#3 - Learn Kanji

This lesson is going to be relatively short because I’m going to send you to some long articles about kanji on our site.

In those articles, you’ll learn about the following items…


What are kanji?

Kanji are these squiggly monsters that you see all over Japan: 漢字. There are a whole bunch of them, and you need to learn around 2,000 just to be considered “literate” in Japan.

Don’t panic. Everything is going to be okay.


Why we should study kanji early in our Japanese studies.

If you know kanji, learning words and understanding Japanese becomes exponentially easier.

In Unit #1 of this e-course, I wrote the word 無理 (muri), which means “impossible,” or “no way.” If you knew the kanji 無 (not; does not exist; etc.) and 理 (“logic”), then it wouldn’t be too hard to guess that “no logic” means “not (logically) possible.”

Then a few days later, you might hear a Japanese person say 無になっている. The verb なる (naru) means “to become,” and in this sentence it’s in the present progressive tense なっている (natteiru), which means “becoming.” So, combining that with “not existing,” we get “(I’m) becoming not existing.” That sounds really strange, but once you learn that this means “I wasn’t thinking about anything.” Or “I was blank-minded,” it becomes pretty easy to remember. It’s easy to remember because of the kanji.

Kanji are a killer vocab-learning tool. Because they’re a killer vocab-learning tool, it only stands to reason that we should master them as quickly as possible.

It only takes 3 months of ridiculously hard work to master the kanji.

Here is a 12,000 word post on my website that explains how to do this in detail: Hacking the Kanji - How to Learn Kanji Easily and Remember Them Permanently.

Yes, it is possible. I have had hundreds of readers do this before.

If you look at that article, and you like the study system presented, then I suggest you look at this article, too: Using a Memory Palace to Learn the Kanji.

If all this talk about crazy Japanese characters is scaring you, then you should check out this post: The Real Reason Kanji Are “Soooooooooo Hard” *Cries*.

The system for learning kanji that I mentioned above is for learning kanji rapidly through the use of a unique mnemonic system. If you don't like using mnemonics, that's OK. You do have another option: Just use kanji in all of your other study materials.

Specifically, you should use kanji when studying vocabulary, which is what we'll discuss in the next lecture.


Where we at?!

  • Unit #1 – Checking Yourself Before Wrecking Yourself
    • Decide if you’re really committed to learning Japanese.
    • Mentally prep yourself for high volumes of consistent, level-appropriate language exposure.
    • Start listening to audio loops.
  • Unit #2- First Steps to Learning Japanese
    • Learn about Japanese pronunciation.
    • Learn Hiragana.
    • Learn Katakana
  • Unit #3 – Learning the Kanji
    • Learn the meaning of All 2,136 General-Use Kanji Characters

Just keep swimming, fellow student. You're crossing an ocean.




Noticed any typos we've missed or other issues?
Report them here at this link.

Have questions about something in this lesson? Something not quite clicking yet? Join our discord community and discuss any questions / comments with us and fellow students.
You can join by heading to this link.