Thoughts on RTK3

When I need a break from reading I flip through RTK3.

I noticed that some of the kanji in RTK3 do not appear to be all that useful! For instance, the book presents four “gate” kanji: 閃 悶 闇 閤. Of the four, the third I would rate as very useful (I come across it sometimes in my reading) and the first and second appear to be somewhat useful, based on what I see when I look them up in my dictionaries.

But the fourth one, 閤, looks to be virtually useless. It means “side gate”. It doesn’t appear to be used in any useful compounds. The only compound I could find after much digging is 閨閤 which supposedly means “bedroom”.

I wish I could have an annotated RTK3 in which the kanji that should be ignored, like 閤, are marked with an asterisk *. This would spare the reader a lot of wasted labor.

Heh, I think that’s even the case for some in RTK1!

Out of those four I too have only ever seen 闇[やみ] .

There are kanji that are useful, that I presume are in RTK3 but aren’t in 1. For example, I see 壺 used rather frequently in children’s books and it’s not in RTK 1. The same goes for ‘毯’ which I see often in 絨毯

Ignoring placenames, the EDICT hits for it suggest the only use you’d be likely to encounter it is in the title used for Toyotomi Hideyoshi, 太閤 (Taikou) – you can see it in the first paragraph of the Wikipedia article for him, for instance. It’s definitely a long way down the return-on-investment curve (but so is almost everything in RTK3 in my view – it would be easier to have a list of the handful of entries worth worrying about than a list to ignore :-))