Jotoba - A new alternative to jisho!

I’m not affiliated with it in any way but I just discovered this and wanted to share. Jotoba is a dictionary similar to Jisho but with many changes and additions that I find makes it a lot more comfortable and pleasing to use. You can find it here and it’s also open source if you want to check how it’s made or maybe even contribute GitHub - WeDontPanic/Jotoba: A free online, self-hostable, multilang Japanese dictionary.

The major things I like so far that put it so far above Jisho for me is that when searching for a word in the search bar it has an autocomplete which is just so so useful. The interface also looks a lot more sleek and easier to look at, the radical search is so much easier with it separated in tabs of number of strokes rather than it all in one page being a clumped mess and at least for me made it hard to look for what I wanted. Another thing is that it includes pitch accent in a lot of definitions too. And finally for me a thing that’s nice though not significant is native dark mode in the settings, I just love that.

It’s definitely not perfect by any means but personally I find it much better than Jisho and will be using it instead from now on. I’m not suggesting everyone or anyone else should too, I just wanted to show it’s another option since I haven’t seen anyone ever talk about it yet.


The audio files #1 were graciously made public by WaniKani & Tofugo and uploaded to Github under the CC-BY-4.0 licence.

They did misspell Tofugu in the credits though, unacceptable :wink:
and license


Likewise, Tofugu is actually spelled Tofugo outside of America.



Thanks for this.


Yeah this actually seems pretty nice. Nothing wrong with Jisho but it’s starting to show its age design-wise.


all i needed to hear, i’m sold


Oh wow, that’s super helpful! Thank you!

In my defense, there is a mix of both spellings of license on the same page :upside_down_face: I’m mostly joking though.

Hehe, this is from github, right

Speaking of the topic, the radical lookup feature is really nice to have, not sure about the tabs though. Also, it would be nice to have a way to add wanikani radical names there but oh well.
And by the way, there is actually a userscript with the radical search for Jisho.

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Thanks for sharing, this looks promising :slight_smile:

Thanks for sharing! So far I like that the website has a dark theme and looks like the elements of the page actually have meaningful classes, so it will be relatively easy to write a script to remove example sentences and other nonsense.

Backend developer of Jotoba here. I’m glad that it was spread that fast and happy to see it being loved. If you provide the data Wanikani radical names, we’ll add them to the radical-search. We’re also open to criticism and feedback so don’t hesitate to contact us.


Site looks nice, thanks for your hard work!

I do have one issue that I’d like to share. Because of how the HTML is structured for the words in search results, I can’t use Yomichan. Yomichan works by scanning continuous text, but because the HTML is structured in a way that alternates between kanji and furigana, it doesn’t work. As a workaround, I tried to use the hiragana for the pitch diagrams, but it doesn’t work there either.

It might seem odd to use Yomichan when already on a dictionary site, but I use it to get easy access to additional audio sources.

EDIT: One other small suggestion. When a search result has more than one result via segmenting the text (e.g. これは何ですか splits into これ・は・何ですか), it would be very helpful if the search input box was still focused. This is an issue that has as well, and as small as it seems this would be a huge motivation to switch over to Jotoba.

EDIT 2: Wildcards would also be a nice addition. In my view, the tags don’t do much good if they can’t be combined with wildcards. For example, *しい #adjective doesn’t work.

I can put all these suggestions into GitHub if you want. (If I don’t hear back from you here within a few days I’ll just do that.)


Thanks :smiley:

Wildcard-search is already on the road-map.

Yes the Yomichan issue is sadly a thing I’ve also noticed but I haven’t found a way to fix that (yet).

What exactly do you mean by your first edit? Could you describe it a bit more in detail? Why does it help if the search bar holds focus if there is more than one result for a word?


Mark Zuckerberg announced a week ago that Tofugu is going to change their name to Tofugo to distract people.


Ahh yes, my favorite feature.


Most of the time I find that if the search term has to be segmented I need to change the search term. Maybe the book I was reading used も in a phrase, but I have to change it to が to get the exact matching result for that phrase. If the input is still focused, I can immediately try the alternate phrase. If it’s not, I have to grab my mouse to click into the input again.

Similarly, I may just “give up” if the phrase isn’t directly in the dictionary. Maybe I thought the phrase might have had special meaning, but if there are no exact matches I just ignore it and keep reading. When I go to search for another word a few minutes later, I find myself typing without realizing that the input isn’t focused, so nothing actually gets typed. If the input stayed focused I wouldn’t have that problem.

I wonder if this is a difference between beginner and intermediate/advanced readers. Beginners may use tools like this to help figure out how to break down a sentence. Higher level readers don’t generally need that. Honestly, I don’t even know what benefit there is to focusing on the first segmented word (I’m assuming that’s why the input loses focus). Maybe it provides some great functionality to the users interested in the segmented phrase, but I’ve never experimented with it (on this new site or on jisho) because I rarely have a need for the segmented words.

Hopefully that explanation helps. Let me know if you need any more details.


I just realized that the input never stays focused after searching. For some reason I thought it did other than in the segmentation situation (which is what happens on jisho), but apparently I was mistaken. In that case, I’d like the input to always stay focused after search. If it was designed to lose focus for a specific reason, maybe that’s something you could make a user setting?


Seems pretty awesome. Love the auto fill in, biggest complaint about Jisho. I am not a very good speller. The one thing I do not see, which I use often when doing my homework, is displaying verb conjugations. Its an easy way I think to just double check myself.



How could you fail to mention the ADORABLE tanuki on the search page!?


You actually can display conjugations. It’s not as in your face as jisho but it’s there. Next to a verb to the right of the definition there are 3 dots, click that and it’ll open a menu where you can display them.