Friday, September 18


Ok, so I haven't been posting since my return to Tokyo, mea maxima culpa. But now that things have settled down I will definitely be posting more often. Now, for some news!

Well, maybe not groundbreaking news for some but a little excitement for me. I've reached 1915 kanji in my studies! For those who don't know, a kanji is a Japanese/Chinese character. So I've now reached the point where I can say that I know how to write 1915 of the little buggers!

Why is 1915 a special number? Well, it isn't except that it means that I am almost finished learning the basic set. The book I am using (which I highly recommend), Remembering the Kanji, has 2042 kanji in it. So I only have another 137 to go before I'm done!! At my pace I should be done by the time my birthday comes around (10/29) :)

For those that are interested Japanese people learn a standard set of 1945 kanji by the time they finish high school. The kanji in that standard set are called the jōyō kanji kanji. This list is actually enshrined in law, and newspapers who use kanji outside this list must, by law, append them with furigana (a way to let people know who to read them, since some people may not know how). Sometime in the near future the list is to be revised to add another 119 kanji and remove 5. Which is bad news for me ... just when I though I had my kanji down pat they go and change the list!

Here's visual representation of what I've crammed into my head. Please feel sorry for me, inserting each one of these in my head wasn't easy ...