Book indexes in Chinese and other non-alphabetical languages

There is a paperback polygot dictionary, titled The Concise Dictionary of 26 Languages, which includes Japanese. The main part of the book lists 1000 words in English in aphabetical order, and translates the words into most of the languages of Europe as well as Esperanto, Arabic, Hebrew, Yiddish, Japanese, and Swahili. The languages that do not use Roman alphabets are indexed in their own script; this includes Japanese. In order to ascertain the pattern of indexing in Japanese, I went back and forth, one word at a time, between the main body, which spells the Japanese words in Roman lettering, and the Japanese index, which arranges the words according to sounds–an alphabetical index, after a fashion, according to the pattern of Roman-alphabet spellings I copied next to the Japanese characters.
But what about Chinese? What kind of pattern do indexes in Chinese books use? And other languages using ideographic script?

In Mainland China, dictionaries are organized according to the pin yin romanizatin system. In other words, if a chinese character is pronounced “bei” then it’s listed dictionary style in the b’s.

I have a Chinese-English organized by by hanyu pinyin but I think this is the exception and definitely not the traditional or most common way. It is just the way foreigners find easiest.

The traditional way is by radical and by number of strokes and, in fact, my dictionary has a supplement in the beginning organised like this because native Chinese would find this much more familiar and easier.

sailor, you are correct, that is the traditional approach.

Maybe I wasn’t clear. These days in Mainland China it appears to me to be the rule and not the exception that dictionaries are organized along pinyin romanization lines.

I just whipped open my copy of Shanghai Yellow Pages. Organized by industry, and then within the industry it is by the character for the first name of the business based on the number of key strokes. For example, “One rubber band maker, Inc.” will be the first company listed.