Kanji and Caligraphy


I've just returned from my second trip to Japan and feel that the only way I shall get anywhere with the language is to make a serious attempt at Kanji. I feel it's essential to read Japanese written word, without that ability you remain illiterate and not able to develop a vocabulary or a real sense of communication. Two questions - First Question - I was browsing the web and came across a program to assist with learning Kanji. It had a facility for creating a Kanji character using the mouse. As your input progressed likely completed characters appeared to the right. There was the option to select an appropriate complete character or proceed with your own construction. I now cannot find the site after trying for hours. Can anyone help, please? Second Question - Can anyone recommend a decent quality starter kit for Japanese caligraphy? Thanks. Emlyn


I'm afraid I don't know the website you're talking about, and I don't know any calligraphy sets to recommend either (sorry!) But I can say from personal experience that the book "Let's Learn Kanji: An Introduction to Radicals, Components and 250 Very Basic Kanji" (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lets-Learn-Kanji-Introduction-Components/dp/156836394X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1354391176&sr=8-1) Is a really good book to start you off on learning kanji. I've just finished using it, and it's been really useful for me, as it shows you 250 very frequently used kanji, and also more difficult kanji that use these basic kanji in them as radicals (if that makes sense), and I can read a lot more Japanese than I ever could before. I'm sure there's other books that teach kanji out there as well, so have a look around! Personally I think that books are the way forward: they show you the stroke orders clearly and you actually get to write the kanji out. I'd also recommend that if you have a smartphone you have a look at some kanji flashcard apps (Sticky Study for Iphone is my personal favourite) They're really useful revision tools. One more thing: If you have a twitter account, try following some famous Japanese people (or just Japanese people in general!) and try to read their tweets and recognise the kanji that you have learnt and see which ones are used more often than others. Hope some of this helped! :D


Great response, thanks. I shall follow up all your suggestions. I did eventually find the web site I referred to. It seems a useful tool but perhaps not quite as good as I first thought. I’m retired and the calligraphy side of things I think would be a good hobby activity with the spin off of learning kanji. Many thanks.


Eventually, you could use Heisig's Remembering the kanji to learn some kanji. It teaches you 2000 frequently used kanji, the the important thing is that it teaches you about radicals and quite fun method of how to remember them :). I used it quite a bit until now (I didn't finish it) and I can say that it really helped me in preparing for the JLPT N3 exam. I also learned a lot of kanji from RJP Platinum writing lessons and kanji transcripts of the audio lessons. Offtopic I finished my RJP lessons, so I'm a little sad that I didin't get the chance to use the new features :(


To the original poster: skritter.com

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