Lately, I’ve been doing a lot more deep thinking to increase my reading speed and recognition of kanji. Most errors in my readings come from the kanji that look very similar to other ones.  I’ve taken to learn these kanji in groups in their jukugo context.

For example, taped to my wall next to me are the words 斜め 塗る 徐々に 除く。 These words have a radical in common and studying them in this context really makes the brain hone in and focus on the differences in each character.

Also, start laddering words with common kanji together to make extremely quick progress: 優しい、優秀、秀逸、免許、許す、許可。 It’s that simple.

I hope you get the point of why it’s done like this. I’ve been using this method by surrounding myself with the laddered words on post-it notes all over my apartment and on my whiteboard so they’re inescapable. Also, this post is entitled “kanji meditation” because it works the best if you really take a second to think about the radicals involved in each kanji and how they flow together. I’ve been combining this method with reading to spot the words in the wild and my results have been very encouraging these past few weeks. Give it a try.