The Indonesians have KBBI (Kamus Besar Bahasa Indonesia or Great Dictionary of the Indonesian Language of the Language Center) which is the official dictionary of Indonesian language. It contains the official definition of words in Indonesian. What is the equivalent for Japanese, if any?

1 Answer 1


There does not seem to be an 'official' dictionary. However, there are some dictionaries regarded as more comprehensive than others, and dictionary publishing in Japan remains, to this day, as a highly competitive business.

Unlike other languages, Japanese (and Chinese as well) has two main types of dictionaries:

  1. Language dictionaries
  2. Chinese character dictionaries

Among language dictionaries, the most comprehensive ones would probably be:

  • [日本国語大辞典]{にほんこくごだいじてん}, the most complete reference work;
  • [広辞苑]{こうじえん}, regarded as the most authoritative. This one probably has the highest number of citations.

Among character dictionaries, the most famous one would be [大漢和辞典]{だいかんわじてん}; it is so comprehensive that it can somewhat double as a Chinese-language (character) dictionary too.

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