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A Guide to Remembering Japanese Characters: All the Kanji Characters Needed to Learn Japanese and Ace the Japanese Language Proficiency Test

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This is a one-of-a-kind kanji study guide that introduces joyo kanji along with detailed, authentic notes about the historical development of each. As useful as it is fascinating, it's a book any new or aspiring Japanese language scholar will visit over and over. In clear, large-sized entries, A Guide to Remembering Japanese Characters details each of the General Use Chara This is a one-of-a-kind kanji study guide that introduces joyo kanji along with detailed, authentic notes about the historical development of each. As useful as it is fascinating, it's a book any new or aspiring Japanese language scholar will visit over and over. In clear, large-sized entries, A Guide to Remembering Japanese Characters details each of the General Use Characters In clear, large-sized entires, A Guide to Remembering Japanese Characters details each of the General Use Characters—the 1,945 characters prescribed by the Japanese Ministry of Education for everyday use. Both Japanese readings and English meanings are given, along with stroke-count and stroke-order, examples of usage, and suggestions for memorizing. The components of each character are detailed. The Japanese kanji are graded according to Ministry of Education guidelines, allowing the student to prioritize them and track progress. It will appeal to students seeking to learn kanji as well as Japanese language enthusiasts who want to know the history and etymology of Japanese kanji. This book includes: Origins and meanings of over 2,000 characters. Beautifly hand–drawn kanji. Additional compound characters for each featured character. valuable suggestions and mnemonic devices for memorizing characters. All the standard characters official designed for common use. Comprehensive and clear, A Guide to Remembering Japanese Characters makes Japanese writing accessible to everyone wishing to learn Japanese.


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This is a one-of-a-kind kanji study guide that introduces joyo kanji along with detailed, authentic notes about the historical development of each. As useful as it is fascinating, it's a book any new or aspiring Japanese language scholar will visit over and over. In clear, large-sized entries, A Guide to Remembering Japanese Characters details each of the General Use Chara This is a one-of-a-kind kanji study guide that introduces joyo kanji along with detailed, authentic notes about the historical development of each. As useful as it is fascinating, it's a book any new or aspiring Japanese language scholar will visit over and over. In clear, large-sized entries, A Guide to Remembering Japanese Characters details each of the General Use Characters In clear, large-sized entires, A Guide to Remembering Japanese Characters details each of the General Use Characters—the 1,945 characters prescribed by the Japanese Ministry of Education for everyday use. Both Japanese readings and English meanings are given, along with stroke-count and stroke-order, examples of usage, and suggestions for memorizing. The components of each character are detailed. The Japanese kanji are graded according to Ministry of Education guidelines, allowing the student to prioritize them and track progress. It will appeal to students seeking to learn kanji as well as Japanese language enthusiasts who want to know the history and etymology of Japanese kanji. This book includes: Origins and meanings of over 2,000 characters. Beautifly hand–drawn kanji. Additional compound characters for each featured character. valuable suggestions and mnemonic devices for memorizing characters. All the standard characters official designed for common use. Comprehensive and clear, A Guide to Remembering Japanese Characters makes Japanese writing accessible to everyone wishing to learn Japanese.

30 review for A Guide to Remembering Japanese Characters: All the Kanji Characters Needed to Learn Japanese and Ace the Japanese Language Proficiency Test

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nash

    I wonder if I would ever finish this book in this life time! heh-heh It is such a thick book that is packed with so many history behind each Kanji! And there are around 2,000 of them! Kudos to Professor Henshall for this splendid lifetime achievement. His work would always be cherished. His style of breaking down each compound and component of each Kanji to help you remember its meaning fits perfectly well with my own style of memorizing it! In fact, I've been doing the same thing even *before* I wonder if I would ever finish this book in this life time! heh-heh It is such a thick book that is packed with so many history behind each Kanji! And there are around 2,000 of them! Kudos to Professor Henshall for this splendid lifetime achievement. His work would always be cherished. His style of breaking down each compound and component of each Kanji to help you remember its meaning fits perfectly well with my own style of memorizing it! In fact, I've been doing the same thing even *before* I found his book! But his has real history and research behind his method. And that makes this book more special to me. It reads like a good history of culture book, too. And many history behind each characters even brought tears to my eyes. I was very moved. So you can say this is much more than just a language-teaching book. It reads like a best-seller. Thank you, Professor Henshall. I hope I will finish your book one day!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Anne Beardsley

