Kanji Cards, Vol. 1-4 by Tuttle

Score:
9 / 10
Pros:
includes all the basic information about kanji on each card; one card tests your knowledge of one character; composition on one side, meaning and reading on the other; reference numbers for each kanji link this resource to any dictionary or kanji reference guide; over 1000 characters throughout all four sets; great on-hand resource for studying and keeping all these characters fresh in your mind

Cons:
uses romaji for all character readings and examples; some info placed awkwardly on cards; study with index cards helps reading recognition much more than writing


Tuttle offers Kanji Cards in four volumes to help learners as you struggle to memorize the thousands of characters needed to read and write everyday Japanese. As I will mention at the end of this review, you should check out and compare White Rabbit Kanji Flashcards to see which flash card series has the best features for you.

Hundreds of flashcards in each set present a routine way to remember your kanji, then test your memory. Every card deals with one character. On the front, you’ll find the character printed large, some compound words that include the character, the radicals, and multiple reference numbers to help you find that character in any major kanji dictionary or resource.

The second side has the on and kun readings in romaji, along with the romaji readings of the compound words that include that character from the front of the card. You’ll find English translations of the character and compound readings on this side. Also, at the very bottom, the character is written stroke by stroke, giving you stroke count and order.

It’s a simple, effective method for studying the massive number of characters. Cover up one side and quiz your ability to remember what the character sounds like and means. Cover up the other to test your memory of what the character looks like. Combine Kanji Cards with a writing practice workbook for a well-rounded, on-your-own approach to reading and writing kanji.

If you’re a discerning student, you might take issue with the use of romaji transliteration, you won’t like that Tuttle’s Kanji Cards list stroke order on the back of the card (with semantic rather than compositional information), and you may find that you prefer White Rabbit. Also, keep in mind that both series have kana cards.

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