Sudoku using Kanji
I first came across this idea in a thread by Mikuji-san on JapanesePod101′s forums.
The idea is to use kanji instead of numbers and therefore become used to reading the kanji shapes and distinguishing between them. At a basic level you could print out sudoku grids and copy the puzzles from the daily newspaper substituting kanji for the numbers. You’d also get good writing practice this way.
But I like things a bit more automated so I started looking for computer based solutions. After all it’s just character substitution how hard could that be? Maybe not hard but fairly rare.
The most promising site I came across is Kanji Sudoku 漢字数独. The site seems dormant, the blog’s last entry was over a year ago, and because of it’s eyeball searing yellow and red design with small fonts it’s a bit hard to read, but if you search through it there is lots of good stuff here. There are sudoku puzzles of various levels using kanji numbers, kanji based on shape and kanji based on topic.
These aren’t playable online, but you can print them out along with explanations of the kanji and solve them by hand. There are also some interesting crossword puzzles and match games available which you can play online.
Also of interest is a list of kanji based on shape, around which the site’s author made a booklet called 333 Kanji in a Day. I think this is a fairly extreme claim, even Heisig devotees don’t make a similar claim. But because of their organisation I think it would be possible to learn these kanji quite quickly. They also make good candidates for Sudoku puzzles as you’ll need to recognise the differences when playing.
If I find any more solutions I like I’ll update this post.