Studying Cute

Wouldn’t you have guessed – our state of emergency has been extended once more, this time until June 20. I hope this is the last time for the forseeable future. The number of active cases are decreasing, Osaka has the highest in all Japan with currently some 9500, Kyoto has 10% of that. The government is stil stubbornly holding on to the Olympics, even though many people are against it. It’s nice that the IOC is planning to get all the athletes vaccinated, but what about their whole entourage – the trainers, managers, masseurs, staff, all the journalists? If we’re getting a fifth wave in September, I hope the IOC will be kind enough to provide Japan with vaccines too…

Anyway, I don’t want to bitch too much. The weather is picking up, and it is pleasantly warm without being humid. It’s nice to take a short bicycle trip right now, and there are a few places I’d like to go and see soon. Also, despite the extended lockdown, many museums are opening up again this week, so there’s something else to do if I feel the need to get out of the house.

Speaking of something to do: I have decided to put more energy into my Kanji studying. This takes a lot of time and effort, and although I’m pretty good at pattern matching, the more difficult Chinese characters bring me to my limits… Enter the Kanji Drill workbooks. Isn’t this cute:

These are for kids in elementary school, and each workbook covers the Kanji of one grade. The above is for first grade with the 80 most basic Kanji. I know most of them already, but I still have troubles writing some of them, which is an interesting problem that plagues many Japanese as well, thanks to computers and smartphones.

These books are super cute with their characters and drawings, and they even come with stickers that your parents can award you on the bottom right hand side if you did the exercises well. I have only seen these books for elementary grades (6 years, covering 1026 Kanji). There should be similar books for secondary grade (another 6 years, 1110 Kanji), but let’s cross that bridge when I find it! It’s good to know that Japanese children get 12 years to learn the basic 2136 “Joyo Kanji”, so there’s no reason to feel bad that I’m not perfect yet.