting discussion.
  • Prende AUDIO - a site which provides free audio dramas (radio dramas). Series can be downloaded from Prende (requires an account), in addition to which some are available as podcasts through iTunes. Good listening practice for upper intermediate+.
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Is this section reserved only for Podcasts that teach Japanese, or can we add links to Podcasts that could serve as listening practice for more advanced learners? –  zakvdm May 7 '12 at 13:24
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@zakvdm If the podcast has some kind of merit or benefit that makes it particularly useful to learners compared to the average Japanese podcast then I'd say it's postworthy here. –  ジョン May 12 '12 at 14:27
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Textbooks

Unless otherwise listed, assume these textbooks include or offer CDs for listening practice.

  • Bojinsha's Basic Kanji 1 and 2, and Intermediate Kanji 1 and 2 - This series focuses exclusively on the kanji use and different methods of mentally organizing the kanji. Note that the intermediate books are written almost entirely in Japanese, and expect some familiarity with the language. (No Audio)
  • Genki - Arguably the most used Japanese textbook for classrooms. Textbooks have matching audio CDs with native speakers reading the vocabulary, dialogues, and some of the activities. There are also matching workbooks that focus mainly on practicing new grammar concepts from the chapters, but there are also listening pages and writing practice pages. Volumes 1 and 2 are for beginners; there is also an intermediate level text.
  • Minna no Nihongo (3a Corporation) - The MnN series focuses on daily life conversations, avoiding overly focusing on both exchange students and business Japanese. The main text is translated into several languages, and there is a blizzard of supplementary texts available. At times, MnN can have a 'workbook' feel, and it lacks some features one might expect of a beginner text (like a dictionary of words in the text).
  • Japanese for Everyone (Gakken) - A short all-in-one course suitable for either a short course in Japanese or self study. Somewhat oriented towards a business traveler.
  • Japanese: The Spoken Language - Often controversial for it's use of a non-hepburn romaji and complete lack of kanji coverage. (observe the review histogram at amazon) The positive points are an unusually deep coverage of major grammatical points and a strong focus on, as the title says, the spoken language. All three books in the series cover everything at least up to the JLPT N2 level (except kanji).
  • Situational Functional Japanese (Tsukuba) - Classroom oriented.
  • Tobira - Intermediate textbook
  • Japanese for Busy People 1, 2 and 3 - A concise course for 'busy' students who want to learn natural spoken Japanese as effectively as possible in a limited amount of time. Volume 1 is available in Kana and Romanized versions.
  • Japanese the Manga Way - A more 'fun' approach to Japanese. Covers beginning to intermediate Japanese, with kana/kanji/romaji throughout. Unlike most textbooks, JTMW introduces both polite and plain form right from the beginning and focuses more on the spoken language.
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I'd recommend checking out YesJapan and their 'Japanese from Zero' book series. Both have been tremendously helpful for me so far, with good content and examples. –  Xeo Jun 3 at 15:18
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Software

Note that questions related to using or setting up any of the software in this section is explicitly OFFTOPIC on japanese.stackexchange.com, all such questions will be closed and deleted with extreme prejudice.

Lesson Software

  • Rosetta Stone - A popular learning program that focuses on recognition and situational associations.

Study Software

  • Anki - One of the more popular free SRS flashcard programs. Available on nearly every OS, including iPhone, android and maemo. Also has a web version. Capable of downloading many pre-built language decks and has addons for supporting various aspects of Japanese.
  • Mnemosyne - Pioneered development of the SRS system. Offers a slightly different spacing system from anki.

Japanese IME's (Input Method Editors)

  • Windows computers have the option of using the basic Microsoft IME. (Win7 instructions)

    • The Microsoft Office 2007 support pages include how to enter symbols and kaomoji.
  • The Google Japanese IME, Baidu IME, various SKK systems (free) and ATOK (paid) are also available.

  • There is an online IME, Ajax, if installing an IME isn't an option. (e.g. at an internet cafe). After pressing the "IME On/Off" button, the text field should go light blue to indicate it's ready for input.

