When I decided to learn Japanese, I was super thrown off by the use of kanji in the writing system. I grew up learning Korean where everything is written out using the Korean alphabet (I only formally learned one hanja) and I wished Japanese would just be written out in hiragana/katakana.
But now that I’ve learned a few kanji, I really like it! Sure, it’s a problem for literacy rates, but in terms of vocab building I think it’s great and so profound. As I learn a new kanji or vocab, I recall the Korean translation and I feel like I now truly understand what the word means in Korean (and in Japanese, of course). Vocab gets easier to remember because I understand how the word came about rather than just brute force flashcard memorizing things like I did learning Korean vocab.
I’m also a visual learner so when I read a Japanese sentence (given I recognize the kanji), I can recall the vocab much more quickly than if it was plainly written out.
For example, I was taking a beginner Japanese class where we learned ごご、ごぜん and I always got them mixed up. But as soon as I learned the kanji 午後、午前 it’s so easy to remember now!
Only at level 9, excited for more!