Customer Review

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth it!, 16 Mar 2012
This review is from: Remembering the Kanji, Volume 1: A Complete Course on How Not to Forget the Meaning and Writing of Japanese Characters (Paperback)
Truly a great buy if you're just starting out to learn Kanji. I've only had the book about 2 and a half weeks now but I've already memorised just over 100 primitives just from casual reading and practicing in my spare time, on the train, or even during quiet moments at work or at lunch times. This book's strong point is definitely more about teaching you HOW to remember the characters, and how to retain them in your long term memory using imaginative stories and imagery. The author's approach to tackling the great challenge of learning Kanji is almost the complete opposite of how it's traditionally taught in launguage schools, which was originally how I had approached the issue; by simply trying to force my brain to remember one Kanji after another by trying to memorise every reading, and stroke order. As predicted, I could remember a number of them, but after learning more and more, I'd very rapidly forget the previous ones. This book's approach is very simple and basic, almost child-like, but nonetheless very effective in stimulating your long-term memory.

I've yet to actually begin with the 'heavy' stuff, but I can already notice the benefits from the techniques and ilttle tips and tricks that this book provides. Although I found it interesting, before this book, I found Kanji extremly tedious and very laborous. Now quite the contrary, I actually enjoy learning more and more. This book has made it fascinating and, definitely more of a fun challenge to try and test what you've learnt using the techniques the book employs.

Just as my personal recommendation, this book should be used side-by-side with Anki, a free downloadable program which acts like digital flashcards. It's extremely useful in testing yourself and guaging your progress. Coincidentally, this book is actually supported by Anki! That means you can download the Anki setting for this book, which will allow you to practice and test yourself at the same pace as the book!

Even though mine is a second hand copy, and a little worn, it's still definitely worth the money. If you're serious about learning Kanji, then I say this book is a definitely a worthwhile investment!
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 30 Mar 2012 21:49:51 BDT
Darkcobra says:
Hi, i dont suppose you know on average how many Kanji this book teaches? i know its round two thousand that is needed for daily use (or what japanese students have to master), now i of course wouldnt expect a book to hold all of them as chances are the book would cost alot but i wouldnt mind knowing how many this book teaches you to start with.
Thankyou very much

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Mar 2012 15:13:15 BDT
Last edited by the author on 31 Mar 2012 15:17:54 BDT
Vicious says:
Hey there,

Well the very last Kanji in the book is numbered 2042, although the first 232 or so characters you first encounter are just primitives. That said, those seem to be the most important part to know, at least in my opinion. I found that once you memorise all the primitives, learning to remember new Kanji is just a matter of stringing together the primitives that compose it in the form of a story or phrase. I've still only just memorised just over 350 so far, but knowing the primitives was definitely key to helping me remember all of them. With that in mind, I guess once I do reach that final page of this book, learning new Kanji would just be a matter of adding them to my mental library as I encounter them. As I mentioned in my review, this book is really more about HOW to remember Kanji. Once you get the hang of it, it's very surprising how easily you can remember a complex character just by breaking it down to individual parts.

Anyways, I hope that helped. Good luck!
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