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The most efficient way to remember the meaning and writing of Japanese characters.


Remembering the Kanji

Use your imaginative memory to remember thousands complex Japanese characters, with Remembering the Kanji by James W. Heisig.

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Try the sample chapter (includes 294 kanji).
Both the 5th and 6th editions are supported!

Review, Share and Improve!

See your progress Visualize your progress as stacks of flashcards. Reviews are automatically scheduled based on your past results.

Review the kanji Review the kanji online. Repeat more of the difficult characters, and less of those that you know well.

Share mnemonics Feeling stuck? Share stories with fellow learners. Find help and encouragement on the community forums!


Brainstorming upcoming performance update19 August 2016
I'm looking into improving the database queries that are used when browsing the Study pages. The main query that pulls out the shared stories is actually pretty bad. I'm regularly seeing queries that take between 1 - 2 seconds! For comparison, the forum (which is based on MyBB) typically returns a full page (php and mysql queries) under 100 milliseconds!

It looks like it's not so complicated after all. Although MyBB uses "Join Decomposition" for pulling posts within a thread, and I thought this would be a similar scenario for the stories, it turns out I don't even need to use this technique.

I might be able to do this first performance update within a week or two. Read on if you are interested in the MySQL ins and outs!

Querying the database. Bleep, bloop.17 August 2016
Yes I am alive! I've been somewhat busy since January but I've been looking into the website code now for about a week or so. Some database queries are really slow and I always wanted to fix those. Browsing the Study pages ought to work much better.

I'm reading "High Performance MySQL" and looking into ways to improve the database schema. Some things that stood out is that I used multiple column keys as primary keys in a way that is inefficient and prevents so useful techniques, such as "Join Decomposition". Another thing is called "de normalization", and I should probably have stored the count of votes / reports along with the stories in order to avoid the "Temporary table" problem. I realized also that storing stories as "TEXT" instead of "VARCHAR" causes the temporary tables to be on disk instead of in memory!

All kinds of fun stuff. It'll probably take a few weeks and then I'll have to take down the site for an hour or so, make a backup first, then do all kind of wizardry to make major changes to the schema and queries. I should probably do this in different phases because it's quite tricky.
Material / Dark theme for the Review page1 May 2016
Over at the forums, magnontobi has shared a new theme for the flashcard review page based on Google's "material" design. It's very easy to install with the Stylish extension in your browser. Check it out if you're tired of the blue gradient! ;)
Remembering the Kanji available on Apple iBooks store25 March 2016
Remembering the Kanji 1 (€ 28,99) and RtK 2 (€ 22,99) are available as ebook in the Apple iBooks store since last month. Thanks to Jeroen for the information! I created a forum topic to discuss this particular edition.
Introducing White Rabbit Press and the Kanji Poster9 March 2016
I'm pleased to introduce a new sponsor, White Rabbit Press !

Tokyo-based White Rabbit Press produces several top-selling products for Japanese language learners. Included in their catalog are Kana Flashcards with unforgettable visual and verbal mnemonics; an essential series of Kanji Flashcards; a definitive Kana Reference Poster, and JLPT and Heisig Kanji Posters. They also produce a series of Japanese Graded Readers for iPad (soon to be updated for iPhone and Android).

White Rabbit also runs a shop with hundreds more Japanese language titles hard to find outside Japan. If that’s not enough -- they are also pioneers of proxy-buying service in Japan with White Rabbit Express (now in it's 10th year of operation). Use this link to sign-up, and get a $5 credit on your first order.

Special Offer for Kanji Koohii members! Use coupon code KOOHIHEISIG during checkout in their shop and get a 20% discount on the Laminated Heisig Kanji Wall Poster.

...more in the news archive.