Fonts

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Remember! Don't include links to any illegal/copyright violating content, or sites that host such content. –  atlantiza Apr 20 '12 at 4:26
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Audiobooks

  • Breaking into Japanese Literature: Seven Modern Classics in Parallel Text - This book is geared towards English-speaking Japanese learners, at an upper-intermediate or advanced level. Includes several short stories written by Japanese writers for a Japanese audience, read by Japanese voice actors, with English parallel text and a custom dictionary on each page.
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Remember! Don't include links to any illegal/copyright violating content, or sites that host such content. –  atlantiza Apr 20 '12 at 4:26
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Books

(Not including dictionaries, textbooks or the books in JLPT prep materials)

  • A Dictionary of Basic/Intermediate/Advanced Japanese Grammar - Very good coverage, does a good job filling in gaps left by most of the popular textbooks/classes.
  • A Dictionary of Japanese Particles - The title is self-explanatory. Goes in depth and provides examples for over 100 particles. Particularly useful for explaining different meanings/usages of the same particle.
  • Kanji Look and Learn - An alternative to Remembering the Kanji, this book focuses more on illustrations with short mnemonics to help remember kanji instead of written stories. From the same people who made the Genki textbooks.
  • Remembering the Kana - From the author of Remembering the Kanji, this book has mnemonic devices that it claims allow you to learn hiragana and katakana in three hours each. (free sample chapter)
  • Remembering the Kanji - Always controversial. Presents a "story memorization" technique to memorizing kanji meaning and writing/recognition, while ignoring readings/compounds. A free sample is available for the first ~250 characters. Volumes two and three add coverage for some pronunciation and "beyond Jouyou" characters, but are less popular than volume I.
  • The Structure of the Japanese Language - Susumu Kuno presents very deep explanations of very tricky common issues (particularly particle confusion) facing mid-level Japanese learners (N2-N3) and above. This is a linguistics book, so non-linguists may need to consult wikipedia for some vocabulary.
  • Words In Context: A Japanese Perspective on Language and Culture - Takao Suzuki investigates the differences between languages based on sociological and psychological differences of people from different cultures and gives sociolinguistic insights on why the Japanese language behaves a certain way. Investigates the logic behind uses of personal pronouns in the Japanese language.
  • 2001.Kanji.Odyssey - Kanji learning books/e-books, with audio and some online material (some available free). Contextual (i.e. with compounds/sentences) method.

Readers

(Books to improve Japanese reading skills)

  • New Penguin Parallel text: Short stories in Japanese - Eight stories of varying length and difficulty, all by well known writers all born after WW2. Edited by Michael Emmerich
  • Rapid Reading Japanese - Will re-introduce basic skills you already use unconsciously in your native language in enjoyable exercises. Second edition was recently published with significant revisions to bring it up to date.

     

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In my opinion "Remembering the Kanji" is the most useless and over rated resource out there. Sure maybe you can learn to recognize kanji, but it does nothing to help with reading or over all reading skills. It more or less puts you in the position of a Chinese person trying to learn Japanese. –  Ian Apr 29 '12 at 2:45
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@Ian I think you may have missed the point of the book, which is to learn to write the kanji accurately, and remember this forever with minimal revision. The keywords mostly have a representative meaning of the kanji, but their actual purpose is to serve as a memory trigger, which you can then link to the actual meanings/readings of the kanji. It is controversial as jkerian wrote, and it's not for everyone, but it has been an immensely useful resource to me and to many others. –  ジョン Apr 29 '12 at 9:24
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@Ian: The position of a literate Chinese speaker trying to learn Japanese is a far more favourable one than my own, and to get there in 6 months or less (as reported by many of the more diligent of Heisig's students) is impressive. It solidly knocks down a very big and scary obstacle to an English speaker wishing to learn Japanese - one that some students still haven't overcome after 10 years. (And let's be honest: 6 months' self-study with any standard textbook doesn't get you far in Japan either.) –  Billy Sep 15 '12 at 6:51
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Television

  • ChannelJ - Mostly official video releases from around Japan. (Also has an English interface)

Japan Only

*It's possible to get around the regional block through use of VPN, see section on VPN

  • GyaO! - Free streaming service with dorama, anime, comedy, variety shows, sports, and Japanese movies. Foreign movies and shows with Japanese subtitles or Japanese dubbing (not all have these I think). Gyao!ストア offers other shows and movies which you have to pay for.
  • Hulu Japan - 980 yen per month fee. Anime and dorama. Also has American, British, Chinese, and Korean shows with Japanese subtitles.
  • ニコニコ動画【どうが】 - Has some anime which is available to stream for free, as well as foreign films and shows with Japanese subtitles which you can pay to either "rent" for 2 days or pay more to keep indefinitely. Also streams Japanese baseball.
  • ShowTime - 294 yen per month fee. Some videos (especially first episodes) are free though. Dorama, anime, variety shows, sports, gravure, and Japanese movies (including 18+). Foreign movies and shows and with Japanese subtitles, Japanese dubbing, or an option of either one. Also has a separate site for kids' shows.

US Only

*It's possible to get around the regional block through use of VPN, see section on VPN

  • Hulu - Free streaming service. Has both movies and anime. English subtitles are optionally provided.

