This handy reference book is designed as an essential companion to the study of written Japanese, and will help you achieve fluency in reading and writing the language in its everyday style. This book is divided into two sections: The first section presents the 1,006 Essential characters prescribed by the Japanese Ministry of Education to be taught during the six years of Japanese elementary school. These characters are given with their most frequent readings (both on and kun) and definitions, along with examples of their use in compounds to form everyday words. Each character is also accompanied by a stroke-order diagram demonstrating the proper way to write it. The second section presents the 1,945 General Use characters (including the 1,006 Essential characters) adopted by law to be used in publications for a general readership. These characters are listed with their readings and definitions, or with cross references to the first section of the book if they already appear there. A chart for the writing of the katakana and hiragana syllabaries is also included, as well as a complete index of readings of all the characters and compounds in the book. Mastering the Japanese characters presented in this book will enable students to read the vast majority of Japanese newspapers and magazines.Henshall, Kenneth is the author of 'Guide to Reading & Writing Japanese A Comprehensive Guide to the Japanese Writing System', published 2003 under ISBN 9780804833653 and ISBN 0804833656.