How to get the most out of Natalie Hamilton' "The Kanji Code"?

What up ともだち.

Upon hearing about this new book from a recent Tofugu article I decided to pick it up. I’ve gotten to the third chapter, where page after page of ‘phonetic components’ are given, and wanted to ask; If you own this book, how did you make use of it? What is the best approach to utilize these contents? Is there an Anki available?


I don’t have the book but I saw the article. If you haven’t seen it already, there is a pretty amazing user script called Keisei semantic-phonetic composition that utilizes this concept.

It doesn’t give as much detail as the book, but it points out in each kanji the phonetic and semantic component (when they are present/known) that makes up the kanji, and this has made my life at least 30% easier.


Thanks, I was looking for more scripts. This is pretty nice.


Hamilton published the phonetic components from the book on her webpage last week.

You could use them with Anki or Memrise, test your memory of the reading with each component. You could also add example words.

I’ve gone old school and made paper flash cards because I find drawing them myself helps me learn. I have the reading and meaning of each component on the back, and one or more example words. They are really starting to sink in and I am getting better at guessing on yomi of kanji.phonetics
Another thing I’m doing is reading Japanese news websites like Yomiuri and seeing if I can guess the reading, using popjisyo to confirm if I’m correct or not.


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