Rikaisama is a modification of the rikaichan Japanese-English popup dictionary that adds many features and customization options. Supports Windows, Ubuntu, and newer versions of OSX.





Note: If you have an older version of Rikaisama installed, please uninstall it before installing the new version. Pardon the inconvenience.

The latest version can be found on the Rikaisama download page hosted by SourceForge. Source code is included.

How to Install

  1. Uninstall your current rikaichan/Rikaisama (if applicable). Only uninstall the main extension, not the dictionaries.
  2. Download the latest version of Rikaisama.
  3. From the Firefox menu, select "File | Open File..." and select the .xpi file that you just downloaded.
  4. Click the "Install Now" button.
  5. Restart Firefox.
  6. Install the official rikaichan dictionaries if you don't already have them.

General Usage

Setting up the Anki Real-Time Import Feature

  1. In Anki, install the Real-Time Import add-on using code 2512410601 (Tools > Add-ons > Browse&Install...).
  2. Open the Rikaisama options dialog and select the Clipboard & Save tab. There are 2 things that you need to setup:

    1. Tags. These are the tags that you want to use for cards that will be added. You may leave this blank if you want.
    2. Save format. This is the save format to use. Make sure that it matches the fields that you enter the in the Field names box (see next step).
  3. Now open the Anki tab. In the Field names box, enter the names that correspond to the desired fields in your Anki deck. Make sure that it matches the save format (see previous step).
  4. Open your Anki deck. The Real-Time Import plugin will automatically load itself.
  5. Back in Firefox, highlight a word and press the "R" key. If you setup everything correctly, you should see a "Note Added" popup in Anki.


Here are the fields in my Anki deck:

Here is one way to setup Rikaisama:

In the above screenshots,

I am using 2 tags: "web" and "active".

I am telling Rikaisama to use 3 of the fields from my Anki deck: "Expression", "Reading", and "Meaning".

The Save format box shows "$d" going to the "Expression" field, "$r" going to the "Reading" field, and "$n" going to the "Meaning" field.


This feature has been testing with Windows XP, Windows 7 and Linux Mint.

By default, Real-Time Import will not add a duplicate note. To change this behavior, open the Anki add-ons folder and edit "Real-Time_Import_for_use_with_the_Rikaisama_Firefox_Extension.py". Find the line "ALLOW_DUPLICATES = False" and change it to "ALLOW_DUPLICATES = True". Now restart Anki.

You can change the UDP port assignment in both Rikaisama and Real-Time Import if it is already being used by some other program.


The most common issue is using a "Note Type" in Anki 2 that doesn't contain the necessary fields. To change the "Note Type":

  1. Open Anki.
  2. Select your deck from the deck chooser.
  3. Click "Add" (it's between "Decks" and "Browse").
  4. Click the "Type" button and select the correct "Note Type".
Certain anti-virus/firewall programs will block programs that use UDP socket messages (even those destined to localhost). This behavior will have an adverse effect on the Real-Time Import feature, so be sure to configure your anti-virus/firewall to unblock "RealTimeImport_UDP_Client.exe".

If something isn't working you may be able to figure out why by opening the Anki add-ons folder and then opening the Real-Time Import log file: real_time_import.log. You can email the log to the author via 'cb4960 at gmail dot com' to receive additional help.

Pitch Accents

What are pitch accents?

The following was taken from Wikipedia.

