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Japanese Kanji Cards Kit Volume 1 (Tuttle Flash Cards)
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Top Customer Reviews
*I know romaji is in frequent use. However, think about a Japanese person using katakana to learn English long after the novice level. Ridiculous, right? Very.
*The layout makes a lot more sense on the White Rabbit cards. The layout on the Tuttle cards is poorly thought through, the kanji stroke orders are on the back, and the radical meanings are on the front, which means that I need to cover parts up if I want to use them as flash cards. The White Rabbit cards have a much more useful layout, making them better as flashcards.
*The examples are way more relevant on the White Rabbit cards. The Tuttle examples are often so obscure I don't see any reason to learn them. But the examples on the White Rabbit cards are words are phrases I can actually see myself using.
*Also, the White Rabbit cards are ordered to fit the JLPT, while the Tuttle cards fit the grade school levels. There are so many different kanji to learn that it's worth giving thought to which ones are important to learn first. For an adult learner, the JLPT ordering will give you more useful kanji first.
*Not that this is the most important thing, but the White Rabbit cards are also made out of a sturdier material, so they will last much longer.
I recommend 'Japanese Kanji Flashcards 1' published by White Rabbit Press, ISBN 0974869406. True they cost a few cents more per cards, but they are well worth it. I bought mine through the "New and Used" link so I paid about six-and-a-half cents per card, but the features are well worth it for me: the design and printing is excellent, you get more vocab, better definitions, images of kanji which look similar so you don't get confused them, stroke order diagrams in typeset fonts (not handwritten); and, of course, readings in kana scripts (no romanji). Also, they are the same size and shape as regular playing cards, a little large for some people's hands, but I've gotten use to them.
Learning kanji is a lot of hard work. If you are a student on a very limited budget, then the Tuttles cards do have the basic kanji information in a flashcard format, but if you can afford a few pennies more per card I recommend investing in the "Japanese Kanji Flashcards 1" product--you get a lot more for the money. It's worth is just for the extra example words (six per card).
The biggest problem with the White Rabbit Press cards is that there aren't enough of them. I have written the publisher about this, and they said we can expect Set 2 with 700+ cards sometime later this year, so hopefully they will be out by the time I'm finished with Set 1. Nihongo Ganbatte!
So why do I only give them three stars? Three reasons: (1) Everyone recommends using kana instead of romanji when learning the kanji. These cards use romanji. (2) Many signs are drawn in a slightly wrong way. When a line becomes a dot, it might be an allowed variation, but there is no way for the learner to know to know. This happens on maybe 50-60 cards out of 500. This is so irritating and sloppy from the publisher beyond belief. (3) On some card we get all possible English translation. This is really annoying. Kanji are not vocabulary and learning is not helped by provided all esoteric translations. Much better to focus on the important ones.
The White Rabbit Press also has flashcard and it seems that their users are more satisfied than the users of the current product. The White Rabbit cards use kana instead of romanji. Those card are however around USD 200 for all cards.
Personally, I have no trouble with the paper, which the cards are written on. I don't think it will wear out.
I got started with the current cards by Tuttle Publishing and as I said they will do the job. However, if I could choose today I would investigate the White Rabbit Press cards instead. I'm using the cards together with A Guide to Remembering Japanese Characters (Tuttle language library) and The Kodansha Kanji Learner's Dictionary, which are great books. So that is why I can spot all the mistakes. So don't even think about using these cards unless you have another source to look at when you learn.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am learning Japanese on my own. These cards from Tuttle will make the task of learning Kanji a pleasure.Published 10 months ago by James P. Mylott
Very easy to use and packed with information. The typeface for the kanji resembles brushstrokes, and is extremely beautiful and exciting to use.Published on May 19, 2014 by Matthew Greenbaum
This product has been what I expected it to be and and it has been very useful for its purposePublished on March 19, 2013 by Travis J Whalen
I found these cards very helpful. I like how they show the derivations of the characters, as well as the chinese and japanese meanings. Read morePublished on February 12, 2013 by Mahutie