Old Japanese Characters Kuzushiji

The following exercises provide an introduction into reading old Japanese cursive characters, called kuzushiji, used in manuscripts as well as different printed genres in Japan before 1900.

You may find a useful guide to further kuzushiji digital resources under the following Link: https://guides.library.upenn.edu/japanesedigitalresources/kuzushiji

If you have basic knowledge of Japanese, you may also want to visit the following kuzushiji platforms:

This online platform is a crowd sourcing project where you can try to decipher different kuzushiji materials. The texts which you transcribe are checked and managed by the community. So you can improve your kuzushiji knowledge with original materials. 

This is a kuzushiji recognition viewer. If you have an original image in IIIF standard, you can drag this image into this viewer. Then you should log in this viewer with an SNS or e-mail account, like Facebook or Gmail, in order to activate the ocr-function. After login you can choose a field in the image, which contains a kuzushiji text, and activate the ocr-function.The example to the upper left is the original image. The image to the lower right is the result.


The following exercises were planned and realized by Gonzalo San Emeterio.

Technical execution: Laura Bitterli, University of Zurich

With help by:
- Judith Vitale, University of Zurich
- Nobutake Kamiya, University of Zurich

Suggested citation

Gonzalo San Emeterio Cabañes, Ad fontes, Transcription Exercices in Japanese, URL: https://www.adfontes.uzh.ch/en/385000/training/japanische-transkriptionsuebungen/

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Introduction to Kuzushiji

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