Links between Headwords
In cases where entry headings are given, but the user is referred to other headings for their descriptions, the cross-reference to the other headwords is given either by an arrow or by the note “
ni onaji” (「に同じ」; the same as
- When the cross-reference is made to other main headwords:
- When the cross-reference is made to subsidiary headwords:
 Sino-Japanese Phonetic Element Entries (Jiongoso)
For groups of kanji sharing a constituent element that indicates a given Sino-Japanese reading, brief definitions for each kanji and lists of compounds in which it is a constituent element are given.
Listings are generally limited to characters that have been used in Japanese texts, but examples of compound words may also be taken from Chinese texts.
Characters sharing the same Sino-Japanese reading are listed together under a single main entry, and then each character is placed in brackets 【 】 and treated as a subsidiary headword.
In the Sino-Japanese phonetic element entry 〔字音語素;jiongoso〕 sub-section under each main headword, a list of the homophonous kanji collected is given.
Homophonous characters in these lists are classified according to similarities of form in their phonetic elements. Characters sharing a common phonetic element are grouped together, with different groups arranged according to the stroke-count number of their shared element; those characters not classified into any such group are given last.
Characters sharing a common phonetic element are listed in stroke-count order.
Those characters not sharing common phonetic elements are listed together in total stroke-count order.
Compounds are listed in the sub-entries for each character following the identification of the character’s principal meanings. Slashes separate sets of compounds following each definition according to compound type (nominal combinations, synonym and antonym combinations, prefix and suffix usages, etc.).
In the Kanji Orthography Section, those kanji listed on the jōyōkanjihyō (the list of kanji for common use) are given in their modern forms, with the traditional forms indicated following the symbol “＝.”
Immediately after the symbol for the Kanji Orthography Section, the reading of the character given in the heading is identified as Wu, Han, Tang, and Customary (Idiomatic) by the symbols 呉音, 漢音, 唐音, and 慣用音 respectively. However, this notation is omitted in cases where the Wu and Han readings are identical.
Historical kana orthography is also given immediately below the Kanji Orthography Section.
When the phonetic element of a character possesses more than one reading, cross-references to the alternate readings are provided in the manner of 〔→〕. When a character in a phonetic element entry also appears independently as a noun or other headword with the same Sino-Japanese reading, a cross-reference to the headword is provided at the end of the phonetic element entry with an arrow .
 Kana Form Charts
- At the beginning of each syllabic section of the dictionary there are charts of hiragana and katakana forms for the given kana character.
For each kana letter, the process by which its original form changed into its present form is presented in a readily comprehensible way, by first giving the original source Chinese character in printed style, then by tracing step-by-step how its form was simplified.
Archaic, variant and/or anomalous hiragana forms, chosen from important manuscript versions of pre-modern texts, are also given with their sources identified.
For each kana character, a list of principal man’yōgana forms from the Kojiki, Nihon-shoki, and Man’yōshū is included in its kana chart.
(Note: Prof. Nakada Norio provided guidance for the compilation of these lists in the first edition.)
Illustrations of items pertaining to social customs, clothing, ancient practices, utensils and furnishings, religious icons, Buddhist implements, etc. reproduced from picture scrolls, zushi (books of drawings and illustrations), and other texts are provided with their sources identified.
Illustrations are also given for animals, plants, pattern designs, family crests, structures, and other items for which purely verbal descriptions might be difficult to comprehend.