A visual guide to Japanese phonetic writing
This compact size is ideal for posting above your desk
or laying under a translucent desk pad
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The Ultimate Kana Wall Chart arranges all 249 kana syllable variations into an illuminating visual framework that allows learners to readily perceive the underlying phonological structure of the Japanese language. Its detailed graphic display reinforces learners’ grasp of kana order and clarifies the principles behind how kana are written, pronounced and romanized. Post it beside your desk — or lay it under a translucent desk pad — for convenient reference as you learn to write and type in Japanese.
Unlike virtually all other kana charts, The Ultimate Kana Wall Chart does not ignore or detach kana variants and combinations, but integrates them into an single framework permitting learners to grasp how the writing system works as a unified whole. Far more than a simple “Fifty sounds table”, this chart systematizes the kana in all their surprising complexity, giving learners a comprehensive view of Japanese sound structure from the standpoint of both Roman letters (important for their use in typing) and native kana.
In addition to illustrating the systematic nature of Japanese phonology, The Ultimate Kana Wall Chart conveniently integrates numerous elements of kana instruction into a clear, concise, and attractive visual presentation:
• Guidance for alphabetical keyboard input. The chart guides learners in the important task of mastering the Roman spellings required to input Japanese text on an alphabetical keyboard, including guidance on special exceptions and how to save keystrokes.
• Irregular readings and spellings. Special symbols and annotations allow learners to easily identify irregular readings & spellings, and master the different approaches to typing them.
• Alternative romanization patterns. The principles underpinning Hepburn and Kunrei romanization — and the similarities and differences between these two systems — are clarified both graphically and textually.
• Tokushuon (transcription katakana). Unlike most kana charts, this poster displays the special katakana combinations used in transcribing non-Japanese words, along with a helpful introduction and thorough guidance on alternative kana and irregular spellings required for keyboard input.
• Stroke order. The stroke order for each basic kana character is subtly displayed for convenient reference.
• Gojûon order. The chart provides a remarkable time-saving shortcut to memorizing gojûon order, an essential skill for organizing and locating information in Japanese.
• Kana sources. The chart displays the original source of each hiragana and katakana character in the seventh-century Man’yôgana, a set of Chinese characters the Japanese borrowed as phonetic symbols.
• Enlarged characters. The 92 basic characters are displayed in large size for viewing at a greater distance. Displayed without romanization, these characters are useful for casual study or self-testing.