People have said the kindest things about Joy o' Kanji! Peter Goodman of Stone Bridge Press interviewed me for 35 minutes in a podcast, praising the wealth of information on this site (and in my book Crazy for Kanji). Manga Sensei founder John Dinkel interviewed me for a little more than a half hour for a podcast about kanji and had very nice things to say about my kanji venture. You can see more comments below.


Eve's Joy o' Kanji site, essays and newsletters are some of the brightest lights in the world of kanji scholarship. I look forward to each monthly newsletter, and am always amazed and impressed by the energy and enthusiasm she applies to bringing this potentially deadly field to life. Keep it up!
     ~Jim Breen, creator of the JMdict/EDICT and Kanjidic dictionaries
     and the WWWJDIC online dictionary
They say 'no pain, no gain', but remembering my own initial struggles learning kanji, I know that in fact the opposite is true—it's those learning methods that make learning fun that are the most useful and effective. That was the main goal of my own kanji dictionaries, and the enjoyment of kanji is clearly the main driving force behind Joy o' Kanji. I hope that many learners of Japanese take advantage of this wonderful resource.
     ~Jack Halpern, editor-in-chief of these works:
     New Japanese-English Japanese Character Dictionary
     The Kodansha Kanji Learner's Dictionary
To me Joy o’ Kanji is the most interesting and informative online source about kanji. I am impressed by the wealth of information on kanji you have compiled.
     ~Wolfgang Hadamitzky, coauthor of Japanese Kanji and Kana and
     The Kanji Dictionary
Amazing stuff! I wish I had had this incredibly rich resource when I was stumbling into the Japanese writing system 50+ years ago.
     ~Jay Rubin, author of Making Sense of Japanese and the novel
     The Sun Gods and translator of many Haruki Murakami novels

I am constantly in awe of your thoroughness and excellent scholarship.
     ~Kittredge Cherry, author of Womansword: What Japanese Words
     Say About Women

Joy o' Kanji is a site for true kanji enthusiasts. These in-depth essays are a fantastic way to really cement a kanji in your mind and get to know a kanji in context. They provide insights that even Japanese native speakers enjoy, and I love the fact that they introduce me to random bits of Japanese life and culture I've never encountered. I look forward to reading them each week!
     ~Jonathan Kirk, founder of the Kanshudo Japanese learning system
Thanks for still running the Internet’s best kanji site and making it more fun every year!
     ~Steve Green
This website is such a labor of love. I am impressed with the quality and accuracy of the essays, the meticulous revision notes, and the free blogs. Thank you!  
     ~Nicholas James
I really enjoyed your December 2023 newsletter. I especially want to honor your accomplishments in the kanji world. Wow—so full of insights, beauty, cultural connections, and goodwill. Your creativity and persistent hard work are wonderful and unique in bringing joy and learning into the global community.
     ~Dave Deppen

To understand language is to understand what makes us human. Language is a reflection of the mind, and to see it is to understand people and the world. Language is so basic and ordinary yet so essential and infinitely vast. All sources of knowledge are in the form of words or written code. Behind every word is a whole universe that just seems to be ignored by most. However, this insensitivity cannot be completely blamed for one could dedicate one's whole life in the search of understanding one single word but only get to a certain point because words are living matter, and thus they undergo continuous mutation and evolution. And this is why I like what you are doing with kanji, Eve—you present the whole picture related to a single character.
     ~Ayrton-Didier Brincat, applied linguist and East Asian language teacher

Since I started reading your posts, reading and writing kanji have become much more meaningful and fun. I like learning how people in ancient China thought. Thank you so much for letting me rediscover the language I learned in my homeland!
     ~Takako S., a native Japanese speaker living in the United States

Very well done, Eve. I'll be visiting and sending all my friends.
     ~Michael Rowley, creator of KanjiPictoGraphix and author of 
     Kanji Pict-o-Graphix

Eve, your essays are great! Love the info and the reading practice. And the photos! When I signed up I wondered if I was overpaying. Now I think I'm stealing from you! I think when I first saw what you were doing, I was disappointed you had only done a fraction of the kanji. I didn’t appreciate at all the amount of material in each essay. I also didn’t realise how interesting they would be. But most important I didn’t appreciate how useful I would find the sample sentences. We all know we have to practice our reading. Well, this gives us the chance to do so with a manageable amount of text which isn’t dumbed down at all. Perfect for intermediates. 
     ~Russell Hogg

