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Dear Readers:

I meet many people interested in learning Japanese. If you’re like me, you’ll want to learn Japanese through reading. However, the learning curve for reading Japanese is steep, so I’d like to offer tools I found useful.

6. All Japanese All The Time

Khatzumoto’s site is a great place to get inspiration for Japanese and Chinese study, and he has good taste in music, manga, etc. However, I think you can skip reading most of the site and focus on two key tools he (and I) recommend: James Heisig’s Remembering the Kanji and Spaced Repetition Software like Damien Elmes’ Anki

5. Remembering the Kanji

This book by James Heisig teaches the reader to write about 2000 kanji, as preparation for beginning Japanese. To benefit from this book, do it before beginning Japanese. There is a community dedicated to it here. Use the Anki public deck.

4. Aozora Bunko

Many copyright-expired Japanese works can be downloaded for free on this site.

3. PPS

Programs like PPS are great for streaming Chinese, Japanese and Korean TV shows and movies. Almost everything has subtitles in Chinese; sometimes Japanese drama will have Japanese subtitles, too. For an English-language version of this, try Crunchyroll.


This online dictionary website gives definitions in Japanese from different dictionaries, and example sentences with English translations. The format is easy to copy and paste into Anki.

1. Anki

If you only use one tool from this list, it should be Anki. Start with the RTK public deck, then make your own sentences.

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