Various Countries (but not worldwide)

  • Crunchyroll - Free streaming service with a lot of anime and a few dorama and movies. English subtitles are provided and can be turned off.
  • Niconico - Only anime. Free streaming service. English subtitles are provided but cannot be turned off. To disable the scrolling user comments, click the speech bubble near the bottom right of the video player.

VPN Information

If you wish to access Japan only, or US only content, you can bypass this block through the use of VPN. Here is a list of VPN providers you can use:

Additionally, if you have ssh access to a server in Japan, or US, you can use ssh tunneling to bypass the regional block.

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Remember! Don't include links to any illegal/copyright violating content, or sites that host such content. –  atlantiza Apr 20 '12 at 0:47
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Data and Japanese Analysis

Character Information

  • CJK Composition Data - Provides a graphical analysis of the approximately 75,000 Chinese/Japanese characters in Unicode. (License: Apache/LGPL/Creative Commons BY-SA tri-license)
  • Kanjidic2 and Kanjidic - Provides a large amount of Japanese character information including readings, meanings and indices for many textbooks etc. Kanjidic2 is the more extensive XML format and Kanjidic is an older format generated from Kanjidic2 for compatibility with older programs. (License: EDRDG)
  • KanjiVG - Provides stroke data in SVG format. (License: Creative Commons BY-SA)
  • RadKFile and KRadFile - Breaks up Kanji into multiple radicals to allow easier searching. (License: EDRDG)
  • Tomoe - Includes stroke data for a few thousand Japanese characters which can be used for stroke recognition or animations. (License: LGPL)
  • Unihan - The English definitions are usually for the Chinese language, and the Japanese readings are in Romaji, but it provides a much greater coverage than Kanjidic2. More detailed documentation is available here, and can be searched online here.

Dictionaries

  • JMDict and Edict - A Japanese to English dictionary. JMDict is the more extensive XML format and Edict is for compatibility. (License: EDRDG)
  • JMnedict and Enamdict - A Japanese name dictionary. JMnedict is the more extensive XML format and Enamdict is for compatibility. (License: EDRDG)
  • WordNet Japanese - Includes Japanese/English example sentences, and categorizes words to also allow use as a thesaurus. Doesn't include readings for the Japanese. (License: English data under the WordNet license, Japanese data under a license similar to BSD)

Japanese Morphological Analyzers

  • Kakasi - Converts Kanji characters to Hiragana, Katakana or Romaji. (License: GNU GPL)
  • Mecab - A Japanese morphological analyzer. (License: New BSD/GPL/LGPL tri-license)
  • KyTea - The Kyoto Text Analysis Toolkit, a general toolkit developed for analyzing text with a focus on Japanese, Chinese and other languages requiring word or morpheme segmentation.
  • Kuromoji - Morphological analyzer written in Java. For very small bits of text, you can run kuromoji in your web browser at the link.
  • ChaSen is a morphological parser developed at the Nara Institute of Science and Technology.

There's many more dictionaries, frequency data etc at Jim Breen's Monash Nihongo ftp Archive.

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The Tanaka corpus is no longer supported afaik. Considering how riddled with mistakes the data was, it's highly recommended to use the Tatoeba project instead. –  Dave Apr 23 '12 at 4:42
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I'm going to create a new resource index "Processing Japanese", retitle this one as "Machine Readable Resources" and move "Japanese Morphological Analyzers" there while also adding "Text", "OCR and Speech" (for things like Julius and digital dictation soft), and an unlabelled category for things like emoticon analyzers, Japanese IR engines, and Microsoft's R&D page on Japanese NLP. Kakasi will be moved to "Text" because its not a morphological parser. –  taylor Sep 1 '12 at 23:46
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Newspapers

Here is a site with links to many Japanese newspapers: Japan Newspapers. This is useful for finding more specific or regional newspapers.

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Add-ons (browser)

Chrome

  • Rikaikun - When activated, just put your mouse over a Japanese word to see its phoenetic reading and a translation to English. Based on the rikaichan add-on for Firefox.

Firefox

  • Itadaki is a browser addon that simplifies adding furigana (ruby tags).
  • Perapera Japanese - Put your mouse over any Japanese words on a webpage and it gives you the pronunciation and definition. Alternative to Rikaichan.
  • Rikaichan - When activated, just put your mouse over a Japanese word to see its phoenetic reading and a translation to English (or German or French or Russian).

Opera

  • Rikaikun - When activated, just put your mouse over a Japanese word to see its phoenetic reading and a translation to English. Based on the rikaikun add-on for Chrome. If you're running legacy Presto based Opera (up to version 12), you want Rikaisan.
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