- Series: Kanji Flashcards
- Cards: 750 pages
- Publisher: White Rabbit Press; Series 2 edition (May 24, 2010)
- Language: Japanese
- ISBN-10: 0984334912
- ISBN-13: 978-0984334919
- Product Dimensions: 2.8 x 6.2 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 25 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #887,731 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Japanese Kanji Flashcards, Series 2 Volume 2 (Japanese Edition) (Japanese) Series 2 Edition
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"White Rabbit Press's kanji flashcards are a step ahead. Above and beyond the standard content, you get six example words rather then the usual four, full definitions, and a look-alike box that alerts you to similar characters all too likely to show up in trick questions in exams. As with all the best educational materials, it's clear here that an enormous amount of work has gone into making the learning process as easy and convenient as possible for the student." --Giles Murray, author of Exploring Japanese Literature
About the Author
Max Hodges lives in Tokyo, Japan where he operates White Rabbit Press, a small publishing company; and, White Rabbit Express, a special order service for Japanese goods.
Born in Yamaguchi-ken, Tomoko Okazaki has over 13 years experience working as a surgical nurse in Japan's top hospitals. Tomoko studied English at Rice University in Houston, Texas. Tomoko was a two time winner of the televised NHK Youth Speech Contest.
Top customer reviews
I do have a few minor complaints, however, that have kept me from giving the cards five stars. (1) Only the most common "on" and "kun" readings for each character are given, omitting some that are not unusual and that, in some cases, appear in the examples given. No "nanori" readings are given. (The explanation given is that limited space restricts the number of readings that can be included when, in fact, there is plenty of space on the reverse side of the cards.) (2) In a few cases the editing is sloppy so that there are misspellings. Abbreviations are occasionally used whose meanings are not readily apparent. (3) While the sets, themselves, are arranged in learning or usage order (that is, Set 1 contains basic kanji, Set 2 intermediate, and Set 3 advanced), within each set the cards are grouped according to radical and number of strokes rather than frequency of use or order of learning. At least to some extent, this seems to defeat the purpose of the "basic-intermediate-advanced" organization of the sets. (4) This is not a substantive issue, but the new cards, when their boxes were opened, emitted a pungent, disagreeable chemical odor, so strong as to be mildly nauseating and headache inducing (this seems to be a common problem with plastic products from China, where the cards were printed). With airing, the odor seems to be abating (or I am getting used to it?).
An earlier reviewer commented that a set he had ordered had been missing cards, so, immediately upon receiving mine, I counted the cards in each box. Each set was complete (the manufacturer packaging is very solid).
As far as Amazon's delivery is concerned, with free shipping, the cards arrived a few days after the promised window. As is usually the case with Amazon orders, they were securely packaged.
The above "complaints" notwithstanding, I think that the cards are terrific; I'm only sorry that I waited so long to order them!
The major difference between this volume and the last, besides double the amount of cards, is that the hiragana and katakana card is now printed on the side of the box (see customer image). It's a great idea since with having 750+ cards to handle, you'll never lose that "cheat" card if you need it.
The instruction manual that comes with this volume includes both yomi and stroke indexes. This index includes both the first and second volume of this series but the kanji from each volume easily differentiated from each other too. The manual also includes a learning technique which may help some people.
Overall, after finishing the first volume, I'm very satisfied with this volume as well. It's giving me the resources I need to master the kanji.
And to those learning, don't stress if you're just starting off. It does get easier once you realize that there are patterns.
They only list the common kun yomi and on yomi on each card, but this is actually a good thing as you don't waste time memorizing irregularities out of context and all of the rare readings get demonstrated in the six compounds, though not always on a single card. There are no Romaji or furigana used, thankfully, as any serious student quickly learns those become more of a hindrance than a help eventually.
The biggest selling point of this flashcard set is the six examples for each Kanji, which are sufficiently detailed and defined to actually teach you vocabulary and morphemes while you study the Kanji and give you some context to memorize with. Each example with an asterisk is known to have been used on a JLPT test, which is nice to know. Occasionally, definitions are not as fully explained as I'd like. Todoufuken, for example, is defined as the 47 Prefectures of Japan and not technically correct. These are acceptable simplifications needed for space, in my opinion.
I do have two minor complaints about the examples, though. First, some cards use very similar readings, like samugaru (to be sensitive to cold) and it's accompanying noun form samugari (someone who is sensitive to cold). I presume this is done to avoid really rare words a student is unlikely to use, but it does mean that it's not really 4,500 different compounds.
Second, none of the definitions use grammatical terms to explain them, so if you don't pay attention you may not notice that tomaru (stop) is intransitive and tomeru (stop) is transitive. Personally, I've spent way too much of my life reading dictionaries and I can usually tell the difference, but if you're not used to it, you may have to read the definitions closely to pick up on the difference.
The only other problem with the set is they don't seem to be in any particular order, though sometimes Kanji seem to be grouped by radical.
Overall, these are an excellent study tool for anyone trying to not only master the Joyo Kanji, but also improve vocabularly by leaps and bounds. I keep learning words I think I'll hardly ever use, only to have them pop up in something I'm reading or listening to for practice. The complete set is quite spendy, but definitely worth it.