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Kambun Bibliography





Kadokawa shinpan kogo jiten 角川新版古語辞典 / Hisamatsu Sen'ichi 久松潜一, Satō Kenzō 佐藤謙三 (Eds.). 

Tōkyō: Kadokawa Shoten, 1973 (1974 printing).

A typical single-volume classical Japanese dictionary with entries listed under historical spellings in the order of the Japanese syllabary.  Adjective class, verb grades (dan), and transitive/intransitive function are clearly marked. 

EAsia Reference: PL682 .K33 1973   


Dai Kan-Wa jiten 大漢和辞典 / Morohashi Tetsuji 諸橋轍次.

Tōkyō: Taishūkan Shoten, 1989-1990 (1996 printing).

A 12-volume dictionary for reading classical Chinese with two index volumes.  In one index, characters are listed by kun and on readings, and in the other, by compounds.  It is also possible to search by radical, although this takes more time.  Meanings are given for isolated characters, with each character followed by an extensive list of character compounds that often includes citations from classical Chinese texts puctuated with ichiniten.

EAsia Reference: PL681 .C5 M6 1989 


Kō Kan-Wa jiten 廣漢和辭典 / Morohashi Tetsuji 諸橋轍次 et al. 

Tōkyō: Taishūkan Shoten, 1981-1982.

This three-volume dictionary is a smaller version of the above.  While the entries themselves are not the easiest to use (Kan and Go readings are unlabelled—users should consult the preface for notes on layout—and verb grades also appear to be unmarked), they do include information of interest: traditional kanji forms, Middle Chinese fǎnqiè spellings, and classical Chinese citations with all classical Japanese inflections and particles written in.  This dictionary is noteworthy for the sheer variety of methods by which one can locate a character.  The index contains total stroke count subdivided by radical, kun- and onyomi, proper noun, general vocabulary, and pīnyīn sections, in addition to a four-corners index.  There is also a radical index at the front of each volume.

EAsia Reference: PL677.5 .M6


Iwanami Bukkyō jiten 岩波仏教辞典 / Nakamura Hajime 中村元 et al. (Eds.).

Tōkyō: Iwanami Shoten, 2002.

A single-volume Japanese-language dictionary of Buddhist terms and figures arranged in the order of the Japanese syllabary with a Sanskrit index at the back.

EAsia Reference: BQ130 .I95 2002 


Kadokawa kogo daijiten 角川古語大辭典 / Nakamura Yukihiko 中村幸彥, Okami Masao 岡見正雄, Sakakura Atsuyoshi 阪倉篤義 (Eds.).

Tōkyō: Kadokawa Shoten, 1982- .

A five-volume dictionary of classical Japanese with all entries listed under historical spellings in the order of the Japanese syllabary.  (Compounds also have pronunciations indicated in modern spellings.)  Although fewer compounds are listed than in Dai Kan-Wa jiten, citations from classical Chinese are included, rendered in classical Japanese.

EAsia Reference: PL682 .K32 1982


Nihon kokugo daijiten 日本国語大辞典.

Tōkyō: Shōgakkan, 2000-2002.

A 13-volume dictionary with a single-volume index supplement.  Single characters can be looked up by total stroke count subdivided by radical or by kan’on.  Compounds can be looked up by total stroke count of their first character, subdivided by radical.  A kun-reading index and a list of sources are also included.  Entries are in the order of the Japanese syllabary.

EAsia Reference: PL675 .N46 2000


Shin jigen 新字源 / Ogawa Tamaki 小川環樹, Nishida Taichirō 西田太一郎, Akatsuka Kiyoshi 赤塚忠 (Eds.).

Tōkyō: Kadokawa Shoten, 1968.

A compact, easy-to-use character dictionary that lists some variant forms, Kan and Go readings, some archaic spellings, and numerous compounds.  There is a total stroke count index in the front (with radicals in red), and an index arranged by readings in the back.

EAsia General Stacks: PL681 .J3 S5 1968   


Iwanami kogo jiten 岩波古語辞典 / Ōno Susumu 大野晋, Satake Akihiro 佐竹昭広, Maeda Kingorō 前田金五郎 (Eds.).

Tōkyō: Iwanami Shoten, 1974 (1975 printing).

