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Kana Pict-o-Graphix: Mnemonics for Japanese Hiragana and Katakana Paperback – September 1, 1995

4.3 out of 5 stars 79 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 72 pages
  • Publisher: Stone Bridge Press (September 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1880656183
  • ISBN-13: 978-1880656181
  • Product Dimensions: 3.1 x 0.3 x 5.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,030,967 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Christopher Calabrese on September 17, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is fantastic. I'm a first-year Japanese student, and while the rest of my class learns five Hiragana characters per class, I whipped up 46 flash cards using the mnemonic devices within this book and successfully memorized all of them in a week. I am now weeks ahead of the rest of my class, because I can now sight read Hiragana while everyone else still needs to use Roman characters.

I highly recommend this to any English-speaking westerner who is beginning to learn Hiragana and Katakana. Some reviewers complain that it doesn't examine the true basis for these characters, however that element is totally useless and tedious. Hiragana is used to represent sounds, and the quicker you learn it, the easier your life will be. Some of the mnemonic devices are extremely corny and far-fetched, however the results do not lie!

On a side note, if you are struggling with your Kanji, I highly recommend "Remembering the Kanji, Volume 1," by James W. Heisig.
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Format: Paperback
At first I was skeptical of the mnemonic method of learning kana. But it does work (the hiragana for "no" looks like a "no smoking" sign, etc). It sticks in your brain, but after a while you don't even think of the mnemonic - you just recognize the symbol immediately.

It is less helpful for learning to writing the characters, as no stroke order is given. But I was able to memorize reading the hiragana and katakana in about a week each, using the mnemonics.

All in all, this is a useful tool for those starting out (before taking a Japanese language class, try reading this book to get a head start). Also, the book is very small (about 2"x4" paperback, 70 pages) and fits in a pocket easily.
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Format: Paperback
Wow!! I recieved the book yesterday afternoon, read it last night, and then took an online quiz in Hiragana this afternoon. I got 99 out of 104 correct. That's 95% correct! I didn't look at the book or anything. This book is so amazing, that I actually went from not reading any japanese what so ever, to reading 95% correctly in one night! My friends were astonished.

I thought learning to read Japanese would be a painful experience spread over many months. But this book is amazing. The mnemonics in this book are right on. If you are a beginner of Japanese and want to know how to read, I would not hesitate another moment and pick up this book today. You will not regret it. In one night you too can learn to read Japanese!!
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Format: Paperback
This is ok so far as it goes, but there's very little to it. Also, this book is reprinted in the same author's kanji pict-o-graphix book, so there's no point in buying this book if you're going to get the kanji one.
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Format: Paperback
I got this book, along with Rowley's "Kanji Pictographix," as a gift before I moved to Japan. This book was a very useful tool in remembering Katakana and Hiragana. It's small so it's easy to carry around in your pocket or bag. The book is organized according to the Japanese alphabet. (For example, it starts with "AH," "EE," "U," "EI," and "O"). On one page, you get to see both the Katakana and Hiragana for each sound. Some of the mnemonic images Rowley uses are easier to remember than others. My recommendation on how to use this book: Study one of the syllabaries first (Katakana or Hiragana). I studied Katakana first because all borrowed words are written in Katakana (and the letters are just strokes, compared to the more squiggly Hiragana). Study five sounds (e.g. KA, KII, KU, KEI, KO) at one time. If the mnemonic picture that Rowley uses doesn't click with you, then try to create your own. It really helps to write down the kana as well; however, this book does not show stroke order. It also helps to see the kana used in actual Japanese words (which this book also doesn't do). While I remembered a lot of the kana, it wasn't until I arrived in Japan and kept trying to read Japanese signs that I really became successful in reading Hiragana and Katakana. Use this book as a starting point, but don't let it be the only book you use to learn or remember kana.
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Format: Paperback
With this book, it took me only two days to memorize all the characters of Hiragana and Katakana. The original mnemonics encouraged me and made me believe that I can learn the Japanese "alphabet".The book is a great help to start leaning Japanese.
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Format: Paperback
A wonderful book. Very creative and, most important, memorable mnemonics to learn the japanese syllabaries. At price anyone can afford. A flashcards version of the art in this book also exists (published by White Rabbit Press)
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Format: Paperback
I love this book! Learning two new alphabets with 46 characters each (not including the modifiers, which makes each alphabet 71 characters) was a daunting task for me, but this book really did the trick. There's one kana per page, with both the katakana and hiragana on it for comparison. Best of all, the mnemonic devices are really memorable...they stick in your head like glue!
The only thing I would say that is negative about this book is that it lacks stroke order; actually, it doesn't tell you how to draw the kana at all. But since that really isn't the point of the book, I would highly recommend it to all who want to remember the kana. Buy it! Now! You can't go wrong.
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