Kanji Kuma

Check out Kanji Kuma!

Living in Tokyo, I’m doing my best to learn Japanese. One of the hardest roadblocks to learning Japanese is wrapping your head around Kanji, the Japanese character writing system. These complex logograms were imported originally from China and adapted to the native Japanese language which at the time lacked a formal writing system.

There are over 2000 important kanji in daily life (according to the government) and many more that are less frequently used. Often students must learn these characters through the tried and true method of memorization.

But I find that learning to break up the characters into their core components, known as radicals, helps discern kanji that you may not have encountered before.  Many of the radicals have meaning and sometimes offer clues to the meaning of the more complex complete kanji.

I set about creating a fun and well designed website to showcase the Japanese radicals and provide some basic information for learners.

This is Kanji Kuma!

I took heavy inspiration from the background of this radical article which helps explain the same method.

I also adapted this wonderful animated opening type demo and married the two looks which fit together nicely.

The result is a nice way to explore radicals. I hope you enjoy and for fellow learners of Japanese good luck – 頑張って!