Another useful basic classical Japanese dictionary.  This dictionary is distinctive in its listing of verbs by ren’yōkei rather than shūshikei.

EAsia Reference: PL682 .O6 1974


Gakken Kan-Wa daijiten 学研漢和大字典 / Tōdō Akiyasu 藤堂明保 (Ed.).

Tōkyō: Gakushū Kenkyūsha, 1978.

The ultimate single-volume reference.  Characters can be looked up by kun- or onyomi, and total stroke count, sub-divided by radical.  Kan and Go readings are clearly marked, (as well as the Guăngyùn rhyme and Middle Chinese tone category).  Definitions for single characters and compounds are provided and include historical and modern kana, and each character is followed by a list of archaic readings.

EAsia Reference: PL677.5 .G3


Itaiji kaidoku jiten 異体字解読字典 / Yamada Katsumi 山田勝美.

Tōkyō: Kashiwa Shobō, 1987.

A dictionary of non-standard character forms, organized by total stroke number and then subdivided by radical.  Although a quick and easy to way to confirm/disprove a suspected character’s identity, it is not the ideal resource for locating a completely unidentifiable character.

EAsia Reference: PL677.5 .I83    


Zengaku daijiten 禪學大辭典.

Tōkyō: Taishūkan Shoten, 1978.

A two-volume dictionary of Zen Buddhism with a one-volume supplement, including indexes in Japanese, Sanskrit, and Pali, as well as maps, tables, photos, etc.  

EAsia Reference: BQ9259 .Z462 1978 


Yuǎn dōng Hàn Yīng dà cí diǎn 遠東漢英大辭典 (Far East Chinese-English Dictionary) / Zhāng Fāngjié 張芳杰, Liáng Shíqiū 梁實秋 et al (Eds.).

Taibei shi: Yuan dong tu shu gong si, 2000.

Useful for locating Chinese compounds or character meanings and traditional character forms.  Characters can be looked up using total stroke count, radical, U.N. Mandarin Phonetic Symbols (similar to Hànyǔ pīnyīn), Gwoyeu Romatzyh, Wade-Giles Romanization, or Mandarin phonetic symbols (ㄅㄆㄇㄈ).

EAsia Reference: PL1455 .Y83 2000


Dictionaries/People and Place Names:


Chimei yomikata jiten 地名よみかた辞典.

Tōkyō: Nichigai Asoshiētsu: Hatsubaimoto Kinokuniya Shoten, 1989.

A quick reference on how to read place names with an onyomi index, although it does not provide historical locations.

EAsia Reference: DS805 .C467 1989 


Dai jinmei jiten 大人名事典

Tōkyō: Heibonsha, 1953-1955.

A nine-volume dictionary of people’s names (foreign and Japanese) with a one-volume index in the Roman alphabet and Japanese.

EAsia Reference: CT203 .J3 D3 1953


Dai Nihon jinmei jisho 大日本人名辭書.

Tōkyō: Dai Nihon Jinmei Jisho Kankōkai: Hatsubaijo Naigai Shoseki Kabushiki Kaisha, 1937.

A five-volume biographical dictionary.  Users unable to convert dates from Japanese era titles to Western dates may wish to consult additional materials, as dates, when given, are done in the former style.

EAsia Reference: CT1832 .D34 1937

Earlier editions can be found at:

EAsia Auxiliary:   CT1832 .D34 1926

EAsia General Stacks:  CT1832 .D34 1912 (different publisher)   


Kokushi chimei jiten 国史地名辞典 / Fujioka Tsuguhei 藤岡継平.

Tōkyō: Murata Shoten, 1976.

A historical reference for place names with a character index in the front and a color map in the back.

EAsia Reference: DS805 .F794 1976       


Chinese Biographical Dictionary / Giles, Herbert Allen.

London: Bernard Quaritch; Shanghai: Kelly & Walsh, 1898.

An English-language reference of historical Chinese figures.

EAsia Reference: DS734 .G46

Suzzallo/Allen Stacks: DS734 .G46

EAsia Reference:  DS734 .G46 1939  (1939 edition)


Biographical Dictionary of Japanese History / Iwao Seiichi. (Burton Watson, transl.) .

Tōkyō: International Society for Educational Information, 1978.

