There are a number of online materials that have gathered information about what resources are available to start working on early modern Japanese materials written in cursive.
Digital Resources for Japanese Palaeography – The Digital Orientalist (Dr James Morris)
CJR-Kuzushiji-resources.pdf (ubc.ca) (Bianca Chui)
Kuzushiji – Japanese Digital Resources – Guides at Penn Libraries (upenn.edu) (University of Pennsylvania)
Home – Japanese Kuzushiji & Hentaigana Resources – Research Guides at University of British Columbia (ubc.ca) (University of British Columbia).
Recommended reference materials for kana
Recommended reference materials for kanji
- Kodama Kōta 児玉幸多(ed.), Kuzushiji yōrei jiten くずし字用例辞典 (Tōkyōdō shuppan, 2002) > This dictionary allows you to search characters through their radical, the total number of strokes, their on yomi or kunyomi. (There is a CDRom version which runs on Japanese OS)
- Kodama Kōta 児玉幸多(ed.), Kuzushiji kaidoku jiten くずし字解読辞典 (Tōkyōdō shuppan, 1993) > This dictionary allows you to search characters on the basis of the order used to write the calligraphic version.
- Tōkyō tegami no kai (ed.), Kuzushiji jiten くずし字辞典 (Shibunkaku shuppan, 2000)> This dictionary is extremely helpful for handwritten letters and for nyohitsu 女筆.
- 五体字類: digitized HERE.
If you are struggling you can try and use digital materials.
If you want to try and scribble the sign you are trying to decode, use: AI Tegaki kuzushiji kensaku 手書きくずし字検索
Basic rules for honkoku 翻刻 (diplomatic transcription)
Please read the rules carefully.