- Paperback: 228 pages
- Publisher: Bonjinsha; 4th edition (1990)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 4893580914
- ISBN-13: 978-4893580917
- Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 7.2 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,347 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Basic Kanji Book, Vol. 1 4th Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
The first in a series, it takes you through 500 kanji giving you a solid basis in the written Japanese language. Instead of selecting the kanji based on Japanese school levels, or other arbitrary standards, they are selected by pure usefulness in written and spoken Japanese. The kanji are grouped by sections such as "kanji made from pictures" or "kanji for time," with 12 kanji in each grouping. Each section is laid out with writing practice, followed by review and reading comprehension practice.
There are no gimmicks or fancy short cuts in "Basic Kanji Book Vol. 1." Just straight-forward, old-fashioned learning by use. The constant reinforcement in each chapter is really the strong point, as each exercise compounds on previous chapters, allowing for true learning rather than just quick memorization.
Before you tackle this book, you need to have a good grasp of hiragana and some katakana. Like all good Japanese study texts, "Basic Kanji Book Vol. 1" makes no use of romaji so you learn the language directly from the language. It can be a bit hard at first, but if you persevere you will be well beyond the level of learners who stuck to their training wheels.
This book is also good for anybody who wants to learn independently. If you at least know how to read Hiragana and Katakana, you won't have any trouble at all learning the Kanji. Just be sure to pay special attention to the instructions on stroke technique in Lesson 1 if you want to REALLY learn the right way to write Kanji.
Additional tools in the book are:
* An insert listing of all the taught Kanji by lesson
* An index listing Vol. 1's Kanji by readings (Vol. 2's index includings readings from both books)
For each lesson, I usually spend about an hour practicing writing the Kanji and their examples, then it takes me a little over an hour to do the exercises. (Most students choose to photocopy the work pages or else just rip them out of the book and turn those in, but I write out the questions & answers--which I can fit on a single sheet of paper--because I like the extra practice.)
But since there’s no answer key, it’s not really appropriate for independent study.
The book makes a half-hearted attempt to systematize kanji study. While it's better than studying kanji at random, it is far from an adequate system. They picked out 500 kanji that fit certain objectives they had, which they describe on pages IX and X. But from a user perspective, you don't learn the kanji in a logical order. Of course you don't realize this until you've already gotten well into the book. I would say the book does not succeed at making an efficient way to study kanji. The book is good for an overview about kanji, but there are many resources for that, starting with Wikipedia.
Much of the book is blank squares for writing the kanji, like any cheap block pad you can get in a stationery store. I would prefer to have a smaller, cheaper book and then practice writing on cheap note paper that I can throw away. If they hadn’t used so much space for the blank squares, they could have included more kanji. As it is the book covers less than a quarter of the joyo kanji.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A good book as far as quality and ease of reading. However, the organization and order of the kanji is weird to me. I far prefer the Genki books.Published 4 months ago by Dee
It's a trace book. It does its purpose, and the kanji and the examples are good. However, you may want to ask if you want to purchase the book, or pay for the Skritter App.Published 11 months ago by John Buckner
It is a good deal that I purchase this book. It doesn't matter it is second hand, because I don't care about the pages they already write on the front few chapters. Read morePublished 24 months ago by Miyabi Chen
The book is very helpful in differentiating between the Japanese readings and the Chinese readings of the kanji. It gives clear examples and practice pages. Read morePublished on April 18, 2014 by X