Step One

Step 1: Remembering the Kanji

James Heisig is seriously one of the most brilliant men ever. He ranks right up there with Einstein for me, because without him, so many of us would never dream of reaching kanji fluency!

This one’s going to be a tough one though. I know it. TRUST ME, I’ve tried it before. This is my second time! However, it’s really the best place to start because it gets all 2,136  jōyō kanji learned, memorized, and not so scary looking anymore. Plus stroke order, STROKE ORDER (the sometimes bane of my kanji existence) should be down by the end of this. Thank the LORD.

I’ll be posting on Twitter and in my “Star Acheivement: Star Book” (weird sounding I know, but I like the word star…it brings up happy memories of GOLD STARS, so bear with me) when I reach milestones within this step. Cause really, it’s going to be a BEAST to finish.

Tools for Completion:

Remembering the Kanji, Volume 1 by James W. Heisig (bought my copy at

Reviewing the Kanji — A website where you can share kanji stories, chart your progress through the book, and lurk the forums for great advice and learning resources.

Anki — My SRS (Spaced Repetition or Flashcard Program) of choice. There are other ones, but I love Anki the best. It’s a great little program you can use to make your own flashcards, and it has a TON of pre-made decks. Anki also offers Japanese Language support, online snycing, and has an App you can buy to review on the go. Plus, did I mention it’s FREE?

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