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Goin’ Japanesque!

Power-Up Your Japanese: Novice Kanji

11 Lessons
– Power-Up Your Japanese 1: Novice Kanji Numbers
– Power-Up Your Japanese 2: Novice Kanji Everyday Objects
– Power-Up Your Japanese 3: Novice Kanji Body
– Power-Up Your Japanese 4: Novice Kanji Radicals
– Power-Up Your Japanese 5: Novice Kanji Verbs
– Power-Up Your Japanese 6: Novice Kanji Adjectives
– Power-Up Your Japanese 7: Novice Kanji Family and Friends
– Power-Up Your Japanese 8: Novice Kanji School
– Power-Up Your Japanese 9: Novice Kanji Animals
– Power-Up Your Japanese 10: Novice Kanji Time
– Power-Up Your Japanese 11: Novice Kanji Verbs pt. 2



Reading and writing kanji is a necessary part to becoming fluent in Japanese. The Japanese government created a list of about 2,000 kanji that are recognized as being the most commonly used and most important for literate adults to know.

Out of this list, I’ve selected 200 important characters to know to help you navigate through life in Japan. These characters have been chosen for their commonality and overall usefulness in reading menus, signs, directions, and even books and games for young children. In addition to learning the kanji and select words formed by the kanji, I also have 50 important bushu (kanji radicals) for you to learn to help make mastering kanji in the long-run a much easier journey.

Power-Up Your Japanese: Novice Kanji serves as an excellent accompaniment or follow-up to the previous lesson, Power-Up Your Japanese: Novice Level.


Studying Strategies

Learning kanji is the same as learning any other skill. It requires practice, practice, and more practice. When studying these kanji, I recommend starting with 5 out of the 15-20 in each lesson and mastering those. Once you feel comfortable with the first 5, move on to the next 5. But don’t forget to go back and keep reviewing and practicing the old ones!

I recommend you practice writing each character at least 5 times each. As you write the character, say a Japanese word associated with that character. This will help both strengthen your vocabulary as well as form a connection in your brain between the Japanese word and the kanji.

After you’ve written a character 5 times, test yourself. Can you write it without any help? If yes, move on to the next one! If not, hold up! Go back and keep practicing.

Continue to rinse and repeat this method until you feel you have a good grasp of all the kanji. Make a set of flash cards and now test your ability to associate the Japanese kanji with a Japanese word and also the English meaning!