Reader Response
February-March, 2005

Help! Can anyone review these kanji mnemonics books?

There seem to be a couple of other Kanji mnemonic books on the market that are not reviewed at I was just wondering if you can review them.

Kanji Mnemonics Manual

by Bruce McNair (published 1/2005)!

Thank you.
Ricardo Colon
Pittsburg, Pennsylvania

Maryfs response:
I am not familiar with either of these books, but they look intriguing. Can anyone out there provide us with reviews of them? Onegai shimasu!
German version of Heisigfs Remembering the Kanji I now available

I just wanted to let you know that in the middle of last month the German edition of Vol. 1 of Remembering the Kanji came out: Die Kanji lernen und behalten. You can find out about it, download a sample, and see how to order it at

All the best!
James Heisig
"Please help me get the most out of my Cassiopeia"

Can anyone please HELP! I have a Cassiopeia loaded with JWpce.This has a number of dictionaries, Japanese-English and English-Japanese.I can do some things with this PDA but I am sure that I do not approach its potential.I want to find someone in the USA that is literate with this machine and can show me the use and short cuts.I will, of course, pay for this help.I will arrange to visit you, at your convenience.

Thanks to anyone who can help,
Check out this new multi-purpose site

Just wanted to mention a site I'm working on that might be of interest to your readers:
Some of the main features of include:
* Pop-up hints for pages as you surf
* User customizable Favorites, Study Lists and RSS news feeds from Japanese sites
* RSS Word feeds for study with your RSS news reader
* Matching games and printable lists of a page's words and kanji are available for any web page and/or your study list
* Bookmarklets to use POPjisyo from your browser's toolbar
* Single fuzzy word lookup with auto-reverse lookup pop-up hints (just mouse-over the definitions)
The mobile site for cell phones and such includes:
* a mobile RSS news reader with links for quick definitions
* a mobile dictionary feature with fuzzy matching and reverse lookup links

Also for a more advanced Windows based dictionary please check out the Edict based JquickTrans:

POPjisyo was originally inspired by, Reading Tutor ( and the pop-up hints work in JquickTrans.

I am a student of Japanese and continue to battle through the never-ending kanji quest. I'm living in and enjoying Tokyo.

Best Regards,
gCanon Wordtank is your best beth

I use the Canon IDF-3000. I have been doing a lot of dictionary window shopping recently. If I were to recommend just one dictionary I would recommend the Canon Wordtank. The IDF-3000 is now available for less than 10,000 yen in stores and online. The newest Wordtanks have better dictionary contents and new features like animated drawings of kanji for stroke order and Chinese dictionaries with sound. The Canon V80 is the all powerful Chinese-English-Japanese model and comes with a stylus pen that you can use to write the kanji on screen to do a kanji lookup! Very cool!

As for one reader's comment that there were no Kanji-English dictionaries available people will be happy to know that in fact there is: The Sony Data Discman (Electronic Book Player) plays 8cm mini-cds in a case and is an Electronic Book Player. There are almost 300 electronic books on mini-cds for the book player to choose from including a Kanji-English dictionary. Jack Halpern's New Japanese-English Character Dictionary is available online thru Amazon or from his site at This can be used with one of the Sony Electronic Book Players or taken out of its case and used on a computer with special software. Wish I had it.

Clint Lane
And now a word from a kanji learner in Finland

Just a note to thank you for your "clinic". Through your clinic I got in touch with Heisig's book, have learned some 300 Kanji (to write+ a meaning) and learning to read Japanese seems much more possible.

Kanji are fascinating, easy to learn, but very difficult to remember. I have studied Basic Kanji book-it seems to make sense -but my 50 some year old brain does not remember a thing after a while. I would have remembered earlier at my younger years when learning by heart was very easy for me. Useless information is still my hobby! As a Neurologist I find the art of remembering quite interesting. Heisig seems to be the first one to divide the about 10 some things about a single Kanji into separate packages for remembering.

Japanese language and pronunciation are rather easy for Finns as our languages do have some resemblances. Some Japanese is studied in Finland but otherwise I cannot comment much about learning Kanji here. In Finnish every letter is pronounced and always in the same way, the stress is always on the first syllable, the r is rolling. Writing and reading are easy, everything else terribly complicated as our forefathers spent their Arctic nights in trying to figure out ways how to bend the words, endlessly! An example: paattamattomyydessaansakaanhan (actually this word should have a lot of a's with double dots like the ? in Scandinavian languages but I guess your word processing program does not have them) this monstrous word means: even in his/her undecisiveness. Many warm Arctic greetings from Helsinki!

With best regards and gratefulness!

Merja Kallio
Helsinki, Finland
Kyoto resident gets a boost from Heisig and

I was introduced to your columns when I started subscribing to the Nihongo Journal late last year. I decided to check out your website, and from there I found the Heisig system. I bought the flashcards along with book I. Even got lucky and got a discount set of flashcards off their website, from an earlier printing with errors!

Well, of course no matter how good the materials, it still takes some effort. And after a few months, I've got 400 down now pretty well. I'm shooting for finishing the first book by June. I've been in Kyoto for about 7 years, and can speak on a daily level, and had picked up some kanji here and there, mostly recognition of high frequency ones. I never dreamed I'd be able to really make serious headway, though.

I know you've heard this all before, but I had to add my thanks. This has come at a time in my life when I have especially needed a booster, something to focus on and feel good about, to feel proud of. And I have it thanks to you and this method. The good things you've shared with me don't end there, it also applies to the adoption experiences you posted. Though I'm not in that boat, it's so inspiring to read about things like that. And as a matter of fact, I just checked out more of the book reviews on your site and based on one, I went on-line and ordered a copy of 'Blowing Zen' because I think it might speak to me in some powerful ways.

Thanks again for all you've done without even knowing it. I hope you and your family have a very happy and healthy Year of the Rooster, and I'll be sure to keep in touch with your site-I was sorry to hear about Nihongo Journal stopping publication!

All the best,
Gary Bloom

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