Remembering the Kanji: A Complete Course on How Not to Forget the Meaning and Writing of Japanese Characters (英語) ペーパーバック – 2011/4/1
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Updated to include the 196 new kanji approved by the Japanese government in 2010 as general-use kanji, the sixth edition of this popular text aims to provide students with a simple method for correlating the writing and the meaning of Japanese characters in such a way as to make them both easy to remember. It is intended not only for the beginner, but also for the more advanced student looking for some relief from the constant frustration of forgetting how to write the kanji, or for a way to systematize what he or she already knows.
The author begins with writing the kanji becausecontrary to first impressionsit is in fact simpler than learning how to the pronounce them. By ordering the kanji according to their component parts or primitive elements, and then assigning each of these parts a distinct meaning with its own distinct image, the student is led to harness the powers of imaginative memory to learn the various combinations that make up the kanji. In addition, each kanji is given its own key word to represent the meaning, or one of the principal meanings, of that character. These key words provide the setting for a particular kanjis story, whose protagonists are the primitive elements.
In this way, one is able to complete in a few short months a task that would otherwise take years. Armed with the same skills as Chinese or Korean students, who know the meaning and writing of the kanji but not their Japanese pronunciations, one is then in a much better position to learn the readings (which are treated in a separate volume).
Remembering the Kanji has helped tens of thousands of students advance towards literacy at their own pace, and to acquire a facility that traditional methods have long since given up on as all but impossible for those not raised with the kanji from childhood.
James W. Heisig is a permanent research fellow at the Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture in Nagoya, Japan.
If we attempt to learn Kanji the way Japanese kids do, we need to have started so, right from a very early age.But alas! most of us did n't.And ironically, most of us still don't have the luxury of time to learn it that way, even now.So, then something called 'pictorial memory' is called into action.It employs the same logic behind why comics always appeal more to us, than bleak academic tomes do.
Heisig then begins his wonderful journey of teaching Kanji to us. Why bother with useless on and kun readings right from the start? You need n't. He has probably dabbled in this for far longer than most of us have, and he knows his Kanji well. Just look at the kanji, read the accompanying story, learn the ONE keyword, and you're good to go. He'll teach readings in the next volume, I think...I have already learned more Kanji this way, than I ever ever imagined I would, by the conventional classifications.Go for it....if you will, that is.
The formatting of the electronic edition is a bit different from the printed book. You no longer have an closed frame around each entry. Instead, entries are separated by line breaks. There is nothing wrong with that but it still follows the conventional way of thinking about books. To me it would make more sense to dedicate an entire page to each entry (making it more app-like). Yeah, you can increase the text size to achieve an effect similar to that but it's not always consistent given the different lengths of stories for different entries. The use of color coding for English definitions and for primitive definitions is a nice addition.
I have this on my iPad Mini Retina and Japanese Android 4.1 phone and it works beautifully on both. It kind of work on a dedicated Kindle device but the stroke order is completely gibberish (tested on a first-gen Paperwhite). I would encourage everyone to download a sample on their devices first to see if everything works fine before actually purchasing the ebook.