Learning Japanese through Kanji


These are Japanese reading materials designed for upper-intermediate level learners. These readings look at 200 basic kanji characters one at a time, explaining in simple terms how each one came about, how the meaning of each has changed and so on. This website forms part of Online Japanese - AJALT ( introduction article ).

  • You can understand more deeply about kanji at the same time as practising your Japanese reading skills.
  • You can find out the etymology of the kanji, and how they are used.
  • These contents make enjoyable reading for people who are particularly interested in kanji.
  • The reading pieces include illustrations and colour.

How to...

In total, there are 200 reading pieces (i.e. 200 kanji dealt with). These are reading comprehension materials, but one of the site's distinguishing features is that the table of contents is made up of a list of kanji, from which you choose the one you want to look at.

Let's take a look at the reading material for kanji No.199, '豆'.

Firstly, there is some information about the kanji meaning and reading, related kanji ('see also'), the same kanji displayed in different typefaces and so on.

Underneath that, there are a few paragraphs of reading material.
Furigana readings are written in brackets ( ) next to any difficult kanji found in the piece.

For each piece of reading, there is a list of difficult vocabulary encountered (with English meanings) in the explanation, and a list of example words that use the particular kanji being looked at.

The short articles about each kanji make for good reading comprehension, you can deepen your understanding about the kanji while you read and you can even pick up some new vocabulary using each one, making this a useful site for learners.

These contents are part of AJALT (Association for Japanese-Language Teaching)'s Enjoy Learning Online Japanese ( introduction article ) materials.
To get here from the AJALT top page, follow these instructions.

Click on the panel where it says 'Enjoy Learning Online Japanese'.

Next, click on 'Learning Japanese through Kanji'.

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