    Mr. Henshall takes you through kanji on a brief history tour. For each character, he shows you what the original seal script looked like and what it meant. Then he shows how it developed into the modern kanji used today. He finishes with explaining the characters it might be confused with, and how you can tell them apart; and then gives a clever mnemonic to recognize it by. In other words, this book makes Japanese kanji memorable. It's organized by the year in which Japanese school kids learn the Mr. Henshall takes you through kanji on a brief history tour. For each character, he shows you what the original seal script looked like and what it meant. Then he shows how it developed into the modern kanji used today. He finishes with explaining the characters it might be confused with, and how you can tell them apart; and then gives a clever mnemonic to recognize it by. In other words, this book makes Japanese kanji memorable. It's organized by the year in which Japanese school kids learn them; from kindergarten through high school, with a good number of other 'general use' kanji included afterward. An interesting, practical, useful way to learn the Japanese kanji.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jacob van Berkel

    Does what it says on the tin. It tells you the original meanings of both the characters and the separate elements, which (besides being interesting in its own right) makes it easier to remember them. You can use Wiktionary.org for this as well, so you don't really need it, in the hunter-gatherer sense of the word. But I dare say that, of all the things you don't need for learning the kanji, you need this book the most. Very useful. Recommend. Does what it says on the tin. It tells you the original meanings of both the characters and the separate elements, which (besides being interesting in its own right) makes it easier to remember them. You can use Wiktionary.org for this as well, so you don't really need it, in the hunter-gatherer sense of the word. But I dare say that, of all the things you don't need for learning the kanji, you need this book the most. Very useful. Recommend.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    This is my favorite kanji book so far. All of the kanji are presented in an order that makes sense to me, there are plenty of details for each kanji, and easy to remember mnemonics for each.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Shawn

    Superior reference for origins of characters. Lots of history packed in the meanings. The mnemonics are useful & fun. I also had the original version before this one & it has about one hundred fewer characters. I decided, some two years ago, to go through 5-7 characters/study-day...I've just about gone through them all (2,136). For the E-book, I couldn't quickly flip back & forth as I would w/the the paperback. They should include hyperlinks in order to make it easier to 'see' some other charact Superior reference for origins of characters. Lots of history packed in the meanings. The mnemonics are useful & fun. I also had the original version before this one & it has about one hundred fewer characters. I decided, some two years ago, to go through 5-7 characters/study-day...I've just about gone through them all (2,136). For the E-book, I couldn't quickly flip back & forth as I would w/the the paperback. They should include hyperlinks in order to make it easier to 'see' some other character that is being referenced within a definition. I also got annoyed with the 'see Note' that was appended in every other definition. It seemed more logical to insert an asterisk, for brevity & space, or to just give the note right then & there, rather than at the end, a couple sentences later. It felt choppy. This version includes several alternative views & this can be useful for the real scholar. There were some primary dictionaries that came out of China. All in all, this is a powerhouse of a book for the in-depth study of kanji. It's not a dictionary. This book enables one to, say, see a (complex) kanji-character & break down its meaning into parts. You'll discern between the radicals and the ways they've evolved in script over time. This book's also rich fare for grammar enthusiasts & linguists.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    This book has been extremely helpful. I have never studied the kanji through by grade level, and I discovered that I was missing some that were not in my adult-learner texts. It helped me to learn some of the readings that I had not gotten before. I love reading about the background of characters and the mnemonics provided help me a lot! I want to note that I have only really used this intensively to around #900 (thought I'll return to it after I finish my current review), but I removed a star be This book has been extremely helpful. I have never studied the kanji through by grade level, and I discovered that I was missing some that were not in my adult-learner texts. It helped me to learn some of the readings that I had not gotten before. I love reading about the background of characters and the mnemonics provided help me a lot! I want to note that I have only really used this intensively to around #900 (thought I'll return to it after I finish my current review), but I removed a star because I find that some of the examples are not terribly useful. Other times I find that the one word definitions some compounds have are lacking and I have to write in a clearer definition myself out of my other dictionary. If I wouldn't have done this, I would have completely misunderstood what the word meant in some cases.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ollie

    Колись натрапила на цей дивовижний довідник на GoogleBooks, але там не вся книга була у вільному доступі. При першій же нагоді замовила цю книгу, щоб мені привезли з Японії. Мені більше сподобалася, ніж аналогічні видання із вивчення ієрогліфів, бо містить дуже цікаві викладення про походження знаків (і навіть про поширені омилкові етимологічні судження!), а також мнемоничні підказки для запам'ятовування ключів, що становлять конкретний канджі, у прив'язці до одного (чи кількох) його значень. Вч Колись натрапила на цей дивовижний довідник на GoogleBooks, але там не вся книга була у вільному доступі. При першій же нагоді замовила цю книгу, щоб мені привезли з Японії. Мені більше сподобалася, ніж аналогічні видання із вивчення ієрогліфів, бо містить дуже цікаві викладення про походження знаків (і навіть про поширені омилкові етимологічні судження!), а також мнемоничні підказки для запам'ятовування ключів, що становлять конкретний канджі, у прив'язці до одного (чи кількох) його значень. Вчитувалася навіть у ті статті, де йшлося про добре вивчені простенькі канджі. Читати на ніч, класти під подушку, листати у метро і в парках!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kylie Sparks

