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Basic Kanji Book: v. 1 Paperback – 1 Apr 1991

4.4 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 228 pages
  • Publisher: Bonjinsha; 4th edition (1 April 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 4893580914
  • ISBN-13: 978-4893580917
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 18.4 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 302,346 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Basic Kanji Book Volume 1 This volume covers about 250 kanji and the second volume completes the 500 in the Basic series. These books are really textbooks just for learning kanji. Each lesson covers about 10 characters and begins with a section called "About the kanji" which gives interesting background on the kanji you are about to learn. Next comes writing and reading lessons for each kanji. Lastly, there is a longer reading section followed by a game or some quiz.


Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is not a flashy book. On the other hand, flash is not needed to learn kanji. Learning kanji is what you should buy it for, and it will deliver.
Prerequisits for using this book is a firm grasp och hiragana and katakana. Without it, the going will be much to slow to be enjoyable. Further, a certain control of the language itself is needed, as the reading exercises, while simple, contain many common words not explained in the book itself.
The book is devided into 22 chapters (or lessons if you will), each teaching 10-13 kanji. 249 kanji is presented in these chapters, each with all Kun- and On-readings, complete stroke order and example words wherein they are components.
Each chapter begins with a short piece on some kanji related subject, such as radicals, readings, history and other things on interest. After that comes a section containing the kanji list with associated information. The third section is a reading drill with the newly learned kanji, the fourth contains writing exercises, and the fifth is a reading and understanding exercise with control questions. Some chapters also contain a sixth part, containing things like games, and other extracurricular activities.
The main attraction with this book is the structured approach it takes in presenting the kanji. Each chapter has a certain "theme" to the characters in it, and the exercises are cleverly designed to constantly let you repeat the chatacters learned in earlier chapters. In this the book really shines - I have yet to see another book that is as consequent in both character choice and in making use of already known kanji.
The only reason I do not give a five star rating to this book is because it lacks somewhat in etymology. Had the raicals been explained and the way each character was derived elaborated upon, this would have been a truely beautiful aid in learning. As it stands, it is merely very, very good.
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By Holly on 13 Jun. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have tried a couple of Kanji books but this was recommended me by my Japanese teacher who is a Japanese native. It works brilliantly. It doesn't just have a list of readings and a bit of writing practise, instead it teaches you to apply the kanji in words and sentences and gets you to do hiragana to kanji and kanji to hiragana practise. It encourages you to see the origins of the kanji so you can see why it is drawn the way it is. this enables you to understand how Kanji is used so you can very quickly use it in your own writing, substituting it for the hiragana equivalent.
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Format: Paperback
This book really works for me. It has a multiple approach, understanding the Kanji thro' their picture origins, compounds, radicals... You will need to complete this with a good set of Kanji cards and a japanese reader (children's stories and books are excellent, my personal fav is kodomo biberu). You must work very hard writing and rewriting the Kanji to learn them by heart. There is variety, exercises, writing, reading, you break the 50 Kanji barrier with some solid work and then get to 100 quite quickly, with the 100 Kanji really solid, this helps enormously in reading. After that I really enjoyed Read Real Japanese (but I would call this well advanced). Basic Kanji book 1 is an excellent base tool, but it won't do the work for you, you must scribble away and use your Kanji cards daily. After using many books that introduced too many complicated kanji too soon, this book has really helped me get on with my japanese (Don't forget to read Botchan, by the way), now go and buy a pack of automatic pencils and get to work...
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For those that have learned Hiragana and Katakana and are now proceeding to Kanji, this book is just perfect.

It explains Kanji in such a way that is very easy to remember !!!!!

Highly recommend it
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Format: Paperback
The first volume of Basic Kanji Book Vol. II is a publication stripped to the essentials, which learning the ill-reputed Chinese characters, that have found their way into Japanese, is all about. It tails its user into crude repetition, aids your ability to remember the shapes by association through illustrations, and at the end of the chapters induces you to exercises that test you on the Kanji you've recently learnt. The book includes as little English as is necessary, which is commendable. The lazy non-Japanese reading eye easily travels over to characters you're familiar with. The verdict is appropriate since the book adequately fulfils its function, but does not do it in an explicitly encouraging or enlightening way. More pictures and a more childish lay-out would provide beginners of Japanese a friendlier milieu to work in, and, subsequently, make the tedious task of learning Kanji seem decisively easier.
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Format: Paperback
I've been looking for a book for learning kanji for a long time and I was directed towards this one - although it was expensive, I have found it to be extremely useful. The lessons teach relevant and related kanji with some simple exercises and review previously learned ones. ON and KUN readings are encouraged.

However, I found it easy to do since I have a good grounding in Japanese language and I would imagine that it would be difficult for anyone without a good knowledge of Japanese grammar and hiragana/katakana
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is great. A definite 5 stars from me. This book teaches 250 basic kanji in a no nonsense approach. I have tried kanji books other than this and failed, however this book teaches kanji in a structured and simple way. I have just ordered the second volume.
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