A Guide to Remembering Japanese Characters: REVIEW

David M. Mosher’s Review of Kenneth Henshall’s “A Guide to Remembering the Japanese Characters.” A balanced evaluation of what the reviewer calls the “potential strengths and drawbacks of (the) approach” taken in this well-known work. Mosher also considers two other popular guides, James Heisig’s “Remembering the Kanji I” and Joseph R. De Roo’s “2001 Kanji.”

Common Japanese Phrases (決まり文句の辞典)

At 140 pages this is a wonderful collection of set phrases for all manner of situations. Set phrases? Shouldn’t I just say things in my own words? Well, a lot of the time, no. The blurb on the back explains:

“Words don’t exist in isolation, to be placed willy-nilly in grammatical slots by a speaker exercising absolute freedom of choice. Rather, words come in neatly bound … [ Read more ]

The Complete Japanese Expression Guide

This book is a clearly laid out and well explained collection of idioms. The main part of the book devotes a page per expression to a wide variety of common Japanese idioms like とことんまで (to the bitter end) and しらぬ が ほとけ (ignorance is bliss). Each page contains a sample two line dialogue incorporating the idiom, an English translation of the dialogue, a paragraph explaining the idiom, … [ Read more ]

Kotoba Tsukaikata Ejiten (ことばつかいかた絵じてん)

Dictionaries are like fibre – necessary, but not often consumed on their own. Why? Well dictionaries are boring. They have a set order, few if any pictures and they are written in school marmish seriousness.

But not the Kotoba Tsukaikata Ejiten ことばつかいかた絵じてん (Words in Use Picture Dictionary – my translation) by Sanseido – this guy is FUN. The first hint is the colorful cover – any … [ Read more ]

Japanese Textbook Discussion Board: List of Books

This is a discussion list designed for Japanese teachers and students to discuss different textbooks. The books are segregated by level and some important ones are missing while others don’t have many comments. Still, it is a good idea and I recommend you use and contribute to it.

O-Hayo Sensei’s Online Japan Bookstore

Unless you happen to live near a specialty bookstore, a good selection of Japan-related titles is hard to find. That’s why, in association with Amazon.com, O-Hayo Sensei has researched, collected and now offer 1800+ handpicked titles — we think it’s the best selection of the best books about Japan, anywhere.