KanjiPictoGraphix: Essential Kanji Mnemonics for Learning Japanese Education App Review (iOS, $12.99)


Languages: English

Seller: Renkara Media Group, Inc.

Customer Ratings

Current Version:
16 Ratings
All Versions:
16 Ratings


KanjiPictoGraphix: Essential Kanji Mnemonics for Learning Japanese combines proven mnemonics with gorgeous color illustrations in an insightful and elegant application for your iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.


Learning with Mnemonics

Japanese children traditionally learn kanji, the characters of written Japanese, by drawing each kanji repeatedly until it has been memorized. KanjiPictoGraphix offers a different, visual approach where vivid illustrations are used to associate a kanji with its meaning.

The idea is powerful, yet simple. Start with a drawing that closely resembles and captures the meaning of a kanji. Then, when seeing the kanji on its own, the drawing is recalled automatically, along with its associated meaning.

Kanji characters are often composed of symbolic elements which are visible in other related kanji. For example, the element of "fire" can be seen in the kanji characters for autumn, charcoal, burn, and extinguish. Within the application, these elements are thematically organized into groups such as "Nature", "Food", "Animals", "Human", and "Place". Exploring related kanji is easy with the intuitive filtering features.

KanjiPictoGraphix contains 611 of the Jōyō Kanji, the guide to characters compiled by the Japanese Ministry of Education. Learning these kanji is an excellent step towards mastering written Japanese. For each of these kanji, stroke diagrams are included, as well as the on yomi and kun yomi readings presented in both kana and romanji. Each kanji includes additional related vocabulary.


★ Original Color Illustrations
611 beautifully drawn illustrations make learning kanji a visual delight.

★ Optimized Artwork for the Retina Display
High resolution artwork is provided to take advantage of the gorgeous Retina Display.

★ Helpful Mnemonics
Each kanji has a thoughtful and memorable mnemonic.

★ Comprehensive Stroke Diagrams
Stroke diagrams are included for each kanji. The strokes are highlighted with an indication of where to begin each. In total, almost 3,000 diagrams have been rendered.

★ Vocabulary
Vocabulary words are provided for each kanji. The application contains over 3,600 total vocabulary terms.

★ Pronunciations
On yomi and kun yomi kana readings are included in kana and in romanji.

★ Logical, Thematic, and Structural Organization
Kanji are organized by elements, color, stroke count, grade, and pack.

★ Search and Sort
Search kanji by English or Japanese readings, or by Jōyō number. Sort kanji by stroke count, color, grade, or pack.

★ Comprehensive Guide
Built-in documentation helps you get started quickly and learn the essentials of kanji and Japanese.

★ Self-Contained
All content is contained within the application - no network connection is required.


KanjiPictoGraphix: Essential Kanji Mnemonics for Learning Japanese is copyrighted by Renkara Media Group. Content and illustrations used in the application are copyrighted by Michael Rowley and Stone Bridge Press and reproduced with permission.

Customer Reviews

  • In Short . . .

    by Gerald Shields

    Similiar to Dr. Moku's Hiragana and Katakana Mnemonics. But it's on steroids! Extremely well-done app that is but a e-version of Micheal Rowley's Book.

  • Nice, but...

    by Kathleen Ryan

    I love the book. I want to love the app—it's clever, and the interface is charming—but one of the best things about the book is seeing related kanji together. Sun. Moon. Sun + moon = bright. There's a relationship, sometimes a real progression, visible that helps mnemonically. I won't say "Don't buy," but I would definitely recommend buying the book over the app, if you have to choose.

  • Great

    by skybyte91

    Short of 5 stars because the compound kanji doesn't have the pronunciation. I'd like to know how to say those words especially when there are multiple onyomi an kunyomi options. Otherwise it's amazing and well worth the cost.

  • Beautiful and sticky

    by Kikijo Dot Com

    I saw a friend using this and I had to have it. The artwork is simply brilliant. It's a delight to browse and the mnemonics stick in my head. I love it! Arigato Mr. Kanji Picto!

  • I love this app! Packed with kanji and mnemonics that work.

    by Fernandomo

    I've seen books and apps with a similar visual approach to learning kanji, but noting comes close to this one. First off, I'm a serious student. I need to learn more than a few radicals or get an intro into the pictographic nature of kanji. I need to learn a LOT of kanji. KanjiPictoGraphix covers the first four grades taught in Japanese schools — which is 611 kanji. The first four grades are the essential kanji to get you up and running and reading. Using these mnemonics I am WAY ahead of my classmates in learning to read Japanese. The visuals are beautifully illustrated in a bold and graphic style. More importantly, they have meaning and even though the occasional mnemonic can seem a bit of a stretch, they really stick in your head. What I find really great though is the sort and filter controls. For example, when I'm studying I can show only kanji that have the radical, or element, for hand or heart in them. Or I can create a study list of kanji that deal with animals. I'll go into settings to turn on or turn off the English meanings depending on whether I'm quizzing myself on learning complicated, multi-stroke kanji I'm unfamiliar with. (You can turn all filters off and on in a section by swiping up and down. I didn't get this at first, but it's a powerful feature once you figure it out.) It's great study aid for quizzing myself. Interestingly, they've added the ability to sort and filter by color. This is so different than any kanji learning method. I can, say, show only kanji that are colored green. I get a manageable study set of 70 kanji to study that relate to trees, bugs, grass, fish, and rice and such. I can then narrow this list to only green kanji with 1-6 strokes. THEN, I can tell the app to sort these by grade which it will do. THEN I can layer on another filter by stroke so it will show all green 1st grade kanji by stroke order, then green 2nd grade kanji by stroke order, and so on. Awesome! Lastly, are the vocabulary words. While I think they could improve the product with pronunciations, it's nice to have half a dozen 2- and 3-compound kanji vocabulary words for each entry. You can't just learn the kanji by themselves so having 3000+ compounds is important to really learn to read. I have the app on my iPhone and my iPad. I find the iPad to be the better experience, but it's pretty handy studying kanji on the train from my iPhone. I wish they'd have a slide show feature that I could play in the background on — to see the kanji morph into the visuals. The app is pricier than the one of two bucks for most apps. It's comparable to the price of a book. A really good book. A magical book. At 13 bucks it comes to 2 cents a kanji. And that my friend is a bargain. Gambatte!

  • Outstanding app - THE best app for learning kanji

    by Snohai

    I'm a real user, BTW... I had the book for 1 year now but opened it only once or twice - no time and inconvenient to carry around. But bought this app immediately after it was launched. Price was a bit steep, but I wanted the app so badly to replace the book I never really used. Well designed app, great functionality, outstanding!!! It is well worth the price if you're serious about learning kanji. It is merely the price of an average meal and is worth every penny. Using this on a daily basis, wherever you are is invaluable and the knowledge will last and benefit one a lifetime. I was very frustrated for a long time waiting for this app and because of the lack of feedback regarding the missed release date (a promised on the website). But in the end it was worth the wait. Being able to study with this method whenever you have the chance and wherever you are is HUGE! Love the functionality, the graphics, the flow, the layout. Well thought out. Kudos to the designer/programmer!!! Now looking forward to more kanjis as I make my way through the 600+ currently available. Thank you for an awesome tool in learning Kanji!!!

  • Wasted money

    by Ilichar

    What's the point in memorizing the English meanings only of 600+ characters. That doesn't sound like the way Japanese children learn them. The example words are given in Kanji and English only, so you will never know when to use the different readings of the character.

  • One major issue

    by Eric Cancil

    No readings for compounds brings this from a 5 star app to a 2 star I will update the rating if this is added.

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