Although most of the work features more modern historical figures, there are 146 pages of entries on ancient and medieval figures (some with illustrations).  A handy English-language reference for short biographies of prominent Japanese historical figures.  (Some entries on Chinese figures are also included.)

EAsia Reference: DS834 .B56 1978   


Kokushi daijiten 国史大辞典.

Tōkyō: Yoshikawa Kōbunkan, 1979-.

A 14-volume encyclopedia of Japanese history with a three-volume index arranged by topic, personal names, and place names. 

EAsia Reference: DS833.K64


Wa-Kan shiika sakka jiten 和漢詩歌作家辞典 / Mori Tadashige 森忠重.

Tōkyō: Mizuho Shuppan, 1972.

A biographical dictionary of Chinese and Japanese poets that includes some illustrations.  Dates are given in both Japanese and Western styles, and the index is arranged by correct name-reading.

EAsia Reference: PL 727 M6


Zhōngguó rén míng dà cí diǎn 中國人名大辭典 / Zāng Lìhé 臧勵龢 (Ed.).

Taibei: Taiwan shang wu yin shu guan, 1977.

A Chinese-language reference of historical Chinese figures.

EAsia Reference: DS734 .C622 1979   


Textbooks and General Reference:


An Introduction to Kambun / Crawcour, Sydney. 

Ann Arbor: Center for Japanese Studies, University of Michigan, 1965. 

Contains a basic introduction to classical Japanese grammar and kambun punctuation. There are explanations of Chinese sentence types with Japanese translations thereof and numerous examples of Chinese sentences with kundoku versions for comparison.

EAsia General Stacks: PL627 .C72 1965

EAsia Auxiliary: PL627 .C7 1962


Available for free download at:


Kodansha Encyclopedia of Japan.

Tōkyō; New York, NY: Kodansha, 1983.

An eight-volume English-language encyclopedia on Japan with a one-volume index.  It can also be connected to on-line via JapanKnowledgege.

EAsia Reference: DS805 .K633 1983

Kokugo kokubungaku techō 国語国文学手帖 (The Guide to Japanese Literature).

Tōkyō: Shōgakkan, 1990.

A general reference on Japanese traditions and literature, including (but not limited to) sections on colors, seasonal flora and fauna, clothing, hairstyles, a timeline and brief history of Japanese literature, maps, etc.  A color-coded index arranged by readings immediately follows the table of contents.

EAsia Reference: PL716 .K6435 1990 


An Introduction to Japanese Kanbun / Komai Akira and Rohlich, Thomas H..

Nagoya: University of Nagoya Press, 1988.

Contains numerous exercises, but no answer key.  Although there are explanations of classical Chinese grammar, they are not necessarily consistent with classical Chinese grammar as it is taught here.  The extensive use of kunreishiki Romanization in examples and terminology may prove difficult for students unaccustomed to working with Romanized Japanese.

EAsia General Stacks: PL1103 .K56 1988

Suzzallo-Allen Stacks: PL1103 .K56 1988


Kanbun nyūmon 漢文入門 / Ogawa Tamaki 小川環樹, Nishida Taichirō 西田太一郎.

Tōkyō: Iwanami Shoten, 1957.           

Contains a basic explanation of what kambun and kunten are, followed by explanations of grammar at the word and sentence level.  There are many short readings punctuated with ichiniten, followed by a kundoku and commentary/gloss.

EAsia General Stacks: PL1271. O4


Kanbun nyūmon 漢文入門 / Sakakibara Kunihiko 榊原邦彦.

Osaka: Izumi Shoin, 1992.

An introduction to kambun.  The first chapter explains kunten and gives examples of classical Chinese sentence structures.  Although the Chinese grammar explanations in the first chapter are cursory at best, the following chapters present an excellent set of practice texts from several genres of Chinese literature that provide limited furigana, punctuation, and a useful gloss (especially for students unfamiliar with Chinese literature and/or history).

Asia General Stacks: PL1271. S25 1992


Kanbun kaishaku jiten 漢文解釈辞典 / Setoguchi Takeo 瀬戸口武夫, Taku Kōichi 多久弘一.

Tōkyō: Kadokawa Shoten, 1979.

