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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Format: Cards|Change
Price:$39.75+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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on November 16, 2012
I have to say that these flash cards (white rabbit press) are playing a huge part in my kanji learning. They're amazing for repetitive drills until you get in touch with the ideogram. After that, the cards give you the ability to learn the stroke order, kun and on readings, and gives six kanji compounds on each card (with the meaning of these compounds and reading in hirgana on the back).

The major difference between this volume and the last, besides double the amount of cards, is that the hiragana and katakana card is now printed on the side of the box (see customer image). It's a great idea since with having 750+ cards to handle, you'll never lose that "cheat" card if you need it.

The instruction manual that comes with this volume includes both yomi and stroke indexes. This index includes both the first and second volume of this series but the kanji from each volume easily differentiated from each other too. The manual also includes a learning technique which may help some people.

Overall, after finishing the first volume, I'm very satisfied with this volume as well. It's giving me the resources I need to master the kanji.

And to those learning, don't stress if you're just starting off. It does get easier once you realize that there are patterns.
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on July 20, 2011
I just received this product today, and I have to say I'm impressed. The information on these flash cards is exactly what i needed to help me learn. I was a little disappointed to find one of the cards missing but I would still recommend this product to anyone that wants to learn Kanji. One thing that I do like about these cards is that the only letters on it are the English translations. I find it a lot easier to learn the pronunciation of a word if it is written in hiragana or katakana. These cards are a must have.
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on March 18, 2014
I ordered all three sets of the White Rabbit Series 2 Kanji cards together. I've been studying Japanese for quite some time and wanted them for handy review and resuscitation. I can safely say that they are by far the best flash cards I have ever owned. They are very solidly made, being plastic and exactly the size of poker playing cards. Having six usage examples for each kanji is very helpful, especially since most words and phrases are current and useful (unlike those given on my ancient Naganuma cards, some of which examples must date back to the Taisho and Meiji eras). All Japanese readings are given in kana, which, in my opinion, is the way it should be (as it avoids the idiosyncrasies of transliteration and, if users don't know kana well, what are they doing learning kanji?). Accompanying each set is an extensive index of all cards included in the current and previous sets.

I do have a few minor complaints, however, that have kept me from giving the cards five stars. (1) Only the most common "on" and "kun" readings for each character are given, omitting some that are not unusual and that, in some cases, appear in the examples given. No "nanori" readings are given. (The explanation given is that limited space restricts the number of readings that can be included when, in fact, there is plenty of space on the reverse side of the cards.) (2) In a few cases the editing is sloppy so that there are misspellings. Abbreviations are occasionally used whose meanings are not readily apparent. (3) While the sets, themselves, are arranged in learning or usage order (that is, Set 1 contains basic kanji, Set 2 intermediate, and Set 3 advanced), within each set the cards are grouped according to radical and number of strokes rather than frequency of use or order of learning. At least to some extent, this seems to defeat the purpose of the "basic-intermediate-advanced" organization of the sets. (4) This is not a substantive issue, but the new cards, when their boxes were opened, emitted a pungent, disagreeable chemical odor, so strong as to be mildly nauseating and headache inducing (this seems to be a common problem with plastic products from China, where the cards were printed). With airing, the odor seems to be abating (or I am getting used to it?).

An earlier reviewer commented that a set he had ordered had been missing cards, so, immediately upon receiving mine, I counted the cards in each box. Each set was complete (the manufacturer packaging is very solid).

As far as Amazon's delivery is concerned, with free shipping, the cards arrived a few days after the promised window. As is usually the case with Amazon orders, they were securely packaged.

The above "complaints" notwithstanding, I think that the cards are terrific; I'm only sorry that I waited so long to order them!
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on January 27, 2016
The cards have their pros and cons. They have a nice system within their format, but clearly it's not as effective as using a modern SRS system like Anki or Memrise. Truth is, there really is no need for paper flash cards anymore, and the flash card format was the main justification for the existence of this product. The digital systems are faster, cheaper, and just work better. You don't have to deal with creating review schedules or trying to keep track of your progress with each card, since all that is automated.

The cards include lots of great vocabulary. I like how they don't show the readings on the front. The main problem with the vocab is that they don't have a system for showing you how the vocab relates to the meanings. Often the meanings are numerous and varied, and you need a way to sort out what the kanji is doing in each word. They say "we believe that the essence of a kanji is best grasped by understanding the meanings it forms when combined with other characters", but there is no guidance about what that all adds up to, in terms of an "essence". They just give you a list of different meanings, without trying to work out an essence.

The fact that there are so many meanings listed also makes it sort of inadequate as a memorization tool. If you're going to study kanji by this rote method of trying to remember meanings from flash cards, then you need to have something concrete to hang onto. Trying to memorize all the meanings they give you would be impossible. The Heisig Remembering the Kanji system boils things down to one keyword per kanji, and you can study it on Anki, obviating physical flash cards.