In standard Japanese (標準語 hyōjungo), pitch accent has the following effect on words spoken in isolation:
  1. If the accent is on the first mora, then the pitch starts high, drops suddenly on the second mora, then levels out. The pitch may fall across both moras, or mostly on one or the other (depending on the sequence of sounds)—that is, the first mora may end with a high falling pitch, or the second may begin with a (low) falling pitch, but a native speaker will hear the first mora as accented regardless.
  2. If the accent is on a mora other than the first or the last, then the pitch has an initial rise from a low starting point, reaches a near-maximum at the accented mora, then drops suddenly on the next.
  3. If the word doesn't have an accent, the pitch rises from a low starting point on the first mora or two, and then levels out in the middle of the speaker's range, without ever reaching the high tone of an accented mora. Japanese describe the sound as "flat" (平板 heiban) or "accentless".
Japanese accent is presented with a two-pitch-level model. In this representation, each mora (syllable) is either high (H) or low (L) in pitch, with the shift from high to low of an accented mora transcribed H*L.
  1. If the accent is on the first mora, then the first syllable is high-pitched and the others are low: H*L, H*L-L, H*L-L-L, H*L-L-L-L, etc.
  2. If the accent is on a mora other than the first, then the first mora is low, the following moras up to and including the accented one are high, and the rest are low: L-H, L-H*L, L-H-H*L, L-H-H-H*L, etc.
  3. If the word is heiban (doesn't have an accent), the first mora is low and the others are high: L-H, L-H-H, L-H-H-H, L-H-H-H-H, etc. This high pitch spreads to unaccented grammatical particles that attach to the end of the word, whereas these would have a low pitch when attached to an accented word. Although only the terms "high" and "low" are used, the high of an unaccented mora is not as high as an accented mora.
Format of Rikaisama's pitch accents:

<blank> - Example: 単眼鏡 たんがんきょう
No pitch accent information available for this word.

0 – Example: 洗う あらう 0
Zero means no accent. From Wikipedia: "Word doesn't have an accent, the pitch rises from a low starting point on the first mora or two, and then levels out in the middle of the speaker's range, without ever reaching the high tone of an accented mora. Japanese describe the sound as "flat" (平板 heiban) or "accentless". "

2 – Example: 願う ねがう 2
The "2" indicates that the accent is on the 2nd mora (the が).

32 – Example: 著作権 ちょさくけん 32
The "32" indicates that the accent can be on either the 3rd mora (く) or 2nd mora (さ). This is in frequency order, meaning that it is more common for the accent to be on the 3rd mora than the 2nd mora.

{11} – Example: 超越論的観念論 ちょうえつろんてきかんねんろん {11}
Curly braces are placed around pitch accents that are in the double digits. The "11" indicates that the accent is on the 11th mora.

21,0 – Example: 飛車 しゃ 21,0
For some words, the pitch accent dictionary contains multiple sub-definitions in an entry. Sometimes each sub-definition can have a different pitch. A comma separates the pitch accents for the multiple sub-definitions. The "21,0" means that in the 1st sub-definition of the word, the accent is on either the 2nd mora (しゃ) or 1st mora (ひ), and that in the 2nd sub-definition of the word, no accent is present.

1|Ø – Example: 朝日 あさひ 1|Ø
For some words, the pitch accent dictionary contains multiple entries that have identical expressions and readings. The "|" separates the pitch found in each entry. The "1" indicates that in the first entry, the pitch accent was on the first mora. The "Ø" symbol indicates that the other entry contained no pitch accent information.

1-2 – Example: 思案投げ首 しあんなげくび 1-2
I'm not sure what the "-" is supposed to represent. It is present in the pitch accent dictionary so I left it in.

3? – Example: 手投弾 てなげだん 3?
A trailing question mark is added to pitch accents that have a small chance of being inaccurate and have not yet been checked by a human.

(part-of-speech) – Example: 道道 みちみち (副)0,(名)2
Sometimes pitch accent changes depending on the word's part-of-speech. The part-of-speech is placed inside of parenthesis. The above example shows that the pitch accent is "0" when the word is used as an adverb and "2" when the word is used as a noun.

Valid part-of-speech options:



  • Use JNovel Formatter to convert .txt files to nicely formatted HTML files.
    Great for those who want to read Japanese novels with the help of Rikaisama. It supports Aozora formatting (eg. furigana, emphasis, gaiji, etc.), bookmark anchors, various style options, batch processing, etc. It is free and open source and does not require installation. Be sure to install the HTML Ruby add-on to show the furigana in Firefox.