The Kanji Code ebook is free this weekend

I scrolled thru the whole book very quickly. Historic backgrounds aside (of which I heard on Tofugu podcasts or read in Wikipedia),I don’t think it will help me with kanji learning much. Is it famous book or something?

Do you not use phonetic components to help remember on’yomi readings?

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Yes, and I like the script. I get that the book is about that too, but I’m not gonna read it thorough (probably), until I have more free time which is never. I mean it’s academically interesting but not practical.

Looking forward to hearing more what people will get from this book. Maybe I will change my mind. As I said, I glanced thru super quickly.

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Wait, is this how people normally learn the on’yomi readings? I’ve never done this way… :open_mouth:


It’s a way that people commonly use, consciously or subconsciously. For example, it’s useful to know that any kanji containing 㑒 will have the on’yomi けん. Of course, not all phonetic components have 100% accuracy, but many of them are very useful. On several occasions I’ve encountered a word with kanji I had never learned, but I knew how to read it anyway because I recognized the phonetic components.


is really helpful. I’d say a must in userscripts universe.


Thank you. Downloaded from Amazon UK.

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That’s right. “Print Replica” just means that’s it’s not an ebook meant to be read digitally (reflowing text, mobi/epub format, ability to change fonts etc.) but rather a replica of the print version. Basically it’s the PDF file that they use to print the book which means it’s not optimized for mobile phones and you have to zoom in all the time to read it. Why they’d sell it like that beats me. :woman_shrugging:

In any case, I got it from Amazon Germany and everything works fine! It seems like a useful resource and I’m glad I got to get it for free. Thank you OP for making this thread and alerting us all!


I could not do it from UK site. I get this on the right side: This title is not currently available for purchase

I can see it free on .com but it sends me back to the UK kindle store because that’s where I hold an account. Tried from both our windows and linux PC with two different accounts.

Was it straight forward for you?


Yeah I just clicked the UK link then my kindle download information was on the right.

It would only let me select ‘Transfer to Kindle for Mac’, and not the Kindle itself, though. Maybe you need to register your Kindle account on the app first?

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It’s amiga btw…

So amazon thought I was purchasing from France and copyright laws make it impossible to buy this for free in France apparently. Am a bit mystified as to how amazon thought I was buying from France when I’ve been using UK banking info 99% of the time and only occasionally buy a french title or send something to France.

It was my iPad that gave it away. On the PC, I had no warning or message anywhere but the iPad immediately flagged the issue.

Just synced it and it’s indeed there on the iPad!



Another mystery solved!

Good job, amiga :wink:


Because there are so many images in the book, it makes it difficult to optimize for mobile. That’s why it’s a print replica. Also, the author self-published, so she was on a low budget.

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Thank you for sharing this information @Anime_gasuki! I really appreciate having gotten this for free. Just “purchased” off of Amazon US.

let’s keep chugging along in this language acquisition journey! :slightly_smiling_face:

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I understand the restrictions of a limited budget. The images don’t play a role though. It’s not like ebook file formats don’t support images :stuck_out_tongue:

I noticed the book has quite a few tables with many columns though. Those wouldn’t work well in ebook format, but they can be inserted as images (then the reader can zoom in as needed.)

Tofugu listed it as a Best New Resource about a year ago when it first came out

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This is what the Tofugu reviewer said: The third and final section is the most unique. It lists visual or artistic patterns that tie kanji together with their on’yomi readings. Some have similar strokes or shapes, or simply look similar if you squint. (I’m not joking!).
The Kanji Code is very well laid out, its paper of satisfying quality, and its content rich and engaging. If you’ve been trying to learn kanji meanings using a similar book method and need a resource to help you with the next step, this is a great book to pick up.
This is what Jim Breen (creator of the WWWDIC) said:
“Refreshingly different. Well worth reading, and the sort of book I wish I’d had 35 years ago.”
And Michael Rowley:
“The task of remembering the sounds that pair with kanji can seem daunting at first, yet Hamilton has gleaned an elegant system in which you’ll be ‘seeing the sounds’ of kanji and accelerate your fluency in reading kanji. As a visual learner, I wish I had this book when I started my journey of understanding kanji.” **Kanji Pict-O-Graphix author


I can’t comment on the book, but for anyone interested further in some statistical analysis about predicting readings, I really really like this blog post:


This is a great article! Actually I think Hamilton includes it in the references.


You might also find Etsuko Toyoda’s article interesting.

Identifying useful phonetic components of kanji

Etsuko Toyoda
Etsuko Toyoda