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A Guide to Writing Japanese Kanji & Kana Book 1: A Self-Study Workbook for Learning Japanese Characters (Tuttle Language Library) 2nd Edition
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If you can speak basic Japanese and can read some characters -- but are coming to terms with the fact that you are going to have to learn the jyouyou sooner or later -- don't hesitate: by this series and get going. If you have zero experience with Japanese and are looking for survival skills in kanji and are living in Japan, I'd suggest using the Helsig approach, which has you learning basic kanji meanings before readings and written style. After all, what good does knowing the readings for "danger: slow down" characters on a sign if you don't know what they mean?
BTW, I often hear students asking why bother investing in learning how to write the characters by hand given that most writing is done on computers anyway. Don't fall into this trap: there is no better way to cement a characters morphology and meaning in your memory than learning to write. It has worked for students of the graphology for millenia -- it will work for you, too.
The book also has samples of words the kanji are used in, which also helped me. Since most Japanese words are hard to remember, knowing the kanji that make them up helps make me learn the words.
Some kanji books I've used tried to teach by relating the character to a picture. This might work for young children, but it doens't work for me. I learn by structured lessons.
The majority of the space on each page is made up of empty squares for you to practice writing. This is useful because you should be attempting to mimic the example character. With every square, you will write more like the example. This book will cause your kanji to be complimented by Japanese people because of how neat it is. Also, the more times you write a character, the more times it will be cemented into your head.
Using the index in the back of the book, you can find any character in the book. When I'm writing my homework assignment and I come across a kanji character I don't know (or don't know very well), I look it up in the index and practice writing it about 5 times. Then I move on with my assignment. Look up a character 3 or 4 times and it is yours to keep.
This book will not teach you Japanese. It is designed to accompany a text book, and it's best used side by side with your homework assignments. I recommend this for beginners, and also for those aspiring a 3 or 2 on the JLPT. Do not attempt to learn Japanese without this book. The price is justified.
Each kanji is shown with stroke order, examples, and readings. I am finding it quite helpful in my continued study of the language.
If I had gotten another book, though, I feel it would have been helpful to get one that explains the stories/reasons behind the shapes of the kanji, but this is definitely a good start and I recommend it to anyone trying to learn Japanese.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Requested by my 19 year old granddaughter for Christmas. She was thrilled.Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
Not much to look at by way of visual learning, but great for having a place and method for learning to write Kana by repetition.Published 10 months ago by Charles W Taylor IV
I was looking for a self-teaching guide to writing all the kanji in the Japanese language, and although this is just the first half, I am very, very pleased with it. Read morePublished on May 21, 2013 by Pleiades
I have attempted to master the kanji using so many methods and I have finally found the book that has given me the drive and inspiration to forge ahead. Read morePublished on February 15, 2013 by Jocelyne
If you are not familiar with the japanese writing system, I would suggest to buy this book. I really did not know anything except the hanzi which is the chinese form but this book... Read morePublished on December 15, 2012 by Kevin
I was using the box set of Kanji De Manga that I received as a gift to learn Kanji and honestly it wasn't helping me that much. Read morePublished on March 7, 2010 by A. Reed
This book gives easy to follow instructions for how to write kanji and gives good examples of words in which the kanji is used. Read morePublished on September 27, 2007 by Elda Armourdrien