    This is a reference book, so I have not read it cover to cover, but I use it every single day, and have done for almost a year now. It is the most brilliant reference book ever for learning kanji. I use this in conjunction with a phone app for Android, Obenkyo. I use the app to learn how to write each kanji, and to study them. I consult this book daily to learn the Why of each kanji, and to figure out how to remember them. There is a story to each kanji--and when you know the story it is much ea This is a reference book, so I have not read it cover to cover, but I use it every single day, and have done for almost a year now. It is the most brilliant reference book ever for learning kanji. I use this in conjunction with a phone app for Android, Obenkyo. I use the app to learn how to write each kanji, and to study them. I consult this book daily to learn the Why of each kanji, and to figure out how to remember them. There is a story to each kanji--and when you know the story it is much easier to remember each kanji. To find a kanji, you look it up by the readings in the back. If you get one book to learn kanji, this is the one you should get.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Chase

    this has all of the 1945 joyo kanji. I love how it's organized-kanji at the grade level it is taught in Japan. Also, each kanji has a little paragraph about the kanji's entymology that is helpful in seeing where the modern characters have come from. At the end of the paragraph there is a little neumonic device to help you remember the kanji, I find it harder to remember the device than to just remember the kanji, but they help some people I guess. this has all of the 1945 joyo kanji. I love how it's organized-kanji at the grade level it is taught in Japan. Also, each kanji has a little paragraph about the kanji's entymology that is helpful in seeing where the modern characters have come from. At the end of the paragraph there is a little neumonic device to help you remember the kanji, I find it harder to remember the device than to just remember the kanji, but they help some people I guess.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Karl

    Through my career of researching and teaching Japanese, this is the best all round Kanji book I have seen so far. It is perfectly balanced and allows the user to search for characters via the "sound readings" or via the stroke count index. Containing "shodo" (Brush stroke style), the examples are written superbly with very good mnemonics based on the radicals. This book is very valuable indeed. Through my career of researching and teaching Japanese, this is the best all round Kanji book I have seen so far. It is perfectly balanced and allows the user to search for characters via the "sound readings" or via the stroke count index. Containing "shodo" (Brush stroke style), the examples are written superbly with very good mnemonics based on the radicals. This book is very valuable indeed.

  11. 4 out of 5

    ♦ SquallAdv ♦

    Professor Henshall, you are my hero. This is the kanji reference book par excellence, much more than just a language-teaching book. The perfect method to study kanji without hating them, so much history, culture, and above all creating some kind of relationship between the kanji and the person behind the book, introducing stories and mnemonic phrases to help you remember kanjis... It's just awesome, you will love it! Professor Henshall, you are my hero. This is the kanji reference book par excellence, much more than just a language-teaching book. The perfect method to study kanji without hating them, so much history, culture, and above all creating some kind of relationship between the kanji and the person behind the book, introducing stories and mnemonic phrases to help you remember kanjis... It's just awesome, you will love it!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    This is the most amazing kanji book I have found so far. Not only is it useful practically containing ON and KUN readings, stroke order, mnemonics, example kanji compounds, and etc., but it also is just fun and interesting. I could get lost for hours reading the history behind each character. This is truly a fantastic reference book.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    Absolutely fantastic reference material for the individual who needs context for their Kanji study. Don't expect to be able to use this as a dictionary-style reference though. This is primarily about the development, underlying meaning, and construction of each and every Joyou kanji. The version I have of this book was pre-reform, and so is missing the 100 or so kanji added in 2010. Absolutely fantastic reference material for the individual who needs context for their Kanji study. Don't expect to be able to use this as a dictionary-style reference though. This is primarily about the development, underlying meaning, and construction of each and every Joyou kanji. The version I have of this book was pre-reform, and so is missing the 100 or so kanji added in 2010.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Michael Rowley

    Thorough and informative. A great book for the serious student of kanji or any curious person.

  15. 5 out of 5

    kimberly

    Is it reasonable to love a reference text like I love Henshall?

  16. 4 out of 5

    Winda Priliadewi

    good book

  17. 5 out of 5

    Erin Larson

  18. 4 out of 5

    Edwin C

  19. 4 out of 5

    Isha

  20. 4 out of 5

    Laurence Green

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kendra Lawrence

  22. 5 out of 5

    Doran

  23. 5 out of 5

    Arif Sugiyanto

  24. 5 out of 5

    Potato

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sherlley Loo

  26. 4 out of 5

    Carrie

  27. 5 out of 5

    Don Frost

  28. 4 out of 5

    Nisarg

  29. 4 out of 5

    T B

  30. 5 out of 5

    Christie

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