The Kanji Site was launched in 1999 as a way for its author, Chris Jennings to “practice Kanji in preparation for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test”. The web site has “1,000 kanji, namely the entire official syllabus for Levels 4,3 and 2 of the [Japanese Language Proficiency Test] of the exam.”
This site allows the user to view and practice identifying Kanji. The user may choose from a selection of symbols that appear on the left-hand side of the screen (and then in the centre). They may also click the symbol to bring up the Rōmaji interpretation.
When the user hits the start button they are presented with a menu with two options to choose from: Kanji or Hiragana/Katakana to practice. Clicking on Kanji brings up the options for different levels based on the Japanese Language Proficiency Test. View all, allows the user to see the Kanji on the left-hand side of the screen. Clicking on a symbol will reveal the symbol and Rōmaji readings but not the Kana.
The fact it makes no allowance for Kana or stroke count is a bit of an oversight but it is laid out in an easy fashion – an unobtrusive menu along the top and the Kanji laid out in topics like adjectives, buildings, people etc. There are also many informative pages explaining what Kanji and Kana are so you can track back and learn if need be.
Random testing brings up groups of Kanji that appear on the left hand side. When the user thinks they know any of the kanji, they may click on them to bring up information in the main window, allowing them to check. Without the ability to enter the answer and be marked as right or wrong, this has limited functionality as a testing tool but it is easy on the eye and simple to use.
This is an easily navigable and highly informative flash card type of site that focuses on the basic readings of the symbol, avoiding some of the more complex aspects (stroke counts etc.). That said, the amount of information on offer is impressive and shows dedication. It is good as a recognition tool and will help refresh the student in recognising a symbol, especially with its hiragana endings offering a grammatical challenge.