Customer Reviews: Japanese Kanji Cards Kit Volume 1 (Tuttle Flash Cards)
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on December 26, 2005
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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on July 19, 2004
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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on March 6, 2005
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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on January 13, 2014
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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on August 23, 2010
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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on March 22, 2006
I was a bit hesitant to buy these after reading a lot of negative reviews about this product, but after recieving them found that the cards are great! These are very useful and well set out. They include Radicals, Stroke Order, Kanji useage, Grade Level, and On/Kun readings. These are a MUST for anyone learning Japanese! Thankyou Tuttle Cards!!!
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on February 12, 2013
I found these cards very helpful. I like how they show the derivations of the characters, as well as the chinese and japanese meanings. Although these cards only write out the characters in romanji (which I find unhelpful), the cards show the kanji as it is commonly found in various words. THIS i have found to be a great help. As for the annoying romanji, I'll just write the hiragana in the blank areas as I see fit. The stroke order looks like it was hand written by someone. As useful as I find stroke order to be, some of the handwritten depictions on the cards appear sloppily written.

However, I find that the strengths of these cards outweigh their shortcomings, and I would definitely recommend them to visual learners: The way I've been learning is I've studied them to the point where I can recognize a kanji's meaning (though I won't always remember the pronunciation), and then I read japanese comic books, which usually have hiragana written next to the kanji, so that as I recognize the kanji and understand the meaning, I'm able to read the hiragana next to it and learn the correct pronunciation. It makes it fun AND educational, and allows me to enjoy by favorite manga series without feeling like I'm wasting my time! (:
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on January 30, 2005
I'm using these along with 'Japanese for Everyone' and 'A Guide to Writing Kanji and Kana.' I got a little confused until I rearranged the cards to follow the order in 'Kanji and Kana.' =) Now I use 'Kanji and Kana' to actually learn the kanji, then stick a handful of cards in my purse so I can pull them out and review the ones I've learned during slow times at work, while I'm waiting for seating at a restaurant, etc.

All that to say this: I wouldn't recommend them as your primary way of learning the kanji, but they're a good review tool and easy to carry around with you. Recommended, although my extremely nearsighted eyes wish the compounds were printed a little bit larger. =)
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on May 19, 2014
Very easy to use and packed with information. The typeface for the kanji resembles brushstrokes, and is extremely beautiful and exciting to use.
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on September 29, 2015
I am learning Japanese on my own. These cards from Tuttle will make the task of learning Kanji a pleasure.
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