Contains explanations of sentence types found in classical Chinese with an index in the back.  Under each illustrated point, there are multiple examples, followed by sentences with reading marks, an explanation of the meaning, and various readings.

EAsia Reference: PL1109 .S47 1979


Classical Japanese: A Grammar / Shirane Haruo. 

New York: Columbia University Press, 2005.

A handy reference for classical Japanese grammar, in particular verb inflections and grammatical particles, with easy-to-follow grammar explanations and example sentences.  Also contains a limited glossary.

EAsia Folio: PL531.3 .S55 2005


Shakaijin no tame no Kanshi Kanbun Shōhyakka 社会人のための漢詩漢文小百科 / Tabei Fumio 田部井文雄 et al.

Tōkyō: Taishūkan Shoten, 1990.

Contains a useful grammar section starting from page 123.  Characters with related/similar meanings are grouped together, followed by explanations of how to read the example sentences and what they mean.

EAsia General Stacks: PL3050 .S53 1990 


Kambun with Kundoku and/or Other Annotation:


Shinshaku kanbun taikei 新釈漢文大系.

Tōkyō: Meiji Shoin, 1961-.

A 113-volume set of Chinese texts presented first with ichiniten, followed by a kundoku, modern translation, gloss, and misc. notes—ideal for self-study.

EAsia General Stacks: PL2452 .S4 (incomplete set)


Shodō rikutai daijiten 書道六軆大字典 / Fujiwara Sosui 藤原楚水. 

Tōkyō: Sanseidō, 1965.

Contains an on-kun index at the back, and a chronological index (arranged by dynasty) in the front.  Useful if one has an idea of a character in a seal and would like to see historical variations of it, including seal script.

 EAsia Reference: NK3634 .A2 S55 1965




Japanese Colour Prints / Binyon, Lawrence  and Sexton, J. J. O’Brien .

London: R. Sawers, 1923.

Contains seal script tables for the celestial stems and 12 zodiacal signs, as well as 4½ pages of Edo publishers’ seals (1675-1868).  UW libraries own the 1960 and 1978 editions, and the 1923 edition is available through Summit.

Art General Stacks: NE1310 .B5 1978, NE1310 .B5 1960

Odegaard General Stacks: NE 1310 .B5 1960


Yìn wén xué  印文學 / Tián Yuán 田員.

Taibei: Taiwan Zhonghua shu ju, 1970.

Characters are arranged by radical and given in multiple forms beneath a standard printed form, including the ancient and seal script forms with many variations of the latter.  An easy way to confirm a character in a seal if one already has an idea of what it might be.

EAsia General Stacks: CD6173 .T5 


Zōshoin teiyō 蔵書印提要 / Watanabe Morikuni 渡辺守邦, Shimahara Yasuo 島原泰雄 (Eds.).

Musashimurayama-shi: Seishōdō Shoten, 1985.

A list of Japanese book collectors’ ex libris seals.

EA Reference: Z994 .J3 Z673 1985 





Finding a text to work on: try a keyword search for “kunten” or “Japanese reading marks” in either the UW catalog or worldcat ( à OCLC WorldCat).  To find out the status of a text (in terms of editions, whether a published kundoku exists, etc.), go to: and search for your text using kana or kanji.  The pmjs (“premodern Japanese studies mailing list”) also has a website with a list of classical-Japanese-to-English translations.  If working on a classical Chinese text, consult the following bibliography for an idea of whether a translation exists:


A List of Published Translations From Chinese into English, French, and German / Davidson, Martha.

Ann Arbor: The American Council of Learned Societies by J.W. Edwards [1952-58], 1957.

Works are divided by genre and then ordered in various ways.  See the index (xxix) for a comprehensive listing of organizational principles.

EAsia General Stacks: Z7059 .D38

EAsia Reference: Z7059 .D38

Suzzallo Stacks: Z7059 .D38 


Sources of potential texts for term projects:


Kanjun kankō Minritsu 官准刊行明律.

Kyōto: Shōrin Toganoi Tōbē, 1723.

A nine-volume set of books on Ming dynasty law in classical Chinese with ichiniten and okurigana: a legible text in good condition.  This book will not show up in a search of the UW libraries: to locate it, search the Law Library’s separate catalog or Summit.

