Remembering The Kanji Ii Perfect Paperback – Sep 1990
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About the Author
JAMES W. HEISIG is a permanent research fellow of the Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture (Nagoya, Japan), where he has been since 1978 and which he served as director from 1991 to 2001.
Inside This Book(Learn More)
The two Japanese syllabaries known as hiragana and katakana (or collectively, as the kana) originated as stylized versions of Chinese characters used to represent the sounds of Japanese without any reference to the original meaning of those characters. Read the first page
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Top Customer Reviews
I found the first book very useful but this one just dry and demotivating. There is little to be gained from learning kanji readings using RTK2; I found it much better to just start reading Japanese texts and look up the readings as I went along.
The only advantage RTK2 really gives you is that it teaches you readings corresponding to primitives. So you can save time by learning, say, a block of 5 kanji with the same sound-determining primitive all at once. But this only works for a few hundred kanji, and is something you'd be naturally be doing anyway even if you learned readings ad hoc. So you might find RTK2 somewhat useful, but if you don't buy this book you really aren't missing out on much.
the Kanji" series is the fastest and most effective
way to learn Japanese characters that I have seen. There are
a great number of systems that promote learning Kanji by
associating them with a visual image, which can be effective,
but also has draw backs. A phenomenon common to any serious
Japanese learner is the ability to recognize Kanji when seen,
but when it comes to writing them... you draw a blank - or make
subtle, but important mistakes.
Heisig, on the other hand, uses "imaginative memory" not
visual, and this makes all the difference. Often, I found
that the opposite of the above scenario was true in the
beginning stages - I'd remember how to write a character
before I recognized it printed somewhere.
And the best thing about this system is that it reduces the
amount of time required to become proficient from a matter of
years to a matter of months. I whole heartedly recommend this
book to any and all Japanese students frustrated with learning
This volume is extremely helpful to learn the "on-yomi," i.e., the Sinitic pronunciations of the characters. But not only that, the author also gives us several good hints on how to remember the native Japanese "kun-yomi" as well.
I recommend this book to all my intermediate level students, especially those who come from the Chinese and Korean background because all they need to do is to reorient their native language knowledge into the Japanese-type pronunciation. But then again, non-East Asian learners of Japanese will also find this book very helpful - they just need to first study Volume 1 to make better sense of this wonderful system. Thanks Dr. Heisig! With your help I have managed to learn the basic kanji 10 times faster (and more reliably, that is systematically) than I would otherwise do if I'd just relied on language textbooks and rotary learning.