Apr 11, 2018
When it comes to learning, I’d say that I’m most closely aligned with being a visual learner. I find it easier to understand material by reading graphs and charts, or through diagrams and drawings. Any learning materials that help this are looked upon very favorably by me as a result!
I was pleased to find this little book at a local store (you can still snag it on Amazon Japan over here as well) and it’s all about an illustrated guide to Japanese characters. Now, I’m not sure about your own learning, but for me, hiragana and katakana are much easier to decipher and remember than kanji is. This book endeavors to make understanding kanji significantly simpler by illustrating them and helping you draw some mental links in understanding why the kanji were drawn a particular way.
At the start of the book, there’s a brief introduction into how kanji started and how it’s evolved over time. It was an interesting quick read, but my favorite part of the book is in the following pages.
Each kanji is illustrated in such a way that it’s easy to understand how they got their start. For instance, here’s san/sen/yama, which was modeled after towering mountain peaks. Makes sense when you look at it now, right?
They do this for all the kanji presented through the book, so you really begin to get a feel for remembering them as little drawings.
One of the things I also enjoy about this book is that it’s practical. For instance, they’ve got a section about eating out - these are the kinds of kanji I need! Reading menus can be a little intimidating if you don’t know what’s what, so I appreciate that this book really focuses on things that people will use.
If you’re also a fan of the practical, and enjoy small books that you could easily fit into your pocket, check this one out!
After spending the last several years in the beating heart of Tokyo, I will be spending the next three in the countryside of Japan. I adore this country and all it has to offer - and I'm always learning more and more about life here as I go along!