J-Ben: Main Page | J-Ben 2 | J-Ben 1
J-Ben 1: Home | Download | Documentation | Git Tracker | Screenshots | Illustrated Guide

Download J-Ben


The J-Ben software itself is distributed under the GNU General Public License version 2, which allows free use of the program and allows modifications to the program with some restrictions. Read the license for full information. However, various files used by J-Ben are under separate licenses:

The dictionary files are property of Monash University. Their license is here.

Use of J-Ben implies agreement to the above licenses. If you do not agree to the above, do not use the software.

In addition, if you wish to use the kanji stroke order diagrams, then the following also applies:

The kanji stroke order diagrams (optional component) are distributed under the SODER project's license. They cannot be reused without permission from the copyright holder.

Finally: J-Ben is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

Back to top

How to install

Windows Users:

Linux Users: Download the latest source tarball below and decompress it somewhere on your computer. Then, in the source directory, type "make", followed by "make download" (to grab needed dictionary or stroke order diagram packages), and then as root, "make install". The makefile supports custom installation prefixes, so you can do "make prefix=/usr" and "make prefix=/usr install" to install files based on /usr instead of the default /usr/local. J-Ben depends on GTK+ 2/GTKmm and a recent copy of the Boost C++ libraries, so make sure you have the appropriate development packages for these set up before trying to build the program from source.

Back to top

Get J-Ben!

Current Version: 1.2.3

Dedication: This version of J-Ben is dedicated to Mr. Toshiki Kumakura, my former Japanese instructor, and to the students of Aviation High School where he currently teaches. I hope this tool may be useful to them.

For Windows Users

UPDATE: 1.2.3 is missing iconv.dll. I no longer readily have my Windows development environment available and so do not plan to offer a fixed bundle in the near future. However, it should not be hard to find a copy of this DLL on the Internet. Just put it directly in C:\Program Files\J-Ben\bin and (I think) it'll work. (No guarantees though...)

Download FIXED Windows version of 1.2.3: Binary Archive (.zip)

(For the older installers for 1.2.3, please browse the files directory. I no longer recommend them due to the missing DLL.)

For Linux Users

J-Ben Source Code for 20110208 git snapshot (1.2.3 plus some fixes)
(Dictionary files are not included, but the Linux makefile will download them for you via "make download".)

Optional additional files

Dictionary Files (Don't unzip; just place in your dicts folder)
Up to date versions are always available from Jim Breen's homepage at Monash University. EDICT2 and KANJIDIC are already included in the Windows .zip and .7z versions.

Jim Rose's Kanji Stroke Order Diagrams (from KanjiCafe.com)
Third Public Release (1513 kanji included)

Browse all files related to J-Ben

Back to top

Known issues with the current version

Linux specific: On some systems, after loading a kanji list file, a message box is popping up behind the file open dialog. I will release a fix when time allows.

About animated GIFs: I've found out, after the GTKmm port, that GtkTextView does not support display of animated GIFs: it only shows the first frame. So, the kanji dictionary will now only try to display the standard stroke order diagrams. However, animated graphics do work in the kanji writing test mode when you click the "show answer" button.

Back to top


A basic instruction manual is now available for J-Ben. It goes into a little more detail than the rest of the web site about how to set up and use the program. J-Ben is fairly easy to use, but if you want to get the most out of the program, you may want to grab a copy or read it online.

Latest documentation version: 1.2.2

Browse all J-Ben documentation

Back to top

Changes in the latest version

The latest changes can be found in the CHANGELOG for version 1.2.3.

Back to top