Sunsetting the Yomichan Project

jmdict yomichan yomichan-import zero-epwing

Update: Yomitan, a community fork of Yomichan, has reached a stable release; see the related post for details.

Fellow Japanese learning friends, after careful consideration, I’ve made the decision to cease development of Yomichan and related tools: Yomichan Import, Zero-EPWING, and JMDict. The Anki-Connect project will continue to be supported for the foreseeable future.

The original Yomichan for Anki project had its beginnings back in 2011, over a decade ago. I began the project shortly after embarking on my AJATT Japanese language journey. It proved to be an invaluable tool for mining vocabulary from books I was struggling to read at the time. Over the years, and with feedback from the folks at the (now defunct) Kanji Koohii Forums, it evolved into the browser extension for Chrome and Firefox that you know today. I like to think that Yomichan accepted the torch passed down to it by Rikaisama, another popular extension for power users learning Japanese during this period.

I have since then attained the N1 JLPT certification (still one of my proudest achievements), lived in Japan, and graduated with a Master’s Degree from Keio University. I speak, read and write Japanese every day. It has been years since I’ve stopped doing flash cards in Anki. I now prefer to learn the language in a more organic, contextual way. I can’t remember when the last time I used Yomichan in my browser other than to test code changes.

I know that I do my best work on open source projects that answer my immediate needs. If I don’t make this distinction then they just become a second (or third, or fourth…) job. Yomichan no longer meets this criteria for me, and thus it is time to let go.

Dear Yomichan Users

Thank you for your support and feedback over all of these years. Yomichan will remain available in the browser extension stores indefinitely. You are free to continue using it as long as you find it useful or until you find something better. It will never be sold off to run ads and steal your data. Web technology moves quickly, and I suppose that at some point Yomichan will probably stop functioning. Please enjoy the extension and related tooling until then!

Dear Yomichan Developers

Deepest thanks to toasted-nutbread, siikamiika, and all of the other talented developers who have contributed countless hours to improving the Yomichan ecosystem. You are absolute legends, and these projects could not have been the same without you. If there is interest in continuing development, please fork the project and shape it to your needs. I will happily link to your work to help get the word out. I have just two requests:

I’m looking forward to seeing what will come next!