UW Gallagher Law Library Special Collection Rare Books: KNN32 .A2 1723


Zōho shoshū Butsuzō zui 增補諸宗佛像圖彙 / Kino Shūshin 紀秀信.

Japan: 1783. (Originally published 1690).

A compendium of Buddha images from various sects, each with captions in kambun with varying degrees of Japanese annotation.  It contains 5-7 pages of text written in classical Chinese with minimal use of ichiniten and okurigana.  While the caption text is damaged and/or illegible in many places, the Chinese in the main text is quite clear, albeit with some blurring of the kunten.

EAsia Special Collections: BQ4635 .K46 1783


Keisetsuken sōsho 螢雪軒叢書 / Kondō Gensui 近藤元粹. 

Ōsaka-shi: Aoki Sūzandō, 1894.

A seven-volume set of history and criticism of various genres and authors of Chinese poetry (works included).  There is a preface in hakubun, and each section is preceded by an introductory text in kambun with ichiniten and okurigana.  The text is in good condition and an easy-to-read typeset.

EAsia Auxiliary: PL2307 .K66 1894


Kōtei gadan 香亭雅談 / Nakane Shuku 中根淑. 

Tōkyō: Yoshikawa Kōbunkan, 1920.

A text of indeterminate contents in excellent condition and an easy-to-read typeset.  Contains ichiniten and okurigana

EAsia Auxiliary: DS871.75.N35 1920    


Saiiki bunkenroku 西域聞見錄 / Qishiyi 七十一.

Kyōto: Katsumura Jiemon; Ōsaka: Ōnogi Ichibē; Edo: Ōwada Yasubē: Suharaya Mohē, 1801.

A three-volume travellogue written in classical Chinese with ichiniten and some okurigana that includes maps.  In good, legible condition aside from the maps, which are fading.

EAsia Auxiliary: DS785 .C45 1801


Tendai myōmoku ruiju shō 天台名目類聚鈔 / Teishun 貞舜.

Ōtsu-shi: Hieizan Hōtōin, 1618.

An 11-volume set of religion-themed texts in classical Chinese with some ichiniten and okurigana.  The majority of the text is highly legible aside from some damage due to wormholes.

EAsia Offices: BQ9118 .T45 1618


Nanga shinryō 南畫津梁 / Tanomura Chokunyū 田能村直入.

Kyōto: Shibata Sanshū-ken: Geisōdō, 1911.

A two-volume work on Chinese painting, containing a 2½-page preface in hakubun, followed by 5-6 pages in classical Chinese with ichiniten and okurigana.  Numerous paintings are included, and a 2½-page postface in hakubun concludes the set.  The text is in excellent condition and highly legible.

EAsia Auxiliary: ND 1043.4 .N36 1911


Wakokubon Kanseki zuihitsushū 和刻本漢籍隨筆集.

Tōkyō: Koten Kenkyūkai: Kyūko Shoin hatsubai, 1972-1978.

A 20-volume set of works in classical Chinese by numerous authors on a wide range of subjects, lightly punctuated.

EAsia General Stacks: PL2606 .W3


Uzō ressen zenden 有象列仙全傳 / Wáng, Shìzhēn 王世貞.

Kyoto-shi: Nakagawa Tōshirō, 1791.

An eight-volume illustrated set of tales of the immortals in classical Chinese with some kunten.  Stories range in length from a few lines to several pages.  Although difficult to read in some places because of worm damage and/or fading, the majority of the text is in good condition.

EAsia Offices: BL1812 .G63 W3625 1791


Zōshū kunten Shin ritsu isan 增輯訓點清律彙纂.

Tōkyō: Meihōryō, 1874-1879.

A four-box set of books on Qing dynasty law in classical Chinese with ichiniten, okurigana, and sporadic furigana: a legible text in good condition.  This book will not show up in a search of the UW libraries: to locate it, search the Law Library’s separate catalog or Summit.

UW Gallagher Law Library Special Collection Rare Books: KNN34 .C45 1874



This bibliography was compiled in 2005 by Erin Brightwell Noose under the supervision of Keiko Yokota-Carter at the University of Washington, Seattle.  Although it is primarily intended as a reference tool for students in Professor Paul Atkins’ Kambun (JAPAN 505) class, it is hoped that it will be of use to others interested in the field, as well.