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TitleRemembering Kanji 2
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Page 1

James W. Heisig

Remembering the Kanji 2
A Systematic Guide to
Reading the Japanese Characters

R
em

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Japanese language

Following the fi rst volume of Remembering the Kanji, the present
work takes up the pronunciation of characters and provides stu-
dents with helpful tools for memorizing them. Behind the notori-
ous inconsistencies in the way the Japanese language has come
to pronounce the characters it received from China lie several
coherent patterns. Identifying these patterns and arranging them
in logical order can reduce dramatically the amount of time spent
in the brute memorization of sounds unrelated to written forms.
Many of the “primitive elements,” or building blocks, used
in the drawing of the characters also serve to indicate the “Chinese
reading” that particular kanji use, chiefl y in compound terms. By
learning one of the kanji that uses such a “signal primitive,” one
can learn the entire group at the same time. In this way, Remember-
ing the Kanji 2 lays out the varieties of phonetic pattern and offers
helpful hints for learning readings, which might otherwise appear
completely random, in an effi cient and rational way. A parallel
system of pronouncing the kanji, their “Japanese readings,” uses
native Japanese words assigned to particular Chinese characters.
Although these are more easily learned because of the association
of the meaning to a single word, Heisig creates a kind of phonetic
alphabet of single syllable words, each connected to a simple
Japanese word, and shows how they can be combined to help
memorize particularly troublesome vocabulary.
Unlike Volume 1, which proceeds step-by-step in a series of
lessons, Volume 2 is organized in such as way that one can study
individual chapters or use it as a reference for pronunciation
problems as they arise. Individual frames cross-reference the kanji
to alternate readings and to the frame in Volume 1 in which the
meaning and writing of the kanji was fi rst introduced. Ample
indexes at the end of the text are devoted to hand-drawn kanji,
the signal primitives, the Chinese readings, and the Japanese
readings, as well as a comprehensive cross-reference list to the
material contained in Volume 1.

James W. Heisig is professor and permanent research fellow at the
Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture in Nagoya, Japan.

University of Hawai‘i Press
Honolulu, Hawai‘i 96822-1888

www.uhpress.hawaii.edu

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Page 202

readings from useful compounds | 195

夫 フウ 824


婦 フ ����
1564 夫婦 ふうふ man and wife; couple

首 シュ ��
相 ショウ 2063, 2088 ��
1565 首相 しゅしょう prime minister

衣 イ 23 � �
類 ルイ ��
1566 衣類 いるい clothing (generic term)

万 バン 973 ��
1567 万歳 ばんざい “Hip, hip, hurray!”

思 シ ���
1568 思想 しそう thought; ideas

迅 ジン �

1569 迅速 じんそく speedy; prompt

平 ヘイ 2038 ��

均 キン ���
1570 平均 へいきん an average

児 ジ 2041 �

童 ドウ ���
1571 児童 じどう child; juvenile

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Page 203

196 | remembering the kanji 2

解 カイ 2231 �
��
釈 シャク � �

1572 解釈 かいしゃく interpretation

句 ク ��
1573 文句 もんく complaint

休 キュウ ��
日 ジツ ���
1574 休日 きゅうじつ holiday; day off

役 ヤク 2156


1575 市役所 しやくしょ city hall

集 シュウ ��
1576 募集 ぼしゅう recruiting

罰 バツ 2119
��
1577 罰金 ばっきん fi ne; penalty

位 イ ��
1578 地位 ちい position; status

接 セツ ���
1579 直接 ちょくせつ direct; immediate

間 ケン 396 ����
1580 世間 せけん public world; society

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Page 404

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