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"Kana: Pict-O-Graphix" by Michael Rowley

A simple, pocket-size companion using illustrations to help those learning the beautiful, written language from Japan.

Along with Korean and their pop music, the same held right with Japanese and thus wanted to learn their language. The Japanese writing system is completely different and having to get a hold of learning the Kana, before I jump start on the Kanji, wasn't as easy as I thought. Fun books like this make it that much easy, using humorous drawings, to help remember the Kana. If that isn't enough to help you remember the Kana, the words/sentences on how each Kana is pronounced should. Personally, I haven't mastered the Kana yet, but reference books like this is helping a lot.

Also, inside the front is the complete Hiragana palette and inside the back cover is the Katakana palette, so you don't need to scroll through the pages to quickly remember that one character you forgot.

Overall, anyone looking to learn the beautiful Japanese language and looking to stock up on some decent, inexpensive books and guides to help you attain fluency, this book should be on your list as one of your references.

Because Japanese is one of the more popular languages along with Chinese, and more popular than Korean, the language does take a bit of time and effort to get a hold of the entire Kana. The illustrations on this book is making it easy, for me at least, to memorize the Kana better (funny because I couldn't find a book like this for Korean, but was able to memorize the entire Korean alphabet quicker than the Japanese Kana!). I also learned about "Noodle held by chopsticks," the "Cheer," the "Koi is Japanese for 'carp'," and the "Key." A very helpful book!





  • Fun little reference book, using illustrations to memorize the Japanese language.
  • Affordable.
  • None.
100% (A+)
Fan Rating
Title Kana: Pict-O-Graphix

Mnemonics for Japanese Hiragana and Katakana
Author(s) Michael Rowley
Description Kana Pict-o-Graphix is lively collection of contemporary memory aids that teaches you the shapes and sounds of hiragana and katakana, the two basic syllabaries used in written Japanese.

Each hiragana and katakana pair is presented on a single page for comparison, with separate visual and text mnemonics. Also included is a brief introduction, pronunciation tips, notes on kana combinations and characters easily confused, and complete kana charts. The book fits handily into any pocket for quick use and reference.
Dedication "To my good friend Joshua"
ISBN 978-1-880656-18-1
Book Dimensions Width: 3.0″
Height: 5.0″
Depth: 0.25″ (¼″)
Page Count 72
Contents Introduction, A, Ka, Sa, Ta, Na, Ha, Ma, Ya, Ra, Wa, Voiced Sounds, Unvoiced Sounds, Doublers, Combined Forms, Look-alikes
Book Design Michael Rowley
Author Photograph --
Published September 1, 1995
Publisher Stone Bridge Press (www.stonebridge.com)
Copyright © 1995 by Michael Rowley
Printed in United States of America
Book Format Paperback
Quoted Reviews "Rowley has created a visual vocabulary that is striking and, most importantly, memorable." — Wired Magazine
Best Seller's List --
Other Michael Rowley is a book designer and illustrator living in Northern California. He is the author of Kanji Pict-o-Graphix, Imagine Nation: A Visual Guide for Learning the States, and The Atom Families: Visual Mnemonics for Learning the Periodic Table of Elements.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data 1. Japanese Language—Writing—Kana.
2. Japanese Language—Textbooks for foreign speakers—English.
I. Title.
CIP Number 94-48537
LC Control Number 94048537
LC Call Number PL528.R69  1995
DDC Call Number 495.6´82421—dc20


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First book review ever posted!