Everyday tasks like finding a street address or buying a train ticket can be an ordeal in Japan if you don't read kanji–the system of Japanese writing based on Chinese characters. Unfortunately, the kanji characters taught in most textbooks are not always those that you'll encounter in everyday situations. To fill this gap, a group of teachers from the prestigious University of Tokyo have pooled their talents to create 250 Essential Japanese Kanji Characters in two volumes: a practical way to learn the kanji most frequently used in daily life in Japan. Each lesson helps you master a new group of kanji, using an extremely effective approach that focuses on you, the learner, taking an active part. Introductory Quizzes introduce everyday situations where you encounter kanji. Vocabulary sections help you understand the readings and meanings of the kanji. New Character Charts teach you new kanji systematically—for each character you'll learn its meanings, its basic on–kun readings, its stroke order, common compounds, and derivations. Practice sections help you improve your skills in recognizing and using the kanji. Advanced Placement Exam Practice Questions for each lesson follow the format of the College Boards Japanese Language and Culture examination.