The Keys To The Chinese Characters

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About the author:
Shizuka Shirakawa is East Asia's foremost scholar of Chinese characters who has made many breakthrough discoveries leading to the most convincing explanations of their system. His method of teaching and explaining Chinese characters is now the standard method adopted at a considerable part of Japanese elementary schools. He received many important prices and Japan's highest national decoration in the realm of culture, the Order of Cultural Merit.

About the translator and commentator:
Christoph Schmitz is a native of Cologne on the River Rhine and is of German and Polish descent. He studied Philosophy, History, and Japanology. Starting at the University of Constance (also a city on the Rhine) he continued studies at the Faculty of Comparative Culture of Sophia University (Tokyo), and at the University of Düsseldorf (another city on the Rhine). M.A. and Dr. phil. (2002). He was then researcher at the Graduate School of Law and Politics of the University of Tokyo.

Since being a freshman, Schmitz noticed how mistranslations of classics and misnomers result in severe international misunderstandings. He then turned to Chinese characters, a subject the history and explanation of which Occidental scholars have always neglected. For the first time in the history of East Asian studies, Schmitz illustrates that pivotal terms are mistranslated by most of the 'authorities' one is used to trust, with severe results. With this translation and commentary, hitherto clueless Sinology and Japanology is given a thorough foundation in Chinese character studies. Schmitz's comment is an additional piece of independent scholarship. Having corresponded with Shizuka Shirakawa in Kyoto, visiting him and hearing his lectures, he is now living in Japan (Tokyo) for fifteen years.
For scholarly and business contact (ordering calligraphy of characters from the early styles) send an email to ChineseCharacters(at)

The Keys To The Chinese Characters

Authored by Shizuka Shirakawa
Translated with commentary by Christoph Schmitz
Edition: 1

Tackling memorization and really understanding Chinese characters: nearly impossible?
Yes, so far. Fortunately, however, times have changed with this character dictionary.
This translation of Shirakawa's bestselling Japanese dictionary gives you the correct explanations with an introduction to their mindset.
It is the long-awaited true system of Chinese characters revealed for the first time and the only help for understanding and memorizing Chinese characters that works.

East Asia's foremost Chinese character research of the Japanese Shirakawa approach here is finally available.

With vocabulary and a commentary on the Shirakawa approach.

Alphabetical vocabulary and classifier index.

A practical comment explains the history of character research and its failures in East Asia and the West, the hitherto undisclosed secrets of Chinese characters, and their political usage.

This first really independant research in this field is giving readers unbiased and time-saving access to the best approach available.
First publication January 2016

(date below is mereley that of ISBN allotment)

Publication Date:
1503036308 / 9781503036307
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
8.5" x 11"
Black and White
Related Categories:
Reference / Dictionaries / General

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