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Other titles in the Remembering the Kanji series:

Remembering the Kanji 3: Writing and Reading Japanese Characters for Upper-Level Proficiency

Remembering the Kanji 3: Writing and Reading Japanese Characters for Upper-Level Proficiency Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Students who have learned to read and write the basic 2,000 characters run into the same difficulty that university students in Japan face: The government-approved list of basic educational kanji is not sufficient for advanced reading and writing. Although each academic specialization requires supplementary kanji of its own, a large number of these kanji overlap. With that in mind, the same methods employed in volumes 1 and 2 of Remembering the Kanji have been applied to 1,000 additional characters determined as useful for upper-level proficiency, and the results published as the third volume in the series. To identify the extra 1,000 characters, frequency lists were researched and cross-checked against a number of standard Japanese kanji dictionaries. Separate parts of the book are devoted to learning the writing and reading of these characters. The writing requires only a handful of new primitive elements. A few are introduced as compound primitives (measure words) or as alternative forms for standard kanji. The majority of the kanji, 735 in all, are organized according to the elements introduced in Volume 1. For the reading, about twenty-five percent of the new kanji fall into pure groups that use a single signal primitive to identify the main Chinese reading. Another thirty percent of the new kanji belong to groups with one exception or to mixed groups in which the signal primitives have two readings. The remaining 306 characters are organized first according to readings that can be intuited from the meaning or dominant primitive element, and then according to useful compound terms.

Book News Annotation:

Heisig and Sienko's text provides students learning Japanese as a foreign/second language with 1,000 additional characters beyond the Japanese government-approved list of the basic 2,000 educational kanji, to equip them for upper-level Japanese studies. Separate parts of the book address the writing and reading of the characters. The text features six indexes, including hand-drawn samples of the new characters introduced and cumulative lists of the key words and primitive meanings, and of the Chinese and Japanese pronunciations appearing in all three volumes of the series. Changes from the first (1994) to the second edition of the text are not stated. Heisig is with the Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture, Nagoya, Japan; Sienko previously worked for the Japanese government and Japanese industry for ten years and now is an entrepreneur in the U.S. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Product Details

University of Hawaii Press
Heisig, James W.
Sienko, Tanya
Foreign Languages-General
Remembering the Kanji
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
8.96x6.00x1.05 in. 1.67 lbs.

Related Subjects

Education » Writing

Remembering the Kanji 3: Writing and Reading Japanese Characters for Upper-Level Proficiency
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Product details 430 pages University of Hawaii Press - English 9780824831677 Reviews:
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