- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Tuttle Publishing; Revised edition (September 1, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 4805309466
- ISBN-13: 978-4805309469
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.7 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 14 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,936,758 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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250 Essential Japanese Kanji Characters Volume 1 Revised Edition Paperback – September 1, 2008
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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.
Another minor annoyance is the use of elongated O instead OU to represent OU hiragana combo...basically I have to switch between looking at Hiragana and Romaji to puzzle out the actual sound/reading of a kanji.
However, I have to also say that this is a great book to help one get acclimated with Kanji in common use. I wish I came across it during my life in Tokyo - would've helped me in reading and writing Emails and less reliant on friends.
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.