Just so we’re clear on this: gigantic, Microsoftial sums of money changed hands before this article came up. This, people, is what ska fans call “selling out”…What else, oh yeah — you need one of these! Buy one or you’ll never know happiness! In fact, buy two!
I’ve previously discussed Japanizing your environment, and part of that Japanization involves covering your walls with kanji. The kanji posters I had on my walls back in the day were from Rolomail and zhongwen.com, respectively. The Rolomail one comes on three separate sheets and is used in Japanese schools; it comes in phonetic order; you need to laminate it yourself if you want to protect it. The zhongwen.com action was a case of me photocopying the index of the book, blowing it up to three or four sheets of 11″x17″ paper, and then laminating it.
Now something better has come along. Brought to you by people other than the people who brought you Jurassic Park — Paddy, a reader of this site and — it’s KanjiPoster! A massive 23″ (58cm) wide, 37″ (94cm) long wall of Japanese kanji goodness. Now, what’s so good about a KanjiPoster kanji poster?
1) It comes in Heisig/Remembering the Kanji (RTK) order. In that sense, I think it is the first of its kind. At the very least, it is the first such product I have come across. Most kanji posters come in either phonetic order or, worse, scholastic order, and generally only have relatively few characters on them.
2) It’s got kanji on it. That should be enough right there.
3) It looks sweet.
4) Contains all general use kanji and then some (over 2000 in total).
5) It’s a single poster. One poster to rule them all. All the other kanji posters I have ever made, bought, or seen are in fact not one poster but a set of multiple posters.
6) Having one of these around is very motivating. It’s like a big, in-your-face, concrete, visual tracker of your progress through Heisig’s book — a great example of posting your goals where you can see them. Even if you’re already done with RTK, having one of these around acts as a free review of what you’ve learned. Every time you cast your eyes on KanjiPoster, you’ll be reinforcing your connection to the characters. Having a bad kanji day? A glance at KanjiPoster will remind you how far you’ve come, and reassure you that while the task may be large, it is definitely not infinite. Having a good kanji day? Let everyone know — mark up your KanjiPoster (KanjiPoster is laminated, so you can write on it with a dry-erase marker) and show your friends, family and innocent bystanders just how much kanji tail you kick.
In fact, the only thing KanjiPoster doesn’t have is readings and keywords. It’s just the characters. Adding more information would probably have made things too cluttered or too big to fit on a single sheet. So, I don’t see this as a big loss.
What are you waiting for? Get a kanji poster already! Do it for the children 🙂 .
[Everybody needs one kanji poster to rule them all; one kanji book or website to learn them; one SRS to review them all, and into the brain burn them — including kids learning Chinese. So watch out for a Chinese version (HanziPoster?) in the geologically near future. As I mentioned a few paragraphs ago, KanjiPoster is developed by Paddy, who reads this site, and is therefore very handsome in addition to being totally cool. He’s always looking for ways to improve himself and the product, so if you have any requests or suggestions, he’ll be happy to hear from you].