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A Guide to Remembering Japanese Characters
Author Kenneth G. Henshall
Publisher Tuttle
CategoryKanji learning - Joyo kanji
ISBN0804820384 [COPAC, Webcatplus, Wikipedia]

Review by Mark Walsh

This book is similar to other Kanji book except that it explains the origin of the different kanji along with interesting suggested mnemonics. However, the stroke order and direction of the kanji are not listed.

Review by Ilya Farber

This one is at the opposite end of the spectrum from Heisig; it's completely devoted to historically accurate accounts, even when they are of little or no use in remembering the meaning or reading of the character. I suspect the title was forced on the author to increase sales, since a more ... read more

Review by Ben Bullock

Covers all of the Jouyou kanji. The main feature is a very scholarly explanation of the development of the character. There is also a mnemonic. Every kanji is given in handwritten form, but without stroke order. There are also three or four compound words for each kanji.

The explanations of the derivation of the character are very detailed. Good for those who want this kind of thing.

Review by Allen Childs (MistaKefka)

I feel that of all of the Japanese instructional books I own, this one takes the most dominance over anything in its catagory. Why? It has all of the Joyo Kanji, an ON-KUN index, the history of every kanji, the readings for every Kanji, example compounds for every Kanji, a section about stroke ... read more

Review by Chris Kern

I found it interesting, but not very helpful in learning the kanji.

Review by Jim Breen

I've never used Ken Henshall's book as a learning aid, but his etymological information seems pretty accurate, and the front-matter is one of the best short introductions to kanji I have seen.

For questions, comments, or if you would like to add your review to the above list, please email Ben Bullock <> or use the discussion group for this web site.