Kana Pict-o-Graphix: Mnemonics for Japanese Hiragana and Katakana Paperback – September 1, 1995
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"Rowley has created a visual vocabulary that is striking and, most importantly, memorable." -Wired Magazine -- Review
About the Author
- Publisher : Stone Bridge Press (September 1, 1995)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 72 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1880656183
- ISBN-13 : 978-1880656181
- Item Weight : 1.48 ounces
- Dimensions : 3.1 x 0.3 x 5.1 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,772,207 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Reviews with images
Top reviews from the United States
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It's the same for this book. In four days I was looking at katakana and hiragana and instead of thinking "RA" I'd think "ROCKET!" or "YU" and "UNIT!", "E" and "Elevate", "SU" and "Suit", etc. and thinking of them this way makes them ridiculously easy to remember when just starting out. After enough repetition reading the characters you will start to just "know" the sound without needing to remember the mnemonic.
10/10 would buy Kanji Pictographix too. Oh wait I already did. Arriving tomorrow :)
This book is pretty good because it gives you both the Hiragana and Katakana characters for the Japanese syllabary and explains how to tell the difference between the two. It associates the characters with familiar symbols so that you'll be able to recall what the character stands for. The idea is really good.
However, the book is so small and can fit into your pocket, which might be a good thing for some, but I prefer a larger format.
Both the Hiragana and Katakana characters are presented on one page -- since the two represent the same syllable but are used for different purposes -- along with the mnemonic character/representation. On some of the mnemonic symbols it's really hard to understand the "match" between them and its Hiragana/Katakana character counter-part, but most of them are pretty clear and you can see the correlation between the two.
There's no Romaji (Japanese words spelled with English letters) in it, unless you count the spelling of the character, because you're only learning the characters and not any words at all.
The book contains a pronunciation guide and explains the differences between English and Japanese, and how Japanese words are formed, in simple to understand language.
The KANA PICT-O-GRAPHIX book won't help you by itself, unless you can already speak Japanese and only need to be able to study the characters, so you'll need additional study material.
Other than that, I think that Rowley's book is pretty cool and should help anyone who is trying to learn the Kana (Hiragana & Katakana) characters.
the book itself is about 3"x5", so it's small, but i like it. i can easily take it anywhere with me if i want :) i love this book, and i love showing it to people because they are amazed with it as well! it makes learning the characters so easy :) HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
a few notes though: i noticed for the "U" sound they have written down it sounds like "Uhh!" and the picture is a guy getting hit in the gut by a baseball, but the sound should be more like "ooo" like, "ooo! look at the fireworks!", but short, like "ou". and for the "ya" sound, they have a picture of a yak, and they say it like the "ya" part when you say "yak", but really, it's more like...a "yah" sound. those were the only two problems with it that i found, but if you are studying japanese in addition to this book you will quickly find that out.
I want to add that many years later, when trying to remember how to distinguish some of the similar katakana characters from each other, I *still* think back to this book even though I have advanced much further in my Japanese studies. It really did help much more than simple rote memorization. I suggest getting kanji books that work in a similar way, such as "250 Essential Kanji for Everyday Use". I have both volumes of those books and they've helped me remember more characters than I would have thought possible,
Top reviews from other countries
Firstly, the images it suggests for many of the characters are really a stretch too far of the imagination - so not something I'll easily recall when I see the letter on its own. And some are too similar to each other, which doesn't help.
And the words themselves seem based on an American pronunciation, so some work OK for British accent but some are really just not good.
All together, it would take me more study and effort trying to remember the odd pictorial sketches for each letter and then remember what words they might represent and then remember which letter the words are for than it would to just memorise the letters the hard way.
I'm usually very visual but this just doesn't work for me.