Hello! My name is Eve Kushner. With my lifelong project Joy o' Kanji, I am writing one essay about each of the 2,136 Joyo kanji, the characters you need to know for basic literacy in Japanese.
Kanji are as complex as humans, and Joy o' Kanji essays are like personality profiles that bring the characters to life. The essays reveal the character of the characters and the kanji (感じ) of the kanji (漢字)!
Packed with gorgeous photos of kanji and of the items they represent, each essay immerses you in the world of one kanji. This immersion is essential because when you understand deeply, you can remember much more easily.
Every essay presents the etymology of the star kanji and shows how that character pops up in a range of words, from the most common to the most unusual. Thanks to a team of insightful native speakers who supply me with fascinating information, I can give readers access to every part of the language and culture.
The extremely affordable essays are downloadable as PDFs with a zingy magazine-style layout.
Check out the following sections of the site:
• To learn kanji through photos: JOKIA (Joyo Kanji in Action) photo albums. They're quite inexpensive, but one is still free!
• To read my weekly blogs: JOK Notebook.
• To shop for items with kanji on the surface: Kanji Kaimono. It's on an auxiliary site where vendors from around the world sell everything from jewelry and art to books. You'll find eight styles of Joy o' Kanji T-shirts there!
Here's what one subscriber has said about Joy o' Kanji:
I love this website! The best thing about these essays is that they are very empowering. The task of learning kanji is very daunting and after studying with these essays I felt that I could totally do it! I could read the shop signs, product packaging, book covers, etc., and it felt like I suddenly had a magic power for kanji understanding. I can imagine how much effort was put behind each essay! It's definitely must-have material for anyone studying the Japanese language. Thank you! ~David Holtom
Many others have endorsed Joy o' Kanji, including dictionary makers Jack Halpern and Wolfgang Hadamitzky, as well as Kanji Pict-o-Graphix author Michael Rowley.
Over the years, I've conveyed my passion for kanji in many venues. You may know my book Crazy for Kanji: A Student's Guide to the Wonderful World of Japanese Characters or my blog Kanji Curiosity, which I published on JapanesePod101.com from 2007 through 2010. I've spoken about my kanji addiction on NBC and on PRI's radio program The World in Words.
To learn more about me and the whole Joy o' Kanji team, see Who We Are.