View Full Version : Memorizing ALL these kanji!!!!

Jody Holeton
13th June 2002, 02:48
Dear all,

I have been trying to prep for my 2Q test and I am being SWAMPED by all the kanji!

I think I have 4Q and 3Q down BUT how should I go about studying 2Q?
I have Tuttles 1001 kanji flash cards, is that a good place to start?

The big question is:
Once I get 2Q's kanji down how do I go about learning 1Q's kanji? Thats a 1000 more!!! Is there a special book for that? Flash cards? Intensive program?


13th June 2002, 03:25
hi jody !
one book that might help you is " a guide to remembering japanese characters" by kenneth g. henshall. it lists, i think, the joyo kanji. it explains them, the radicals and gives ideas for memotechniques.


the problem with these is the fact, that they are unique for every person because they rely on your personal learning and living experiences. but they might give an idea of how to build your own little help, like creating a story, connecting the kanji with a picture or whatever.
to me the flashcards combined with hours and hours are the best way to learn them. if you have time, you might also read some easy texts(manga/childrens books). it always encourages me to keep on learning when i read a kanji i just learned or reviewed the other day.
it might also help to sort the flashcards according to your knowledge. i have a box for those i really know, those i sometimes recognize and for those which i really hate because they refuse to be learned...

hope this helps...


24th June 2002, 05:43
I hate to be the one to say it, but after 10+ years of studying Japanese (8 in Japan) I think there's only one way to really learn kanji: use them. all the time. read and write. alot.
Even Japanese people forget kanji they don't use. Also, remember it takes a typical Japanese kid (who's already fluent in the spoken language) about 6 years of daily schooling to learn to read and write all the joyo kanji.

Someone mentioned before, but you can start with comics (pictures help you to understand the meaning of the words) with ateji (hiragana next to the kanji).

Also try websites like www.rikai.com -- you can browse Japanese websites and if you mouse over a kanji the reading and definition pops up.

(disclosure: my friend wrote the site)


renfield kuroda

P.S. It goes without saying, the BEST way to learn Japanese is to get a native girlfriend/boyfriend and not use English. The first time you have a really ugly throwdown argument in Japanese, you know you're progressing!

Jody Holeton
24th June 2002, 06:30
Thanks for the info!!

I will flash Tuttles cards everyday.
I will prep for my 3Q and 2Q using the prep guides.
I will try my hand at manga (I have found some old copies of "Kazure Okami")!

Wish me luck! I will post my results after Xmas!!

24th June 2002, 06:40

One warning 2Q &1Q test results are normally send out around february/march.

You can judge by the size of the Envelope if you passed or not.

Have fun.

24th June 2002, 08:50
Originally posted by red_fists

One warning 2Q &1Q test results are normally send out around february/march.

You can judge by the size of the Envelope if you passed or not.

Have fun.

So, you must have received both types to know that! Me too.

Anyway, to answer the question - learn kanji by writing them millions of times. And then read them in context. You need a 2, 3, or 4 year plan. And at the end of the day, don't worry about the test or you'll turn Japanese, worry about learning how to read. But, if you study only from a kanji book it'll take longer. Study in context and re-read what you have read regularly for reinforcement. And read something interesting. The 2nd Kyu test is not gramatically difficult - it is the sheer volume that is the problem. You only have time to read once. I hated the listening part - they have the kind of questions where you can understand everything yet they try to trick you at the end. Crafty buggers.

Rupert Atkinson 2 Kyu! (Did it in Korea 2000 for kicks having left Japan in 1993 - so feel pretty chuffed).

24th June 2002, 14:24
Have you tried Kanji Site (http://www.kanjisite.com) ?

It is what I use for my site...

Adam Young
24th June 2002, 17:46
James Heisig's "Remembering the Kanji" books are pretty good, but they are better suited for a longer-term goal (e.g., next year's 2Q or 1Q).

24th June 2002, 19:16
For me, writing them over and over and over and over and over..... thousands of times was really the only thing that got them burned into my mind (and even then I lost alot of them). The 2kyu kanji are, in my opinion, the ones that will really help you to learn how to read real Japanese as the bulk of them are used all the time, everywhere. That said it still took a long time to get to the point were I could readily pass the kanji section of the test. Also I personally feel that the kanji section is very important to the test as a whole because if you can't do well there, you'll have very little idea what the rest of the test is asking you to answer.

As one of my teachers said, there's only one way to learn kanji, that is put in alot of long boring hours of hard boring work.

Rennis Buchner

PS I found this book helped me alot on the 2kyu kanji...


25th June 2002, 07:25
hi !
another good method, not only for kanji, but for japanese in general, is "THE NIHONGO JOURNAL", issued once a month with lots of texts and interesting things. it΄s designed like a workbook, with a cd that has all the sample conversations and so on. i suggest you give it a try. back last year the price was 1.180 yen. not sure if it΄s the same now.