Site News

January 28, 2020

I’ve just sent the following message to our subscribers.


I recently made a new video that demonstrates how to use our second book, Learn to Read in Japanese, Volume II. If you would like to watch it, please click on the link at the end of this message.

Among other things, this video shows how to use the new Copy and Paste technique that I mentioned in my previous message. You can use this technique for looking up kanji quickly while you read the digital versions of both of our Learn to Read in Japanese books.

This new technique is not suitable for everyone, since it only works well with computers on which one is able to copy and paste kanji characters precisely between open windows. If you don’t think that you would be able to do a lot of reading practice on such a computer, let me assure you that there is nothing wrong with the physical books. You can continue to use them just as they are, and you will learn to read in Japanese by doing so.

However, if you are a book owner with access to a laptop or desktop computer and if you find yourself constantly turning to the Kanji Pronunciation Index in order to look up kanji, this new technique will allow you to bypass the Index entirely and make more rapid progress. It will be particularly helpful when you start reading the 117 supplemental online reading lessons that we suggest for readers of Volume II.

If you adopt this new technique, you will still find the physical book to be useful in a number of situations, and not just when you are away from your computer. For example, if you are reading on a computer desktop and notice that a kanji in the Kanji Catalogue is being compared to other similar kanji, it is very convenient to use your physical book to look up those similar kanji, without losing your place in the Kanji Catalogue on your desktop.

We sincerely hope that your Japanese studies are going well.

January 18, 2020

We’ve just sent the following message to our subscribers:

Four New Ideas from Japanese Audio Flashcard Lessons

1. New Review Lessons

I’m happy to inform you that Review Lessons for Japanese Audio Flashcards are now available for download at Guilherme Nery, who lives in Brazil, is removing all of the English dialogue from the lessons, leaving only Japanese sentences and phrases.

I’ve listened to the 9 lessons that he has completed, and I think that students who have studied the original lessons will find these revised versions very useful for review. Thank you, Guilherme, for your excellent idea and for the hard work that you are doing to implement it!

2. A New Technique for Looking Up Kanji

In the past, I always expressed the view that the physical book versions of our two publications Learn to Read in Japanese, Volumes I and II, were more convenient to use than the PDF versions, and I effectively discouraged readers from buying the PDF versions for that reason. At the same time, I understood that the process of looking up kanji in the physical books was time-consuming, and I was searching for a way to enable kanji search in the PDF versions.

Last month, a solution to this problem suddenly occurred to me, and to my surprise, it turned out to be quite simple. You can read about this solution in the section titled “How to Use the Books in the PDF Format” at

The solution allows readers with the PDF version of a book to copy an individual kanji from the “Japanese Reader” and then paste it in a Search box in the “Kanji Catalogue,” completely bypassing the “Kanji Pronunciation Index.” Unfortunately, this copy and paste technique is best done on a computer, not on a hand-held device like a phone or a tablet.

I believe that, if you use this solution, you will be able to read Japanese sentences more quickly, and you will experience less stress as you study. As a bonus, as a PDF owner you will always have rapid access to the most recent version of the Kanji Catalogue, with free updates as they become available.

I’ve made more than a dozen updates to the Catalogue over the past few years, containing hundreds of significant improvements, with the goal of making it easier for students to remember all of the kanji descriptions and pronunciations, and I hope that everyone can benefit from those improvements.

3. Revised Equipment Suggestions

In case you aren’t satisfied with the equipment that you’re using to listen to the Japanese Audio Lessons, I’ve recently updated my equipment suggestions and added more photos. Please check out my advice on this page:

4. Japanese Grammar Quiz

If you’d like to test your knowledge of Japanese grammar with 40 multiple-choice questions, I’ve recently updated the Japanese Grammar Quiz and brought it back to the web site. Please check it out at:

Noriko and I wish you the best with your Japanese studies.

December 12, 2019

We’ve just updated the lessons listed below. Please consider replacing your files if they are dated before 12-12-19. Don’t forget to replace your copy of the Transcript of the lessons as well.

Lessons 6, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 23, 25, 26 Part One, 26 Part Two, 28, 30, 32, 33, and 34