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When I studied Japanese I tried to learn from Kenneth G. Henshall’s A guide to remembering Japanese characters the history and logic of 漢字 kanji. I enjoyed his book very much.

I try to expand on Henshall’s book. If possible I also try make short entries in the style of Henshall. Those parts are the boxes with a black border and yellow background at the top.

Sometimes I make top entries that depart from Henshall’s style. I try to be brief, but usually elaborate. Those are in green boxes with white background.

Note: as of the summer of 2016 there exists a book called The compete guide to Japanese kanji, that deals with the new set of 2136 kanji. Supposedly it is an update of Henshall’s A guide to remembering Japanese characters, written by Christopher Seeley and Kenneth G. Henshall (with Jiageng Fan), but it feels more like a complete rewrite. Considering the style is very different and that Seeley is named as the first author, I suspect it’s actually written by Seeley.

See my bibliography for a full list of the books I use. Let me know if you want information about a specific graph.

Update as of 2019: I’ve decided to split my work. Relatively short graphical etymologies (in greater numbers) I will put on the website charinfo.ketmia.net. A list of graphs that I have given attention to is here.

Here my focus will remain on longer articles and discussions.