Guide to Remembering Japanese Characters
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An Authoritative Reference Aid for Mastering the Japanese Writing System
The main aim of this book is to help students of the Japanese language overcome the obstacle presented by characters - or kanji, to use the Japanese term. Without a sound knowledge of kanji it is impossible to acquire a proper command of the language, and yet so many students seem to spend years gaining merely a vague knowledge of no more than a few hundred of the two thousand kanji in general use. For every one student who feels confident in reading and writing kanji, there are dozens who seem daunted and full of despair.
This book explains the origin and subsequent evolution of each of the characters in general use, and where relevant have given the ancient forms. There are a few cases where the exact origin is obscure, and after clearly stating that the character is obscure, the most authoritative theory on its origin is given.
The characters are listed systematically in the order determined by the Japanese Ministry of Education. That is, the first 996 kanji - the so-called Educational Kanji which are prescribed for the six grades of elementary school - are set out in their respective grades, followed by the remaining 949. Since the gradings approximately correspond to frequency of usage, the reader who wishes to learn only a few hundred kanji will be able to concentrate on the early grades confident in the knowledge that these will contain the most useful characters.
Paperback Book - 675 Pages