Skip to main content

A command line program that helps looking up kanji in James Heisig's book

Project description

Lookup Kanji by Heisig Keyword or frame number

Short Description

For people who learn kanji with the book by James Heisig (remembering the kanji).

A little command line interface that allows to look up multiple kanji with

  • The keyword (or parts of it)
  • Parts of the mneomic/story
  • The frame number



Installation with python package manager:

pip3 install --user --upgrade rtk-lookup

The command line interface can then be started with


If this doesn't work, you can use

python3 -m rtklookup 

or add ~/.local/bin/ to your $PATH variable.

Installing latest development version:

git clone
cd rtk-lookup
pip3 install --editable --user .

To search through your own stories/menmonic, you need to supply them via a text file (e.g. download them from kanji.koohii).

Basic searching

(default) large resist
(default) 107 1832
(default) large 1832

If words are not found, they are converted to hiragana if the romkan module is installed (optional). This romkan module which can be downloaded here.


(default) large てい
(default) large 抵
(default) large tei

You can also lookup english keyword with kanji too

(default) 譲
    譲: defer
(default) 図書館
    図: map
    書: write
    館: bldg.

To quit, type .q.


There are four modes (in parenthesis: command to activate mode)

  • default (.d): Do nothing.
  • copy (.c): Copy result to clipboard.
  • lookup (.w): Lookup expression (default: with firefox)
  • conditional: Lookup expression if the search gave a unique result
  • primitive (.p): Try to find kanji by specifying primitives (this requires an additional file that contains all the kanji stories of the user)

The current mode is displayed by the prompt.

If the input matches more than one result, no action will be performed, regardless of the current mode.

More on searching

If a keyword contains a space, substitute _:

(default) sign_of_the_hog

word+ will look for all keywords of the form "word1 word2 word3" where word matches (exactly) one of the words.

(default) fish+
    乙: fish guts
    魚: fish
    鰭: fish fin

(default) fin+

(default) fish+ thunder
    乙: fish guts
    魚: fish
    鰭: fish fin

word? will look for all keywords that contain "word":

(default) fish?
    貝: shellfish
    乙: fish guts
    魚: fish
    漁: fishing
    恣: selfish
    鰭: fish fin

(default) fin?
    指: finger
    棺: coffin
    緻: fine
    縁: affinity
    精: refined
    済: finish
    婉: well finished
    鰭: fish fin

(default) fish? thunder
    貝: shellfish
    乙: fish guts
    魚: fish
    漁: fishing
    恣: selfish
    鰭: fish fin

You can mix multiple search options:

Issues, Suggestions, Feature Requests etc.

Open a ticket at this addon's gitbucket issue page. Suggestions and feature requests are welcome as well!



GNU AGPL, version 3 or later. The list of all kanji by heisig number RTK.tsv was included in an Anki plugin with copyright Ian Worthington, GNU GPL, version 3 or later.


  • 23 Oct 2017: Moved repository to github.
  • 05 Aug 2015: Series of bigger changes.
  • 31 Mai 2015: First version released.

Project details

Download files

Download the file for your platform. If you're not sure which to choose, learn more about installing packages.

Source Distribution

rtk-lookup-1.0.0.tar.gz (52.9 kB view hashes)

Uploaded Source

Built Distribution

rtk_lookup-1.0.0-py3-none-any.whl (53.2 kB view hashes)

Uploaded Python 3

Supported by

AWS AWS Cloud computing and Security Sponsor Datadog Datadog Monitoring Fastly Fastly CDN Google Google Download Analytics Microsoft Microsoft PSF Sponsor Pingdom Pingdom Monitoring Sentry Sentry Error logging StatusPage StatusPage Status page