Kanji Break Through

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the Kanji Break Thourgh is compiled with vast tricks on learning and remembering kanji

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    Do you asPire tO be a kanji heavyweight by passing*JLPTLevel 1 0r 2/but find that the enthusiasln you once had for kanii

    learning has waned?Do you sometilnes question whether thekanji learning inaterials you are now using will eventually lead

    you to mastery of the l 945 general use(joyo)kanii or eVen Ofthe

    l006 education(kyoiku)kanji?IIave you ever felt discouragedwhen comparing your own progress in JapaneSe tO that of yourChinese classmates?If 50/Welcome to Kanji Breakthrough.

    Unlike our Chinese counterparts those of us hailing frOm therong side of the Kanji Wall face the fOrmidable/triple task oftackling the shape lneanings and pronunciations of kanji.Kanji

    Breakthrough wil1 9ffer a wealth of practical advice to learners

    from non kanji backgrounds on how they can break thrOugh theseemingly impenetrable Kanji Wall master JLPT Level l and 2kanii and achieve true literacy in JapaneSe.

    In the first several installments we will explore the most

    effective ways to learn the shapes of kanii before turning our

    attention to their meanings and inyriad pronunciations.

    Japanese elementary school students with their uncritically

    receptive lninds lnemorize the shapes of l 006 characters in six

    years thrOugh rote learningo Since ntost adults possess advanced

    POWerS Of 10gic abstraction and concentration rarely seen in chil

    dren it should nOttake them six years to accomplish the same task.

    Many adults find that a systematic logic based approach t0 1earn

    ing the shapes of kanjiis more effective than rote memorization.Component analysis systematically breaks each kanji

    down into cOmponent parts of one to ten strokes/and then assigns

    a name to each and every component.Many of these components

    are traditional radicals/such as (sword) 5(stone) and (bird).

    Learners can easily recall the correct shape of othen ise hopelessly

    complex kanji by linking the names of their components together

    in vivid stories.

    Using component analysis learners view kanji not as whole

    units but as the sum oftheir parts.Let/s get started with a building

    block approach to learning kanii!JLPT=Japanese Language Proficiency Test

    ::

    and inspmatiOn tOnonkalJtt backgrounds

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  • Take a 100k at the fo owing 12 diagrams.They represent some of the more common patterns of kanii conStruction. A L 12

    12 Diagrams of Kanii cOmponents>

    )4. ( )5. ( )6. (,lo. ( )11. ( )12. ()16. ( ,17. 1 )18. |)22. ( )23. | )24. |

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    Kanii Heavyweight Strategiesl)Keep a kanji shape noteb00k,Sketch the 12 diagrams above(as vell as others yOu encounter on your

    own)in the nOtebook one to a page and file nev kanil yOuvantto learn on the appropriate page.

    2)lVith youF perSOnal computer and printer/(or a copy lnachine enlarger) lnake large lettered versiOns

    of kanji you are learning.Cutthem up into components.Lay the cOmponents out and see how many

    different kanii yOu can construct fFOm memory.Race a partner to see who can build kanji faster(A

    full set of kanji cOmponent cards is available at www.okunokaruta.com: No l |1800/

    ,

    1) 1 12 (

    )

    2) ( )

    Ansvvers: See p.85

    16.15.14.13.12.10.9.

    24.23.21.20.19.18.17.

    721a!dsd e follog JLPT Leve1 2 kanii be10ng?241 2A L ?

    ilTI1 2. ( )a |7. ( )8. ( )9, (13. ( )14. ( )15. {19. 1 )20. 1 )21. (

    !(2)in the diagrams below write the components of each of the 24 kanil in their proper

    spaces.(You wi need to dravv the lines first}.The shape ofthe kanii mav become somewhatdistorted when its components are broken apart. ()

    2004 51

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  • and insp:ration ton083kanJi backgounds

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    Many adult kanil learners froln non kanji backgrounds have

    a deep need to see order not chaos in kanii and a natural inclina

    tion to break thelll dol n into lnanageable parts.1 hen you learned

    (like)early in your JapaneSe studies for example you mayhave utilized the following silnple innemonic device: lVomenlike children .