The physical cards are well done, quality cards. On the other hand, this is a big, bulky product, especially if you go past the first set, and a very big investment compared to the alternatives.

I guess my biggest complaint, other than the outdated format, is the progression of the kanji. They organize them based on radicals and stroke numbers, instead of according to some logical system of learning. It's like studying physiology by studying all the body organs in order of mass, or studying geography by studying all the countries in order of population or area. The Heisig progression is more logical.

All in all there are just too many weaknesses, especially for this price.
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on August 8, 2014
SUPERB quality, incredible cardstock and coating. I've used to death the Volume 1, and the first 100 cards of Volume 2, but the cards are still in great shape. I RIGOROUSLY checked the numbers on all the cards in this set and not even one was missing or duplicated. So I have no idea what that one review was talking about that almost scared me away from buying these. It's nice to save 100 hours of time spent making my own cards of two thousand kanjis and all their possible meanings. Even making all your own e-cards in programs like Anki can take an eternity (though for more advanced students, there are a lot of great free electronic card sets for that program and similar ones).

Ohaiyo Goziamasu!
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on March 2, 2013
While studying Japanese at a quick paced language school in Japan, I found these to be of great value to help me keep up with my Chinese classmates, who already knew most of the kanji we learned. The design of the cards is well thought out, providing you information with stroke order, sample words (arguably the most valuable things to study!), similar looking kanji, readings, meaning, and the meanings of the components making up the kanji, making them easier to remember. Keep in mind, however, that only using these as learning material without practicing writing them yourself might leave you at a loss faced with the challenge of writing a simple sentence by hand. Using these to complement writing and reading practice will be of great use to anyone wanting to pass the JLPT or improve their Japanese skills!
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on May 24, 2015
These flashcards are a great resource for learning Kanji and their compounds. They are a convenient size and you can see the details in the strokes with both the large icon and in the stroke order diagrams. I especially like the lookalike Kanji boxes on each card, which helps teach you the subtle differences and how to identify them.

They only list the common kun yomi and on yomi on each card, but this is actually a good thing as you don't waste time memorizing irregularities out of context and all of the rare readings get demonstrated in the six compounds, though not always on a single card. There are no Romaji or furigana used, thankfully, as any serious student quickly learns those become more of a hindrance than a help eventually.

The biggest selling point of this flashcard set is the six examples for each Kanji, which are sufficiently detailed and defined to actually teach you vocabulary and morphemes while you study the Kanji and give you some context to memorize with. Each example with an asterisk is known to have been used on a JLPT test, which is nice to know. Occasionally, definitions are not as fully explained as I'd like. Todoufuken, for example, is defined as the 47 Prefectures of Japan and not technically correct. These are acceptable simplifications needed for space, in my opinion.

I do have two minor complaints about the examples, though. First, some cards use very similar readings, like samugaru (to be sensitive to cold) and it's accompanying noun form samugari (someone who is sensitive to cold). I presume this is done to avoid really rare words a student is unlikely to use, but it does mean that it's not really 4,500 different compounds.

Second, none of the definitions use grammatical terms to explain them, so if you don't pay attention you may not notice that tomaru (stop) is intransitive and tomeru (stop) is transitive. Personally, I've spent way too much of my life reading dictionaries and I can usually tell the difference, but if you're not used to it, you may have to read the definitions closely to pick up on the difference.

The only other problem with the set is they don't seem to be in any particular order, though sometimes Kanji seem to be grouped by radical.

Overall, these are an excellent study tool for anyone trying to not only master the Joyo Kanji, but also improve vocabularly by leaps and bounds. I keep learning words I think I'll hardly ever use, only to have them pop up in something I'm reading or listening to for practice. The complete set is quite spendy, but definitely worth it.
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on December 30, 2013
This set, as well as the other volumes, are exactly what they say they are, and are worth every dollar in my opinion. I'm currently studying Japanese and wanted an easy way to practice kanji throughout the day without carrying an entire textbook with me. These cards are perfect. I carry about 50 to 60 cards around in a case and practice memorizing them when I have down time.

The quality of the cards is superb, and the design is very smooth and intelligent. 5 stars no question.
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on December 27, 2010
These flashcards are super well thought out and helpful if you're interested in learning Kanji. They show stroke by stroke how to write each symbol, 2 symbols that look very similar (so you won't get confused and can see the small differences) and shows you 5 common ways the word is used. The only thing I don't like is that they don't show you, in English, how to say the word. It tells the definition in English, but the pronunciation in Katakana or Hiragana.
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on January 22, 2013
will help me to pass the JPLT exam and also it is very practical and organized
recomend it very much
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