577 Kanji Down, 1465 to go … 59+ more for today

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Ok, so I have made it to 249 Kanji and hope to be at 323 by the end of the day … I wanted to impart something funny that I learned yesterday.

Sort of thing (so) (然)

Let us break it down piece by piece … This character is made of 3 different primitives.

Flesh (月)

Dog (犬)

Fire (火)

Ok ok, so how the heck are you supposed to remember something like this?! Just think of walking to a BBQ and saying, “mmm … what’s that smell? What sort of thing are you cooking?” Of course, I reply, “It’s that damn chihuahua that barks all the time. I put the dog’s meat on the fire … mmm … can’t wait!” The end.

Conceptually, this idea was derived from the book, Remembering the Kanji: Vol 1 by James Heisig.

Wish me luck, folks, as I have begun an edeavor to learn all of Japan’s official Jōyō Kanji (常用漢字・じょうようかんじ). Jōyō Kanji is an official list of Chinese characters learned by all Japanese secondary school graduates. This list contains 1,945 kanji and was last updated in 1981.

Don’t be confused, my problem is not the desire to learn all of these characters. This should be the goalof all people learning the Japanese Language … I just decided to go ahead and do this all in the course of a month. I hope to have completed all of these kanji by August 20th. Now, I know what your thinking: “You’re an idiot”; “failure is unbecoming”; “blah blah blah”; or something like that. Thanks to the Heisig method, however, I feel that this can be a reasonable goal. I have already learned 100 previously unknown kanji in 1 day (I already knew ~200). The method also allows for acceleration as it builds your comprehension and imagination for these characters as you press onward. By the end of this month, I hope to have completely understood the underlying meaning and writing of all of these characters. After that, I’ll start on the ability to read them in Japanese … pronunciation (any given character can have up to 6 or 7 different pronunciations).

Wish me luck …