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The Complete Guide to Japanese Kanji


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About the Author

Christopher Seeley (B.A. Hons. & Ph.D., London University) has written extensively on the Japanese writing system and Chinese characters; his publications include A History of Writing in Japan (E.J. Brill, 1991, republished University of Hawai'i Press, 2000). He was a senior lecturer and Head of Department at the Asian Languages Department, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand until his retirement in 2001.

Kenneth G. Henshall is well known for the many books he has written on Japanese literature, history, and culture, as well as for his popular Japanese language-learning textbooks. A graduate of the universities of London (B.A. Hons), Sydney (Ph.D.), and Adelaide (Dip. Ed.), he is now Associate Professor of Japanese at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. He has also taught at the universities of Auckland, Western Australia, California, and Waikato.

Dr. Jiageng Fan specializes in the relationship between the Chinese and Japanese languages and scripts, focusing on the etymology of characters and the change of societal/cultural values which they reflect. He has lived, studied and taught Chinese, Japanese and English in China and Australia and has traveled extensively. After obtaining a B.A. at Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, he moved to Christchurch, New Zealand, where he earned his Ph.D. at the University of Canterbury. He believes in the freedom of mankind and the harmony between men and machines.


"This book is nothing less than an etymological kanji dictionary of all 2000+ joyo (everyday use) kanji! For each kanji character, it presents its history in brief, references it to associated characters, tells its story of how it has evolved into its current form, and also its readings (both kun and on readings) and three example words/compound words written using the character. Of all the Japanese learning-related books I own, this one is by far the one I've gotten the most out of. I heartily recommend this one! -Squidoo language learning
"...I use it every single day and have done so for almost a year now. It is the most brilliant reference book ever for learning kanji. I use this in conjunction with a phone app for Android, Obenkyo. I use the app to learn how to write each kanji and to study them. I consult this book daily to learn the Why of each kanji, and to figure out how to remember them. There is a story to each kanji-and when you know the story it is much easier to remember each kanji. To find a kanji, you look it up by the readings in the back. If you get one book to learn kanji, this is the one you should get." -Goodreads

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