mjj (flemmings) wrote,


I was always interested in Japanese films but naturally I never thought I'd learn Japanese: because hell, Asian language, you know roundeyes can't learn Asian languages. Then my stubbornly anti-academic sister got into anime- something I'd never even heard of- and went off to night classes in Japanese and soon was reading manga. Which is why I too started studying Japanese twenty years ago. Because hell, if she could do it then it must be doable, right?

Now she has a new hobby: handbells, something I'd never even heard of. This being now and not twenty years ago, there are youtube videos of same, to which she sent me links:

Finlandia, which everyone seems to do, but this is a solo;
Pirates of the Caribbean which is rather fun;
El Condor Pasa;
And a bunch of Japanese kids learning to play handbells: in two hours before being whisked off to play at a concert, in the grand Beat Takeshi tradition of make 'em suffer for other people's amusement. (Finished here)

The reason I mention this, actually, is as necessary background for Nix's Abhorson series-- which I didn't have when I read them but is nice to have filled in later.

On a totally other topic, I never understood why various reviewers slagged Hadamitzky and Spahn's kanji dictionary because H&S devised a peculiar system of radical classification. It's no more idiosyncratic, from a beginner's POV, than Nelson (yes this radical is always written with three strokes but really it's a four stroke radical so look for it under 4.) Whatever weirdnesses they have, S&H give you all the compounds where the kanji appears, whether it's in second, third, or even fourth place: meaning if your mystery kanji occurs in a compound where you know the first kanji, or even what radical the first kanji has, you can find the kanji you want. This is a vast improvement over Nelson's system where, if you can't figure out what the radical of that first kanji is, that's it, you're screwed.

Now however I've found a reason for cursing S&H's departure from traditional radicals. It's impossible to find Chinese hanzi there. Which I must do when mandarintools starts behaving like Nelson's: no, the radical is not what you think it is, no we will not search on total strokes (which would be difficult, I agree), yes you're screwed. If I can find the equivalent Japanese kanji I can get the radical from that: but not if it's H&S.

I need a Chinese wordtank.
Tags: chinese, japanese, music

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