Review: Enjoy Learning Japanese Kanji: Discover Their Hidden Meanings

  • July 30, 2017
  • James Skemp
  • review

The following is a review of Enjoy Learning Japanese Kanji: Discover Their Hidden Meanings, written by Kun Ho Park and Kyung Yong Kong, and received as part of the Amazon Vine program.

Not a Book for Beginners

Right off I’m going to state that I failed when it came to this book. I have a number of books to help learn how to read Kanji, but as with all of them, despite my best efforts I’ve failed to gain much from them. However, this is the second I’ve attempted to go through that have used the origins of the characters to help teach the meaning of the Kanji.

For these reasons I find Enjoy Learning Japanese Kanji: Discover Their Hidden Meanings to be quite interesting. From a historical standpoint it certainly makes sense that ‘school’ would be made up of the Kanji for ‘wood’ and ‘exchange’ (as in to exchange knowledge), or for ‘village’ to consist of ‘land’ and ‘crop fields.’

However, I think the book would have fared better with me if more/all of the characters had the original characters, since more than once I stumbled on how the heck the current character came from an older one, such as knife, for example.

The pages and book in general is high quality, and the artwork is quite nice. But I unfortunately have to give Enjoy Learning Japanese Kanji: Discover Their Hidden Meanings a neutral, three of five stars, since as a beginner, it wasn’t quite right for me.