James Heisig

James Wallace Heisig is a philosopher who specializes in the field of philosophy of religion. He has published a number of books ranging from the notion of God in analytical psychology, the Kyoto School of Philosophy to contemporary inter-religious dialogue. His books, translations, and edited collections, which have appeared in 12 languages, currently number 78 volumes.
He was a lecturer at the Divine Word College even when he was a BA student and graduated with a BA degree in philosophy from the same college in 1966. Then he received his master's degree in philosophy from Loyola University Chicago and another master's degree in Notre Dame University at the same time in 1969. After receiving a PhD in Religious studies at Cambridge University in 1973, he went back to Divine Word College to teach philosophy and religion as a lecturer. Between 1974 and 1978, he was a visiting lecturer at Catholic Theological Union, Instituto Superior de Studios Eclesiásticos and Old Dominion University. In September 1978, he moved to Japan and thereby became a Permanent Research Fellow at the Nanzan Institute for Religion and Culture at the Nanzan University.
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The aim of this book is to provide the student of Japanese with a simple method for correlating the writing and the meaning of Japanese characters in such a way as to make them both easy to remember. It is intended not only for the beginner, but also for the more advanced student looking for some relief from the constant frustration of how to write the kanji and some way to systematize what he or she already knows. The author begins with writing because--contrary to first impressions--it is in fact the simpler of the two. He abandons the traditional method of ordering the kanji according to their frequency of use and organizes them according to their component parts or "primitive elements." Assigning each of these parts a distinct meaning with its own distinct image, the student is led to harness the powers of "imaginative memory" to learn the various combinations that result. In addition, each kanji is given its own key word to represent the meaning, or one of the principal meanings, of that character. These key words provide the setting for a particular kanji's "story," whose protagonists are the primitive elements. In this way, students are able to complete in a few short months a task that would otherwise take years. Armed with the same skills as Chinese or Korean students, who know the meaning and writing of the kanji but not their pronunciation in Japanese, they are now in a much better position to learn to read (which is treated in a separate volume). For further information and a sample of the contents, visit http: ///www.nanzan-u.ac.jp/SHUBUNKEN/publications/miscPublications/Remembering_the_Kanji_l.htm.
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