Every Friday I look forward to reading the newest JOK essay. For anyone learning Japanese, JOK is UNMISSABLE.
     ~Mariano Quintana, a longtime subscriber

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
Nobody else is doing anything like Joy o' Kanji! It's fabulous!
     ~Elizabeth Rexford  
The Joy o' Kanji essays fill a long-empty niche in Japanese language studies. They demystify the kanji in a thorough yet light-hearted way, and always provide unique perspectives on various dimensions of their usage.
     ~Kevin Hamilton
Working on Joy o' Kanji documents often gives me a chance to realize the real Japanese meaning of the kanji. That is very, very interesting. Thank you for the chance!
     ~Keiko Yamada Fosterling, an editor and researcher
The essays on and are amazing. Such a deep understanding and a high degree of writing are magnificent. Are there any other people who can do that? Very impressive. 
     ~Hirotsugu Kodaka
I am really happy that I came across JOK—it is done with so much love. This is exactly what I would do to familiarize myself with each character if I could dedicate so much time to studying. Glad someone else did! 
     ~Samuel Duncker-Rakow
I so love your essays – the details and the way you allow the reader to learn more about you as a person (as in the first paragraph in essay 1047 on 菓, "confection"). It’s just really fun reading!
     ~Ulrike Narins
I think it's not too much to say that you have already become a great kanji scholar, Eve.
     ~Hidetomo Gomita
[Re. essay 1607 on 塚 (mound)] 貴女のエツセイは、日本人にない新鮮さがあり、とても良いですね。
I like your essay very much, since it has a fresh point of view that we Japanese don't have.
     ~Sakuo Nakamura
[Re. essay 1320 on 紫 (purple)] I was surprised at the rich contents. Very well written and so much research on a single kanji. I hope more people who are interested in Japanese culture will read your articles.
     ~Nishu Shimizu
If you LOVE kanji, or if you WANT to LOVE kanji, you must sign up for this site. Eve Kushner writes lovingly about kanji in a way that's both fun and informative!
     ~Heidi Cole
[Re. essay 1848 on 滅, essay 1081 on 穫, and essay 1726 on 披] The materials that examine in detail and thoroughly describe the characters "destroy," "harvest," and "open" really struck me. They are like beautifully designed books with attractive illustrations!
     ~Takehiro Kido 
This year is "a bit of Japanese every day," and the essays will help. Really enjoyed your earlier essays.
     ~Steve James
Eve’s essay series is the only research literature in the world that investigates kanji in great detail.
     ~Ryoichi Chida
I am really looking forward to reading your essays as they come out. They have been fantastic so far, and I am very impressed. It's nice to have such an amazing resource in English.
     ~Christopher Acheson
I enjoy the essays hugely. Full of delightful surprises!
     ~Patrick Sneyd
Your essays are the ideal tool for getting kanji engraved in the mind. I appreciate your efforts for the innovative ways of learning kanji through Joy o` Kanji. I hope it benefits kanji learners and becomes a success for the enormous amount of hard work and dedication being put into this site.
     ~Tilak Bhattacharjee
[Re. essay 1214 on 剣 (sword)] It looks great! So professional and clear. A masterpiece. You are very talented.
     ~Mariusz Szmerdt
[Re. essay 1052 on 靴 (shoes, footwear)] 
Der Schuh-Artikel ist wirklich sehr kurzweilig geschrieben und wohl recherchiert.
The shoe essay is very entertaining and well researched.
     ~Anton Emsenhuber
I enjoy your website! Japanese people (at least I) learn kanji without thinking of what you have written. We use kanji every day, and kanji is always there in our life. But your blog gives me the opportunity to look at each kanji more deeply, considering different aspects. Your blog is on my favorite list. 
     ~Yuki Mori
This is great. I was sinking into a study slump (that's February for you) but will now cheer myself up with your fabulous essays. (Much more fun than the textbook I am tangling with at the moment.)
     ~Anne Hill
There is an amazing depth in the kanji essays that I've read so far.
     ~Kelly Godsoe
Very valuable, notable, and instructive work being emanated by your keen soul.... Here I am with your smart and playful mind.
     ~Pedro Teixeira da Mota
[Re. essay 1214 on 剣 (sword)] That is an awesome essay!!!!
     ~Steve Bills
Bravo, Eve. I laughed and smiled reading your site. YAY! Will you please put a photo of Kanji the dog on there? [Done. On left.]
     ~Stephanie Van Hook
I can tell you've really put a lot thought into presenting the information with great style and in a user-friendly way. Your lessons are always so colorful and engaging. You have created a beautiful site that is fitting for a beautiful language and culture. I'm excited to help your dream grow!
     ~Corey Linstrom
If you're serious about learning kanji, JOK is a really, really friendly and useful approach to the kanji basics. I absolutely love JOK, and I must say that JOK has done a great job of showing how to use each kanji both in formal and casual Japanese sentences and introducing the origin and history of each kanji in a very unique (Eve-tastic :D) way. These aspects are not covered in even the most popular kanji books on this planet. I can thoroughly recommend JOK to teachers of Japanese, too.
     ~Haruyo Takamasu
[Re. JOKIA] The album that I looked at is very interesting. I like seeing the kanji on the signs. It's different from reading print and something that I want to learn.
     ~David Simon
Very detailed work on the website. Great job. Loved your essay on monkey and the essay on gender-specific kanji. Keep up the great work.
     ~Rajorshi De
I wish I’d had this resource when I was learning Japanese. Eve Kushner’s approach to kanji is pragmatic, playful, and culturally based. For each kanji, she not only tells you how to write it, but adds its history, common phrases, related folklore, and even a list of other kanji that look a lot like it and so might cause confusion. I particularly like the monkey essay.
     ~Toni Levi
I respect your in-depth analysis of the characters and your very interesting style of writing.
     ~Cecilia Chow Swift, creator of InCharacter
Eve Kushner has just launched a website that Japanese-language students should not miss.
     ~Bruce Rutledge, founder of Chin Music Press
You really know a lot about Japan. I'm impressed!!
     ~Kayoko Kurimoto

