Essential Kanji: 2,000 Basic Japanese Characters Systematically Arranged For Learning And Reference (英語) ペーパーバック – 1987/11/1
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Essential Kanji is an integrated course for learning to read and write the 2,000 basic Japanese characters. It introduces the kanji that are now in everyday use, a mastery of which makes it possible to read most modern Japanese. Devised for either home or classroom use, the book has been tested and refined by years of use in university classes taught by the author.
P. G. O'Neill, a native Londoner, is Professor of Japanese at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, where he also obtained his Ph.D. in 1957 with a thesis on traditional Japanese drama. His publications include Japanese Names, A Guide to No, Early No Drama, An Introduction to Written Japanese (with S. Yanada), and A Programmed Introduction to Literary-Style Japanese.
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The kanji are depicted with brush calligraphy and also written with a ballpen. Old versions of the kanji, in use prior to 1947 are also given. The on yomi and kun yomi readings are provided as well as the modern Mandarin reading. Of course several English meanings are given and examples of its use in phrases.
Two important appendixes are the listing by number of strokes and a reading to kanji list. If you know the reading, the reading to kanji list is very easy to use. The number of strokes kanji listing is useful, but the kanji are very small, and those of us with any degree of presbyopia may need a magnifying glass for the more complicated kanji.
I highly recommend it, and think it should prove very helpful for any level student.
The title of the book sums it all up. People have said but i'll repeat. This is by no means a complete book that you can buy and learn just from it. It really shines as a REFERENCE book and it is OK as learning book.
This is the book that you want to have with you all time, because it's small and have all the basic kanji, just bring this to you class or something, it's way more pratical than any kanji dictionary. It's NOT something you can bring in your pocket, but is small enough to place in you backpack or you can just carry arround in your hand.
As a learning tool i find this book to be ok, the kanjis are arranged in such a way that all the compounds are made using previous kanjis with is very nice for memorization. You don't have a lot of info for each kanji so it can confuse you some times, it would be better to give you a sentence instead of a compound, but that wold make the book a litte bigger.
I have two main complaints with this book. First: romaji. If you are a japanese student (not even a serious one, just a japanese student) you need to know AT LEAST the kana and katakana, so romaji is a BIG no. Second: material quality. The book is not made with cheap material, but it could be nicer. The paper could be dictionary quality like, that would make the book even thinner, i find the paper in this book to be to thick (it could just be me).
I recommend this book only if you are also geting a kanji dictionary, this is suposed to be a tool of integration and reference, you should have that in mind. Overall a good book.