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Japanese Kanji Cards Kit Volume 1 (Tuttle Flash Cards)

3.8 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0804833974
ISBN-10: 0804833974
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Translator and freelance writer Alexander Kask lives in Tokyo, Japan.
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Product Details

  • Series: Tuttle Flash Cards (Book 1)
  • Cards: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Tuttle Publishing (September 15, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804833974
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804833974
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #215,517 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Cards
I had already purchased the 1,000+ Tuttle (aka Alexander Kask) cards, but I was convinced to try the first set of the White Rabbit cards. I think the White Rabbit cards are far superior:

*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.
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By A Customer on July 19, 2004
Format: Cards
These cards are cheap. At $13.97 they are about $.03 per card, but you get what you pay for: poorly design cards printed on small, thin squares of paper; stroke order characters scrawled by hand; and the use of romanji despite strong sentiment among educators that it should be abandoned as it interferes with mastering basic kana skills. I give this product only 1 star because even though it is very cheap, I still felt a little ripped off because the quality is so poor.
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!
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Format: Cards
The pronunciation of kanji in romaji killed the functionality of these cards for me. Why would anyone learning to read Japanese, want to read the pronunciations in anything but hiragana? I also found a number of mistakes with the cards. I've returned the cards and ordered the White Rabbit Press kanji flash cards.
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Format: Cards Verified Purchase
If you are like me…a lazy student who doesn't want to write 400+ kanji flash cards….this is the product for you.I have been studying japanese for about 6 semesters, so I am starting to forget my kanji. If you are just starting to learn kanji I would recommend this to use for preparation for a test but not to actually learn them. Stick with a text book for learning kanji.
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Format: Cards
These cards will do the job of teaching you kanji. This is the first volume of four and together they will set you back around USD 80 when I write this review.

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.
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