I have been inspired by this book to pursue the study of Chinese characters to a deeper level. On the other hand, the more I read and compare it to other resources on the same subject, the more critical I become.
This book has inspired me to a deeper study of Chinese radicals (for a better understanding of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean). The result - I've found it makes a great stepping stone, and can be used for comparative analysis of the surprising variety of information available to English speakers mostly through the internet, or through native language dictionaries for those with access, but it should NOT be relied upon as a single source for learning, teaching, or research. It is reasonably educational and artistic, but not authoritative.
Even though I love this book and go back to it occasionally, there is one huge glaring error, to the point of unethical advertising, starting on the cover of the book. The title misleadingly contains the word "Japanese." Although Chinese characters are an important part of the Japanese language, it contains NOTHING about Japanese. You would have to be aware of Japanese independently of this book in order to make the connection that is made ONLY in the title. It is an English language book explaining aspects of Chinese, with the use of simplified characters created by the Peoples Republic of China as examples - although the simplified PRC characters bear some resemblance to the traditional characters that are mostly used in Japan, they are not the same, therefore making this book less useful for dedicated students of Japanese.
Anyway, despite this beef with the title and the fact that it should not be used a sole source for academic pursuit, it has many more merits than demerits. Since it is one of the very few books dedicated to this specific subject as well, the uniqueness adds a little to its value.