Kanji in Motion is a program for learning to read, in a game-like way, the characters of the two sets of kana, plus the 2,136 Jōyō Kanji. The task of the player-learner is to quickly identify characters that move across a playing field and match them to their respective reading and meaning.
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Release Date:
Jul 26, 2019
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About This Game

Brief description
Kanji in Motion (KiM) is a program for learning to read, in a game-like way, the characters of the two sets of relatively simple Japanese phonetic characters known as hiragana and katakana (together, they are called kana), plus the 2,136 Chinese-like ideographic characters known as the Jōyō Kanji. The goal of the player-learner is to quickly identify and “capture” previously learned characters that move across a playing field. This learning game can be played either as a game in itself or as learning reinforcement and review with the book Japanese Kanji and Kana (newly revised 2012). The current version of the program runs under Windows and macOS. The next version is planned for Android systems.

Background
Kanji textbooks do not fully prepare the learner for the many ways in which kanji confront us in today’s media. Why? Because when reviewing characters in a textbook, they always appear in the same sequence in which they were learned, with no variation in presentation. As a result, it may take a moment of remembering to recognize a previously learned character when it pops up in an unfamiliar context, and sometimes writing disappears before it can be leisurely read: signs seen from a moving vehicle, subtitles in movies, captions and “crawlers” under video images, and karaoke lyrics – they all go by too fast to ponder over, much less look up. That’s what makes it so valuable today to train yourself not just to grasp the readings and meanings of characters, but to do so with speed and facility. And this is just the thinking behind Kanji in Motion (KiM): to have the player quickly recognize and “capture” already learned characters as they swirl around, in a playful approximation of the kind of text that flashes by everywhere in Japan.

Concept
Five to ten characters freely chosen by the player or by random selection float around on a playing field, and the player uses the mouse to drag them to their romanization (kana) or their readings and meanings (kanji) along the edge of the field, all within a prescribed time limit. Any of three different time limits can be selected, according to the ability and reaction time of the player.

Data
The data are based upon Japanese Kanji and Kana: A Complete Guide to the Japanese Writing System (newly revised 2012) by Wolfgang Hadamitzky and Mark Spahn. Included are the two phonetic character sets hiragana and katakana, with the pronunciation and romanization of each character, and the 2,136 Jōyō Kanji (Chinese ideographic characters), each given with one or two important readings (displayed in either kana or roman letters, as specified by the player) and meanings. The selection of characters and how they are to be written is based on the official list of 2,136 kanji known as the Jōyō Kanji (“everyday-use kanji”). The sequence of the kanji is the same as in Japanese Kanji and Kana. The kana are arranged according to the Japanese alphabet Aiueo.

Functions
  • Selection of five to ten characters per game, taken from one of the hiragana, katakana, or kanji tables.
  • Selection of five to ten characters randomly, taken from one of the hiragana, katakana, or kanji tables.
  • Displaying kanji readings either in kana or in romanization.
  • Selection of any of three time limits.
  • Automatic upgrading of level of difficulty upon successful repetition of characters selected randomly.
  • Immediate and automatic display of results for each round of play.
  • Help texts and glossary.
  • Turning background audio ON/OFF.

For whom?
Beginners, intermediate students, and professionals alike can all benefit from KiM.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows 7 or later
    • Processor: 1.2GHz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 5300
    • Storage: 200 MB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7 or later
    • Processor: 1.2GHz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 5300
    • Storage: 200 MB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: Mac OS X 10.12+
    • Processor: 1.2GHz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel Iris Graphics 5100
    • Storage: 200 MB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Mac OS X 10.12+
    • Processor: 1.2GHz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel Iris Graphics 5100
    • Storage: 200 MB available space

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