Continued from page 1
The downside is that, unlike Heisig in particular, this method will not allow you to even dream about mastering 1,945 joyou kanji: You might breeze through all kanji in this book, but you will still be only just over half-way there. And without Rowley's illustrative skill, you will find it difficult to use same method to press on and master rest.
This is a serious weakness compared to other methods mentioned in Part 1. Their advantage is not just that they take you through at least all joyou kanji, but that they also give you a method which you can continue to use for any obscure kanji you come across in future.
So, if you are a visual learner and you are thinking about using Kanji Pict-O-Graphix as your main kanji learning tool, you will probably want to consider whether you are serious enough to want learn more than 1,000 kanji before you get started. However, if you are simply thinking of using this approach as an extra additional resource, there is very little you can say to fault this volume.
At end of day, it still comes down to your needs and your preferred learning method: Will you opt for Heisig or Henshall's mnemonics, Rowley's visual approach or will you be a pioneer and create your own unique method? The choice is yours, but grinding, rote kanji memorization does not have to be your fate any more.
Stephen Munday lives in Japan. His most recent project is a website where you can get your name in beautiful Japanese calligraphy. This article is (c) Stephen Munday 2005. Permission is given to reproduce this article in whole with the URLs correctly hyperlinked.