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A Guide to Remembering Japanese Characters
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A Guide to Remembering Japanese Characters

4.3  ·  Rating Details ·  91 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
This is a one-of-a-kind kanji study guide that introduces joyo kanji along with detailed, authentic notes about the historical development of each.

As useful as it is fascinating, it's a book any new or aspiring Japanese language scholar will visit over and over. In clear, large-sized entries, A Guide to Remembering Japanese Characters details each of the General Use Chara
Paperback, 704 pages
Published January 15th 1995 by Tuttle Publishing (first published January 1st 1988)
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Jan 10, 2010 Nash rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone studying Japanese.
Shelves: reference
I wonder if I would ever finish this book in this life time! heh-heh It is such a thick book that is packed with so many history behind each Kanji! And there are around 2,000 of them! Kudos to Professor Henshall for this splendid lifetime achievement. His work would always be cherished. His style of breaking down each compound and component of each Kanji to help you remember its meaning fits perfectly well with my own style of memorizing it! In fact, I've been doing the same thing even *before* ...more
Feb 19, 2014 Kylie rated it it was amazing
This is a reference book, so I have not read it cover to cover, but I use it every single day, and have done for almost a year now. It is the most brilliant reference book ever for learning kanji. I use this in conjunction with a phone app for Android, Obenkyo. I use the app to learn how to write each kanji, and to study them. I consult this book daily to learn the Why of each kanji, and to figure out how to remember them. There is a story to each kanji--and when you know the story it is much ea ...more
♦ SquallAdv ♦
Apr 29, 2014 ♦ SquallAdv ♦ rated it it was amazing
Professor Henshall, you are my hero. This is the kanji reference book par excellence, much more than just a language-teaching book. The perfect method to study kanji without hating them, so much history, culture, and above all creating some kind of relationship between the kanji and the person behind the book, introducing stories and mnemonic phrases to help you remember kanjis... It's just awesome, you will love it!
Oct 11, 2013 Julie rated it really liked it
This book has been extremely helpful. I have never studied the kanji through by grade level, and I discovered that I was missing some that were not in my adult-learner texts. It helped me to learn some of the readings that I had not gotten before. I love reading about the background of characters and the mnemonics provided help me a lot!

I want to note that I have only really used this intensively to around #900 (thought I'll return to it after I finish my current review), but I removed a star be
Mar 08, 2016 Ollie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: timeless, manuals
Колись натрапила на цей дивовижний довідник на GoogleBooks, але там не вся книга була у вільному доступі. При першій же нагоді замовила цю книгу, щоб мені привезли з Японії.
Мені більше сподобалася, ніж аналогічні видання із вивчення ієрогліфів, бо містить дуже цікаві викладення про походження знаків (і навіть про поширені омилкові етимологічні судження!), а також мнемоничні підказки для запам'ятовування ключів, що становлять конкретний канджі, у прив'язці до одного (чи кількох) його значень.
Jul 31, 2014 Alex rated it it was amazing
Extremely effective for learning Kanji and makes the process interesting too.
Winda Priliadewi
good book
Dec 22, 2010 Chase rated it it was amazing
this has all of the 1945 joyo kanji. I love how it's organized-kanji at the grade level it is taught in Japan. Also, each kanji has a little paragraph about the kanji's entymology that is helpful in seeing where the modern characters have come from. At the end of the paragraph there is a little neumonic device to help you remember the kanji, I find it harder to remember the device than to just remember the kanji, but they help some people I guess.
Karl  Houghton
Feb 02, 2013 Karl Houghton rated it it was amazing
Through my career of researching and teaching Japanese, this is the best all round Kanji book I have seen so far. It is perfectly balanced and allows the user to search for characters via the "sound readings" or via the stroke count index. Containing "shodo" (Brush stroke style), the examples are written superbly with very good mnemonics based on the radicals.

This book is very valuable indeed.
Apr 17, 2014 Mike rated it it was amazing
Absolutely fantastic reference material for the individual who needs context for their Kanji study. Don't expect to be able to use this as a dictionary-style reference though. This is primarily about the development, underlying meaning, and construction of each and every Joyou kanji. The version I have of this book was pre-reform, and so is missing the 100 or so kanji added in 2010.
Jan 02, 2012 Beth rated it it was amazing
This is the most amazing kanji book I have found so far. Not only is it useful practically containing ON and KUN readings, stroke order, mnemonics, example kanji compounds, and etc., but it also is just fun and interesting. I could get lost for hours reading the history behind each character. This is truly a fantastic reference book.
Michael Rowley
Oct 25, 2008 Michael Rowley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thorough and informative. A great book for the serious student of kanji or any curious person.
Oct 27, 2008 kimberly rated it it was amazing
Is it reasonable to love a reference text like I love Henshall?
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Kenneth G. Henshall is a graduate of the universities of London (B.A.), Sydney (PhD), and Adelaide (Dip. Ed.), and is now a professor of Japanese at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. He has also taught at the universities of Auckland, Western Australia, California and Waikato. He is well-known for his translations of literature and history books, and is the author of A Guide to Remember ...more
More about Kenneth G. Henshall...

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