Having studied Japanese for the better part of 2 years what I found the most difficult when learning off the writing systems involved. In my experience one of the most tedious and daunting tasks that I came across was finding the meaning of strange Kanji.
There are thousands of Kanji in Japanese, all grouped by radicals, but if you’re just starting with learning about radicals and kanji meanings is a handful. Especially when the differences are a single stroke left of right.
One of the real life savers when learning Kanji, other then our lecturers endless enthusiasm, was the dictionary programme Tagaini Jisho. But even with this brilliant resource it was still hard to search certain words based upon their radicals, this got even more difficult as time progressed and words began to consist of 3-5 kanji without a katakana or hiragana character in sight.
One of the things I found myself searching for was a writing recognition programme for Japanese that I could use with my graphics tablet. It’s only recently that I’ve managed to find such a programme.
Tegaki is an opensource programme that focuses on chinese and Japanese. So far I haven’t had a chance to use it but based upon the video on the site I have to admit to being embarrassingly excited by the prospects of using the programme.