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The Keys to the Chinese Characters — Master the History, Meaning, and Usage of Japanese Kanji
The Keys to the Chinese Characters — Master the History, Meaning, and Usage of Japanese Kanji
The Keys to the Chinese Characters — Master the History, Meaning, and Usage of Japanese Kanji
The Keys to the Chinese Characters — Master the History, Meaning, and Usage of Japanese Kanji
The Keys to the Chinese Characters — Master the History, Meaning, and Usage of Japanese Kanji
The Keys to the Chinese Characters — Master the History, Meaning, and Usage of Japanese Kanji

The Keys to the Chinese Characters — Master the History, Meaning, and Usage of Japanese Kanji

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Do you think learning and really understanding Japanese kanji is impossible?

It certainly seems that way. However, the times have changed! Students of kanji now have a powerful tool for mastering the Chinese characters in Japanese: The Keys to the Chinese Characters.

Who was Shizuka Shirakawa?

Shizuka Shirakawa (1910-2006) was a world-renown Chinese character scholar. His books are hailed as definitive works on kanji. Christoph Schmitz, the translator, is the only western scholar to have met and exchanged letters with him. His research in the origin, usage, and development of kanji is unsurpassed.
Previously, non-native students of Japanese lacked access to this amazing resource, but now—for the first time—Shirakawa's epic work is available in English.
Finally, serious students of Japanese can easily learn and understand what until now was reserved for only Japanese scholars.

Who is this for?

It is for lovers of kanji. Period. Think of this as the OED (Oxford English Dictionary) of Japanese kanji dictionaries. If you want to learn kanji--really know kanji--this book is for you. It is also for anyone interested in non-modern Japanese. I would not recommend this for beginners of Japanese, although much of the explanations may be interesting. It is not an easy read. 

  • SHIRAKAWA METHOD Includes vocabulary and a commentary on the Shirakawa approach.
  • FULLY INDEXED   Alphabetical vocabulary and classifier index.
  • THOROUGH CHARACTER FORM EXPLANATIONS  Practical commentary explains the history of each character, revealing the hitherto undisclosed secrets of kanji.
  • FOR ENGLISH SPEAKERS  This amazing resource is the world's first truly independent look into kanji-guru Shirakawa's work and gives English-speaking readers an unbiased and time-saving access to the best kanji method available.
  • For a taste of of his work, here is a series of Youtube lectures (in Japanese) about his method.

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