Easy Kana Workbook: Basic Practice in Hiragana and Katakana for Japanese Language Students
Revised January 3, 2014
Authors Rita L. Lampkin, Osamu Hoshino
Publication Date 1991
Skill Level Beginner
This book is a lot of fun. It teaches you to write all the characters in the two Japanese syllabaries, hiragana and katakana, which are collectively referred to as kana. The kana, 92 of them in total, are basic elements of the Japanese writing system, i.e., what little kids would start out learning in Japan.
Maybe Easy Kana Workbook, by Rita L. Lampkin and Osamu Hoshino, isn’t the most beautifully designed book I’ve ever seen, but it is functional, and that’s what a serious language learner needs. You get explanations of the Japanese writing system, good clear models of the kana characters, instructions on keystroke order, and plenty of grids for writing practice.
There is a third category of writing symbols used in Japanese: kanji, which are Chinese characters numbering in the thousands. They fall outside the scope of Easy Kana Workbook, but if you continue your studies of the Japanese writing system, kanji would be your next step.
Note: On January 3, 2014, this book was reissued by McGraw-Hill under the title Practice Makes Perfect: Writing Japanese Kana. The text is identical or close to it, but a number of practice exercises have been added to the back. You will do fine buying either version.