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Let's Learn Kanji: An Introduction to Radicals, Components and 250 Very Basic Kanji [Paperback]

Yasuko Kosaka Mitamura , Joyce Mitamura
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
RRP: £19.99
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Book Description

2 July 2012 156836394X 978-1568363943 Csm Blg Wk
Everyone agrees that it is possible to learn to speak Japanese in a reasonable amount of time, but no one has ever said that about reading and writing it. It is widely held that spoken and written Japanese require separate efforts by the student, as if these two aspects were in fact distinct languages.
A first step toward alleviating this situation was taken by Yasuko Mitamura in 1985 with the publication of Let's Learn Hiragana and Let's Learn Katakana, which continue to help thousands of students every year to master these two forms of Japanese script. Now, Let's Learn Kanji goes to the heart of the problem: the learning of kanji (i.e., Chinese characters as they are used in Japan).
Not simply a brilliant exposition but also a workbook, it teaches the student how to write the basic strokes, how to put these together into full-fledged kanji, and how kanji function in the context of example sentences. Progress is continually checked, and the student is encouraged through quizzes and exercises. The result: 250 fundamental characters learned almost painlessly.

Frequently Bought Together

Let's Learn Kanji: An Introduction to Radicals, Components and 250 Very Basic Kanji + Let's Learn Katakana: Second Book of Basic Japanese Writing + Let's Learn Hiragana: First Book of Basic Japanese Writing
Price For All Three: £30.57

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Kodansha America, Inc; Csm Blg Wk edition (2 July 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 156836394X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568363943
  • Product Dimensions: 26.9 x 20.8 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 44,371 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A great help in mastering kanji 3 Dec 2013
What I love about this book is that it covers the basics of strokes and stroke order first, then goes on to teaching the radicals before going straight into the kanji. I've learned kanji much faster this way than if I had gone straight into kanji without the grounding in the basics first.

It also has spaces for you to practise, which is nice.

Downsides: some of the stroke orders are incorrect (compared to stroke orders from Japanese sources). The ones I have found so far are risshin-ben (the outer strokes should come first), naru (the stroke order for the first two strokes should be the other way round) and kanarazu (which is completely wrong, whichever way you look at it). However, 3 out of a couple of hundred isn't bad. I hope the editors will fix this in future editions.

The other thing I would have preferred is if it had gone through the kanji by jouyou level, rather than stroke count, as you will have to go some way through the book before you come across frequently used kanji (e.g. kaku [write] which is a 10 stroke and right near the end). Also, many jouyou kanji aren't given prominence and are hidden away under similar kanji, which is a shame. But this is just a personal preference.

The exercises also seem a bit weird, because they are expecting you to have learnt the readings and meanings of every example kanji when you were learning the radicals (and you get up to 3 examples per radical/component, and there are LOADS of radicals and components!), which is a bit much to ask and counter-intuitive. Better if they tested you on the actual kanji you have been practising.

Overall, despite its faults, this is a marvellous book and you would do well to study with it.
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An excellent choice of book to help those starting to learn the language, use in conjunction with other similar books in the range.
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5.0 out of 5 stars another great book 8 July 2013
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for my granddaughter who loves her anime/ manga this is continuation of the first two books that I bought her
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5.0 out of 5 stars lets learn kanji is a useful and great book 24 April 2013
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This book is designed to break down how Kanji works and it dose.

If you want to understand the way Japanese Kanji is constructed then this is the book for you.

I'm learning from it and I think you have to study its contents again and again. its up to you.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reference book 9 Feb 2013
By torrurb - Published on Amazon.com
This book has been a useful addition to my collection of Japanese study books. I had previously studied James Heisig's book, REMEMBERING THE KANJI, which was helpful in learning the system by which Kanji are formulated. Kanji are after all only graphic symbols of ideas and the more complex kanji are assembled from simpler graphic parts which themselves can have meaning. The Mitamura book gives all of the Japanese names of the various radicals and also of other non-traditional but useful components. I think it was easier to absorb because I had gone through the Heisig book first. Mitamura has exercises that help one to learn how to analyze an unknown kanji from its graphic parts. Both of these books together helped me learn this method of analyzing an unknown kanji. I recommend using these two books together with a graded reader like KANJI FROM THE START by Martin Lam and Shimizu Kaoru. After going through these three books I found myself reading Japanese newspapers with only occasional breaks to consult my Kanji Dictionary (Nelson).
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Systematic, Well done. 18 Jun 2013
By Peter A. Herrmann - Published on Amazon.com
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Very systematic approach that I'd imagine anybody could use. I appreciate the way they show the order of strokes, and also the exercizes. Learning this stuff for the first time at the age of near 70 is a great mental challenge ... esp. since I've never been 'right brain' (ie visual) kind of person, but the method they use is successful for me (and, no avoiding use of the right side of the brain for this stuff).
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book 31 Oct 2013
By Graeme - Published on Amazon.com
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This book breaks down radicals and the different types of radicals present in Kanji. A non-Japanese or Chinese speaker will no doubt have a lot more work to do in the way of learning kanji and this is a useful resource for doing so.
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