It has been a while, but here is a new video showcasing a popular new book for learning kanji.
Kanji Look and Learn 512 Kanji with Illustrations and Mnemonic Hints.
This fairly new book is published by The Japan Times and is brought to you by the people behind the highly popular Genki
textbook series. It covers 512 kanji–all kanji in the old levels 3 and 4 of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test. This should basically be the same as the new N4 and N5 levels. It has 244 pages and a workbook that is sold separately.
This book is for those new to kanji–or those who have studied some kanji, but would like a kanji textbook with more eye candy.
You will need to know hiragana since there is no romaji. Since most kanji study guides and kanji dictionaries list the readings in romaji, I think this is a good thing. Also all kanji in the book have furigana.
Each kanji is presented with a *usually* helpful mnemonic in both Japanese and English. Some mnemonics are simplistic. For example, there are many “This is a picture of a such and such” or “This is in the shape of…” Still, most are very helpful and the illustrations are superb. By the way, every kanji has its own illustration.
Every kanji has four or five example words. I usually suggest forgetting about trying to memorize the readings themselves and learn words instead. That way you will kill two birds with one stone and actually feel like you are accomplishing something.
The back has several indexes to quickly find kanji by stroke count, on/kun reading, and by kanji part. There is also a list of all vocabulary words found in the book.
All in all, this is an excellent book that any beginner to kanji can appreciate.