Learning Kanji


This is another face from the crowd and one of my favorite shots from the Undoukai.

Two days ago we came back from a trip. I won’t tell you where we went, but I’ll show you a photo in a couple of days and let you guess.

Someone emailed and thanked me for posting a link to Kanji.Koohii.com. It’s an incredible service for anyone using Heisig’s method to learn the Kanji. Once you sign up, you can steadily add “flashcards” and review them. The site is very consistent with Heisig’s principles, and it’s set up to automatically spread out your reviews (differentiating between the kanji you have and haven’t masterered). I highly recommend it. The site was created by a guy (in Belgium, I think) for his own use. He shared with others, and it’s growing by word of mouth. A friend told me about it (he’s at the top of the list over there), and I think I’ve sent quite a few people over there myself now. As for me, I started and quickly zoomed up to about 700 kanji. But I hadn’t REALLY mastered them, so my reviews bogged down and went very, very slowly (with less then 50 percent accuracy). So I started over again from the beginning, learning the kanji 25 at a time (instead of 50), and reviewing more frequently. Now I’m up to 352 with close to 100 percent accuracy in my reviews. I didn’t learn any kanji for the past 10 days (while on my trip and recovering from jet lag), but I picked up 25 more today.

In case you still aren’t convinced, here’s a quote from the person who contacted me (I hope it’s okay to post this here):

>Thanks to you I found this website (kanji.koohii.com/). It’s one of the best things that has happened to me in the past couple years as far as studying goes. I’d started and stopped learning the Kanji through Heisig’s book several times in the past. Frabice’s flash-card site was just the imepetus to get started once again. In just a couple weeks of review I’ve been able to get back up to where I was before.

Again, this is all based on Heisig’s method. It’s a love it or hate it method. The people who love it most seem to carefully understand and follow Heisig’s principles. To learn more about Heisig’s book (Understanding the Kanji) go to Amazon.com and search for it. Read the reviews and you’ll see what I mean about people having different opinions about the approach. (As for me, the method definately takes effort, but it works much better than brute force memorization — the ultimate key to every other method I’ve tried.) I bought the book off EBay. It’s a bit hard to find in Tokyo bookstores. You may want to try the big Kinokuniya in Shinjuku (or similar stores) if you want to buy it here.

The Look in Her Eyes and Learning Kanji

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