    Your teacher probably introduced you toradicals/ the 214

    kanji components traditionally used to classify characters in kanii

    dictionaries.You learned that some radicals are general use li)

    kanji(e.g. shell tongue)or altered versions Of them(e.g. /

    wate 1/hand) and you prObably became familiar with a few

    other common radicals as well(e.g./ rOad

    diff) As you tack

    led the shapes of increasingly complex kanji however you mayhave lostthe ability to decompose each ne v character into all of its

    component parts causing your kanii Study to become llired in the

    mud.Fortunately several self instruction kanii teXtbOoks systemat

    ically break the l 945y Characters down into all of their components.One of them/=K ABC~

    takes a building block

    approach presenting graphically silnPle kanji first so they can be

    used for inemorizing the shapes of more complex characters.The

    book prOvides one concise keyword for 483 different components:

    Some of these are visually silnPle kanii and traditional radicals

    vhile others are combinations of components used to avoid unrea

    sonable fragmentation of kanii(e.g herbs X froll heaven satan and tt structure).

    Knovledge of kanji components can be invaluable as you

    march confidently forl ard to break through the Kanji Wall and

    achieve true literacy in Japanese.How many ofthe 30 kaniiCOmpo

    nents in today/s lesson do you already know?

    (Note:For each of the 30 example components belo v one

    JLPT Leve1 2 kanji containing the component as well as the lnean

    ing ofthe kanji is provided).

    =K777:ABC-4 Syslll A`

    JSa C`

    by Andreas Foerster&Naoko Tamura Charles E Tuttle Co 1994

    50

    Mary Sisk Noguchi Associate Professor Meijo University/The Japan Timescolumnist,Kanii Cmnic{http: www kaniiclinic com}

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  • !(1)Some kanii cOmponents are yO kanil Match each lioyo kanil COmponent below wtth s

    keyword.Can you find the componentin each example kanil? 1 10A

    ?

    1.{ emplovment}2.3({ contact} 3.5. ( wish} 6. {sa} 7.9.shouen 10on}

    :11:=:i:1lni 1:ilsarealteredversionsofy kanil.These are not independentkanil. Match each alteredkanii connponent with the kanii frOnn which it originates.

    , 1 10A

    1,I{ busy) 2.{ hLat}5.calcuiate) 6. cttme)9. law) 10. { catch)

    1 bamboo 3. 9 ||.|1 hand G. ger i

    4. L{ polkical party}

    8. { chilled)

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    01tell llFIWO man

    Ai bones

    Fi svvord

    B.plate

    C.hoie

    B.cliff

    G,Spear

    3. soup}7.drama}

    Ci d00

    Hlking l

    C,rice wine

    H.sickness

    ( irnprove

    { window

    D:ear I I.lse:f

    4.F]( mple}8. { s}

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    :(3)Here are 10 more components that are not independent kanil.Like the 20 examples

    above they are a traditionai radicals.Match each with its keyword.

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    1:dilili101101

    1.jwar) 2.5.L{ tag) 69. { to set) 10

    { package) 3.F( hurt)

    J( engrave) 7. { remains}

    ahttc dttn

    Kanii Heavyweight Strategiesl)Look at the 214 radicals/English meanings listed at www.kanjiclinic.com/radicalnames.htm.Rarely

    used radicals are noted.Write the radicals you have seen before along with a keyword for each in

    your kanii Shape notebook(see the 2 pril issue for details).List the kanji you know containing each

    radical.

    2)Read a review of K ABC at www.kaniiClinic.com/reviewabc.htm.Consider purchasing it Or One

    Of the Other component analysis texts reviewed on the site.

    3)Write the 30 kanji from this lesson in pattern boxes.

    1)214www ka in CO m/radJnames htm (

    ) J(4 p51 )

    2)www kanl in com/re ewabc htm Kalll ABC

    3)J30

    Answers: See p.85

    52004 51

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    p.51 Kanji Breakthrough

    (1)1.D 2.F 3.: