Help for Kanji
Probably for the standard westerner the first difficulty is to put the kanji in the proper position, I mean not upside down!
I do not know any rule for this except that you should recognize some of the main characters. Kanji are written in 2 directions, horizontally and vertically and quite often both directions are used at the same time. But this point is not too important as for the time being we just want to hold the piece properly.
Kanji can be classified by several ways, but the most popular are by the following systems:
- the number of strokes necessary to write them (from 1 to 22)
- the radical, one basic sign common to many kanji (there are 214 radical)
For example, Kutani is written ku 九 and tani 谷, Ku is 2 strokes; when tani is 7. When using the kanji search you can switch from radical to stroke.
The Kanji dictionary
How to use
First you should select which classification you prefer: stroke count or radical, just click to switch from one to the other.
Then to look for marking which includes a particular kanji, just click on the kanji, when a kanji has been selected, the square become blue. You can add several kanji.
To remove one kanji, click again on the corresponding square. On the top part of the screen you have an indication on how many marking have been found using this kanji. Just click "View" and that’s it!
Be careful, do not select Ku 九 or Tani 谷 as you will get most of the database!
How it works
All kanji used by the Marking included in this database are combined in a local dictionnary. This dictionary is updated regularly and contains today around 700 different characters.
If a kanji does not appear in the dictionary, it means no marking on the database is using this kanji.
The local dictionary has 2 tables, the first one is the basic dictionary and includes all the kanji available in the database. The second one, much smaller covers hiragana, katagana and and specific characters.
Regarding old kanji (there are several thousands), they are added by hand to the local dictionary when necessary.
The Japanese marking guide by John Wocher
For those who are desesparate and feel frustrated at being unable to decipher Japanese characters, I recommend to read my friend John Marking guide to the Japanese Kanji. You might then feel relieved!