This is one of my fav sites! Always learn something!
     ~Kit Nagamura, Japan Times columnist and author of
     The Ultimate Japanese Phrasebook, among other works

I love that you are doing something so tremendously important. I am enjoying the essays greatly. They are a lovely orthogonal counterpoint to the other way I learn, using Heisig’s technique with Anki flashcards.
     ~Chris Daft
I just read the essay "Monkey Business." It was as fun and addictive as your writings always are. This website is remarkable, and I admire you and your team for being so diverse but able to pull off a really informative and fun website. I am really happy to know that Joy o' Kanji has gone live. My heartiest wishes for its success and growth. You must be the happiest person in the world at the moment, as your love and passion for kanji can be expressed in a wonderful way through the website, and you can share your knowledge with others in a fun and interactive way. 
     ~Aravind Ramachandran
I just *love* your writing: you pepper your love for and scholarship of kanji with various bits of snark ("This bit of insanity means 'mane'"). Cheers and 乾杯! Know that you have a new Big Fan. The best scholars / professionals are those who can write and speak with passion (or in an enjoyable-to-listen-to/read way) about their area of expertise. The art is being able to impart in-depth knowledge, not "dumbing it down," and doing it in an engaging way. Few can do it well.
     ~Richard Newton
I so admire (and so envy) you for having a passion, pursuing this passion, and writing beautifully about this passion. The free essays are great. (Funny—I never would associate lawns with Japan.) It is so very rare these days to find "real writing"—thoughtful, articulate, driven by (again) passion. So very, very rare. Why, such writing used to DEFINE "writing." And "literature." But writing has so devolved over the last few years that one sees shallow mediocrity everywhere. When writers such as you create their own sites in which to celebrate the subjects of their choice, these sites are like shining stars in that vast sky of sameness. Hooray for writers with dedication such as yours, and hooray for the success of JOK. When someone has a great passion for a subject, as you have with kanji and Japan, that passion shines like the (rising) sun. This is how beautiful things are created.
     ~Anneli Rufus, author and book reviewer