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Essential Japanese Kanji Volume 1: (JLPT Level N5) Learn the Essential Kanji Characters Needed for Everyday Interactions in Japan Paperback – February 10, 2015
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About the Author
The Kanji Text Research Group at Tokyo University is made up of teachers whose focus is teaching the Japanese language to international students. They have spent more than two decades developing the most effective methods to help beginning learners of Japanese grasp the kanji. This group is part of Tokyo University's prestigious Graduate School of Engineering, which accepts and trains a sizable number of foreign post-graduate students each year from around the world.
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Essential Japanese Kanji Vol 1 is complete in the sense that it doesn't require the use or purchase of other books. It provides tables of relevant information. The quizzes have the answers in the back. It even talks about the kanji radicals.
If you are an Anki user, there is plenty of information for you to populate a thorough deck for yourself from the contents.
I do think this is in fact a very good book to have, but as a second book to use along with a more traditional introduction to kanji. It's emphasis on real-world kanji you will see every day in Japan is a nice supplement to the more standard texts.
There's a dilemma you face in learning kanji. If you stick with extensions of the radicals you already now, you'll learn new kanji quickly, but you'll forget it just as quickly, because you'll never use it. On the other hand if you learn kanji based on frequency of use you'll be all over the map in terms of sub-characters and radicals. It will take longer to learn it this way, but you'll remember it more.
That's not such a a dilemma really, since there is little value in learning something only to forget it right away. That's why books like this exist. It's harder to learn the language this way, but you actually learn it in a way that you can use it.
I'd suggest mixing this in as an alternate text with another more academically oriented kanji text. Though for a motivated learner with a decent introduction to spoken Japanese it would probably work.
I think this book is for someone who has some grounds on using or seeing a few Kanjis before because the chapters are not arranged in order of difficulty as you'll see them in many other 'learning Kanji' books.
This book helps me reorganize those Kanjis I've probably learned or seen them somewhere before but somehow found it difficult to find an occasion to use each of them in real life. So buy this book if you're having the same problem like I was.
Looking forward to the revised edition of Vol.2
PS : I ordered the book from overseas and it arrived in great condition. Thanks !!