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Kanji Pict-o-Graphix: Over 1,000 Japanese Kanji and Kana Mnemonics

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  193 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Japanese written characters, or kanji, have their origin in a picture-language developed in ancient China. Over time this language evolved into stylized abstract forms that are hard to memorize. In Kanji Pict-o-Graphix, Michael Rowley offers a whole new set of contemporary visual and textual memory aids—mnemonics—that reveal the meanings of over 1,000 Japanese kanji. Fully ...more
Paperback, 216 pages
Published July 1st 1998 by Stone Bridge Press (first published June 1st 1992)
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Community Reviews

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See, this book is much better than the Kanji Starter books. For one, the pictures for the most part remain true to their meaning and do not venture off into more abstract areas to explain the kanji. If a kanji is made of dog and man, the picture will be of a dog and a man and have a little phrase or sentence explaining the meaning. Another reason this is better than the Kanji Starters is that it gives both the kun and the on readings while KS gives only the kun and then later expects you to know ...more
Sep 08, 2008 Kevin rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Japanese Language Students
Shelves: japanese
This is a great book for building a pictoral-memory oriented base of review for Kanji.
For those who are skilled in drawing or copying drawings from books, or even those good with computer copy and pasting, this book is great to use as a guide for home made Flash Cards!

It's not complete, but is an excellent starter for those just learning Kanji.
Jul 05, 2009 Natalie is currently reading it
This book and I will be together a long time. Kind of chaotic, but I find that the pictographic reference is easier for me as a visual artist to learn from than the obtusely verbal "Remembering the Kanji" series by Heisig. It's going to take me forever to get my Japanese up to the level of your typical high school student, much less PhD.
Ohhhh, this book is cool. Just go look at it.
When you are trying to learn Japanese, the easy part is to learn the hiragana and katakana (two sets of forty-six syllables and their variants). The kanji (complex symbols that evolved from Chinese pictograms), however, are much harder to memorize (and I am not talking about drawing them properly, but simply to recognize them from one another!). They say that you need a minimum of 2000 kanji in your “vocabulary” in order to be able to read the Japanese newspaper! Obviously, you need good tricks ...more
Valerie S.
I purchased this book as a sort of visual mnemonic to learn kanji, but if you are seriously studying the language, it probably isn't as helpful as it could be. It doesn't have any stroke order information so that you could draw the characters yourself. There is no better way to learn kanji than to write it. I also felt a lot of the images were stretches. I would never remember some of them. I didn't retain a lot from using this book, but perhaps it would make an interesting coffee table referenc ...more
Although it doesn't contain any information on stroke order, the book was a valuable reference and study aid when I was first learning Japanese. Just make sure to only use it as a supplement to actual practice.
Awesome way to learn the kanji!! <3 it!
Luís Nunes
Drawings are very imaginative. If we can monitor the excelent drawing performance of the author with a book of verbs and a kanji dictionary we would have more advantage. It helps to remember some important kanji, but it is far from an etymologics based study. This was lacking in my reading. I think a dictionary builds on the acquisition of kanji (summarizing radicals, pronunciations and meanings) - would be more appropriate. But this experience was rewarding and worth as a good start.
kadang nampak maksa tapi memudahkan mengingat karakter visual aksara kanji dengan memiripkannya denga benda sehari-hari.
seperti aksara 川 yang artinya "sungai" diterangkan dengan menggambarkannya sebagai tiga garis aliran air. demikian pula aksara 止 yang artinya berhenti diterangkan dengan gambar pak polisi sedang menghentikan jalan di depannya (ini dijadikan gambar sampul buku ini).
begitulah kamus visual ini disusun untuk proses belajar yang mrnyengkan!

This is an excellent aid in the memorization of kanji characters. Each kanji in the book is grouped by subject rather than by dictionary order, making it easy for beginners to find the kanji they're looking for. The illustrations are helpful in giving an mnemonic device to better memorize it, and each kanji is also broken down into radicals, making it easier to see its composition.
it not bad, not sure it the pictures really makes them easier to remember or not but the characters where nicely organized and explained. i liked that they explain radicals as well as the complete kanji. the only thing i missed was the use of the kanji in a sentence or examples of words that where written with the kanjis. a good book to start out with
Iris Castillo mendoza
Me encanta... Muy fácil de estimular mi memoria y aprenderme los Kanji más fácilmente
Natacha Okazaki
This book is AWESOME and made me start liking kanjis as I could find the individual meanings of the complex kanjis and it made it so easy to remember. I definitely recommend this book to anyone studying Japanese kanjis.

Makes Japanese people laugh hysterically. But quite effective.
Feb 08, 2011 Adam rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who want to learn kanji
its a tough book but interesting. Decent tool to learn kanji.
Feb 29, 2008 Juliana rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Juliana by: meu irmão.
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If you're interested in the beauty and meaning of Japanese kanji, please add me as contact. I'm currently at work on a six-box set of kanji flash cards called Kanji PictoCards. You can see samples and notes on how it's progressing at my blog, and my website

While living in Japan, I wrote two illustrated books, ‘Kanji Pictographix’ and ‘Kana Pictographix.’ Retu
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