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Question Kanji


3 Jul 2021
I am still a beginner, but for pure personal curiosity I wanted to know three things.
1) If a person wanted to study for the kanji exam (the Kanken), where, I have read, you have to know everything about kanji
(especially at the higher levels), where can one find resources to learn everything about kanji? I saw that for each level of the Kanken there are books. Are those enough besides practice, or are there other resources?

2) Where can I find resources to learn how to write kanji with good calligraphy? I know there are rules as well as the sequence of strokes to follow.

3) Do you know of any online resources where you can print out pages and pages of kanji to trace, so you can learn them?

Thank you.
This thread might be interesting for you.
For #1, of course it would be best to read a wide variety of literature so you have more than an academic, superficial understanding of what you are looking at. Passing the kanken is more than just memorizing 10,000 kanji characters. Understanding the nuances of how they are used, and the various situations where one will find certain phrases ("four-character phrases" and whatnot), will help you pass kanken 1.
#2 and #3 are readily available in Japan. Maybe you can buy from Amazon? Calligraphy books and the more elementary kanji-tracing books are very common.
#2 and #3 are ok. For #1,
I understand that one has to study not only the kanji but also all the nuances of how they are used, and the various situations where one will find certain phrases, etc... what I was wondering, on a practical level, I saw that for each level of kanken there are books made especially for it. What are these books for? Can all the problems mentioned above be solved with these books? What are the resources to be used?
I hope the question is clear.
There is a Kanji Kentei game for DS/3DS, and probably other apps for phones at this point too. I did that kanji kentei game over and over until I got up to level 5, this was a decade ago. The game is still available though.

Books are great of course, but a game like that will test your stroke order and balance, while building your reading and meaning.
The books will tell you some of what you need to know. They will not be a definitive guide to all of the kanji and all of the phrases you need to know. There are some 10000 kanji in use in Japanese, and well over 30,000 if you include all kanji in use in China (some of these may have been used in Japan in the past, but have fallen out of use now). A typical high school graduate will know at least 2000. It is said that to pass the standard university entrance exam, a student should be at the level of kanken 2. For kanken 1, you should know how to read and write and use at least 6000 kanji. Being able to confidently use 6000 kanji requires some effort - and many of these kanji are rarely used, and so one does not normally come across them in newspapers, magazines, subtitles on tv/movies, etc...

And the test questions change every year, so there is not one definitive source you can study that will prepare you 100% for the test. So when you say "can all the problems be solved with these books?", the answer is no. They are just study guides. The books will show you what types of questions are asked, and they may give examples of past questions. They will help you prepare for the test.

You might already know this, but here are the descriptions of the tests.

Here is a list of the kanken rankings and how many kanji you should know.

  • 10級:小学校1年生修了程度:80字:150点満点80%程度
  • 9級:小学校2年生修了程度:240字:150点満点80%程度
  • 8級:小学校3年生修了程度:440字:150点満点80%程度
  • 7級:小学校4年生修了程度:640字:200点満点70%程度
  • 6級:小学校5年生修了程度:825字:200点満点70%程度
  • 5級:小学校6年生修了程度:1006字:200点満点70%程度
  • 4級:中学校在学程度:1322字:200点満点70%程度
  • 3級:中学校卒業程度:1607字:200点満点70%程度
  • 準2級:高校在学程度:1940字:200点満点70%程度
  • 2級:高校卒業・大学・一般程度:2136字:200点満点80%程度
  • 準1級:大学・一般程度:約3000字:200点満点80%程度
  • 1級:大学・一般程度:約6000字:200点満点80%程度

You can play a kanji flashcard game with your fellow students. Make a deck of flashcards. Gather with your fellow students. Pull a card from the deck. You get:

One point for each meaning. (仏 means Buddha. It also means France.)
One point for each pronunciation.
One point for each combination it is in.
One point for the meaning of each combination it is in.
One point for the pronunciation of each combination it is in. (For example, the kanji 了 (りょう) exists in the combinations 了解、了見、了承、了知、了覚、了簡.)

If you want to know how a kanji is pronounced, Weblio.jp is a good resource.

If you don't know the pronunciation of a kanji, there are websites where you can write out the kanji on the screen and the website will tell you which kanji it is.

You can make your own flashcards or you can buy a set of them:

h ttps://www.amazon.com/Japanese-Kanji-Flashcards-Vol-English/dp/0984334904

If you are looking for a kanji dictionary, I recommend:

h ttps://www.amazon.com/Modern-Readers-Japanese-English-Character-Dictionary/dp/0804804087/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=nelson+kanji+dictionary&qid=1625499983&s=books&sr=1-3

I bought my copy of the Nelson kanji dictionary years ago, and I find it very helpful even today. (My hardcopy version has over 1,000 pages.)
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