Kanji Pictographix by Michael Rowley
Published by Stone Bridge Press, California. ISBN 0-9628137-0-2.
This is a great book, which uses some very well-designed associative pictures (or "visual mnemonics") to help you remember kanji (and also hiragana and katakana). The book is very inventive and really works. It has about 1,200 kanji in total, but they don't include all of the JLPT kanji and are grouped by topics. That aside, it is an excellent work for either study or just an introduction to kanji. Click here for more information, reviews etc.
The Kanji Learner's Dictionary edited by Jack Halpern
Published by Kodansha International, Tokyo. ISBN 4770023359.
My current dictionary of choice. Uses a great system called SKIP to help you look up kanji quickly without all that mucking about with radicals - plus the usual on / kun indexes. The entries are very informative, including readings, stroke count and order, and core meanings to help you remember the kanji effectively. Click here for more information, reviews etc.
Kanji Power Handbook for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test
Published by ALC Press Inc, Tokyo. ISBN 4-87234-314-X.
This is my JLPT kanji bible. Lists over 2,300 kanji, with detailed info on the various readings and example compounds. As the title suggests, this includes all the kanji needed for all 4 levels of the JLPT, and, importantly, they're nice enough to include a syllabus list of what you need and don't need for each level, with examples of compounds and usage. Doesn't contain translations as such, so it isn't really a dictionary, but nevertheless it's a must buy for those wanting to take the JLPT.
Write Your Name in Kanji by Nobuo Sato
Published by Yenbooks, Tokyo. ISBN 4-900737-35-6.
A book which lets you change your clumsy Western name into elegant Japanese kanji - with hilarious results. This can be done phonetically or denotatively. Phonetically is more fun - because the kanji themselves have meaning as well as just a phonetic value, you can then translate the kanji back into English. An example is Christopher, which becomes kurisutofaa, which can then be kanjied as "A bird which vomits chestnuts into its own nest." Superb stuff. Another must buy. Click here for more information, reviews etc.
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