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Remembering the Kanji 3: Writing and Reading Japanese Characters for Upper-Level Proficiency (Japanese Edition)

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Author: Tanya Sienko, James W. Heisig
Publisher: University of Hawaii Press (2008)
Binding: Paperback, 430 pages
Summary:
Students who have learned to read and write the basic 2,000 characters run into the same difficulty that university students in Japan face: The government-approved list of basic educational kanji is not sufficient for advanced reading and writing. Although each academic specialization requires supplementary kanji of its own, a large number of these kanji overlap. With that in mind, the same methods employed in volumes 1 and 2 of Remembering the Kanji have been applied to 1,000 additional characters determined as useful for upper-level proficiency, and the results published as the third volume in the series. To identify the extra 1,000 characters, frequency lists were researched and crosschecked against a number of standard Japanese kanji dictionaries. Separate parts of the book are devoted to learning the writing and reading of these characters. The writing requires only a handful of new “primitive elements.” A few are introduced as compound primitives (“measure words”) or as alternative forms for standard kanji. The majority of the kanji, 735 in all, are organized according to the elements introduced in Volume 1. For the reading, about twenty-five percent of the new kanji fall into “pure groups” that use a single “signal primitive” to identify the main Chinese reading. Another thirty percent of the new kanji belong to groups with one exception or to mixed groups in which the signal primitives have two readings. The remaining 306 characters are organized first according to readings that can be intuited from the meaning or dominant primitive element, and then according to useful compound terms.
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Remembering the Kanji, Vol. 1: A Complete Course on How Not to Forget the Meaning and Writing of Japanese Characters

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Author: James W. Heisig
Publisher: University of Hawaii Press (2007)
Binding: Paperback, 460 pages
Summary:
The aim of this book is to provide the student of Japanese with a simple method for correlating the writing and the meaning of Japanese characters in such a way as to make them both easy to remember. It is intended not only for the beginner, but also for the more advanced student looking for some relief from the constant frustration of how to write the kanji and some way to systematize what he or she already knows. The author begins with writing because—contrary to first impressions—it is in fact the simpler of the two. He abandons the traditional method of ordering the kanji according to their frequency of use and organizes them according to their component parts or “primitive elements.” Assigning each of these parts a distinct meaning with its own distinct image, the student is led to harness the powers of “imaginative memory” to learn the various combinations that result. In addition, each kanji is given its own key word to represent the meaning, or one of the principal meanings, of that character. These key words provide the setting for a particular kanji’s “story,” whose protagonists are the primitive elements. In this way, students are able to complete in a few short months a task that would otherwise take years. Armed with the same skills as Chinese or Korean students, who know the meaning and writing of the kanji but not their pronunciation in Japanese, they are now in a much better position to learn to read (which is treated in a separate volume). For further information and a sample of the contents, visit http://nirc.nanzan-u.ac.jp/publications/miscPublications/pdf/RK4/RK%201_sample.pdf.
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My First Japanese Kanji Book: Learning Kanji the fun and easy way!

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Author: Anna Sato, Eriko Sato
Publisher: Tuttle Publishing (2009)
Binding: Hardcover, 64 pages
Summary:
My First Japanese Kanji Book is an inventive and unique introduction to kanji for children. Written by the mother-daughter team of Eriko and Anna Sato, this lovely book introduces 109 kanji characters to children with poems and illustrations. It includes all the Japanese Government specified first grade level kanji characters and a sprinkling of simple second to sixth grade characters. The kanji are introduced in the context of 36 colorful paintings and poems by 14-year-old Anna Sato, herself a kanji learner. Each of the poems is presented in both Japanese and English, and all kanji are accompanied by furigana (small hiragana letters), stroke-order diagrams, sample vocabulary and boxes for writing practice. A charming and educational volume, My First Japanese Kanji Book can be used as a self-study text, a supplementary material in Japanese language schools or a gift book for family or friends.
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