Any resource with kanji mnemonics in Japanese?

Hi everyone,
I’ve been for the past month reviewing the book Remembering the Kanji as to brush up my kanji. Since most of the reviews I’m doing are using only japanese, I thought using also japanese keywords for going through the book this time could be made.
Indeed most of the Kanji have a word with which I can make a clear connection and use it as keyword for reviewing, but then there’re those Kanji that simply I don’t see that often, some of those are easy to write, so even with a flimsy connection I can remember them easily enough ( for example: 旭・辻) but then there are the ones like 幌・諧 , where taking the radicals apart they would be ok to digest, but otherwise, not having a super common word they tend to be mixed in the pool of similar characters.
So I though what about mnemonics. :man_shrugging:

In the spirit of using japanese (and given I’m not putting much emphasis on the keywords or names Heisig gives to the “primitives”) I’ve been learning the name for the radicals too (which aren’t that many). So I was wondering if anyone know of such resource that uses even simple mnemonics that connect the japanese radicals with the kanji… sort of WK or Heising?

I won’t be creating a whole system like WK in japanese for reviewing, is just on those particular kanji that I’m having trouble, so it might worth the shot :sweat_smile:

The reason behind this is mainly writing practice related to calligraphy. I will see kanji as example of some style of character or a given trace without further context, so is been different than when learning kanji for reading purposes.

The Kanji study app breaks down the kanji in the radicals and has a list of the radicals too, with the japanese name and english equivalent one.
When you open a radical it shows a list of all the kanji that uses it.

It doesn’t have any mnemonics but it does have a spot reserved for notes, so you could create your own.

You can also create a list of those troublesome kanji and study just them, it tests for reading and also writing, including the correct stroke order.

Don’t know if this is what you’re looking for but maybe it’ll help!


Thanks, though I should have mentioned how I’m doing it now maybe.

Currently I have a radical deck in japanese (there’re aren’t that many, so adding them little by little doesn’t add up to much). Also I review Kanji in Anki (with a pen and paper), so it will show me the failed rate for cards, which makes it really easy to see the ones becoming leeches.

For those wanna be leeches I use either

Both will separate the radicals (though JapanDict will give you all of them / Kanipedia on the other hand will show you kanji sharing the main radical and will tell about what kind of kanji it is).

This way it’s really easy to see if the problem is it that is a rare kanji with not many words or really uncommon ones (in which case will look for some of those and make it part of my regular vocab deck and seeking some lines that use it hopefully); then if a couple of kanji sharing the same radical are becoming a problem, problem could be related to not learning the radical well enough (and mnemonic might help :man_shrugging:).
In the end I would like to build my own system so when learning new kanji even after RTK it will be easy to make sense out of them.

I guess I’ve heard the phrase “the radicals tell the story” very often… and I kinda want those stories :laughing:

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I don’t really know how it works, but I know of つがわ式漢字記憶術 (Tsugawa-style Kanji mnemonics). There are a few DS games based on it.
Since it focuses on writing, it might be right up your alley. Maybe you could find one of the games for cheap at a book-off while you are still in Japan?
A quick google search returned some videos on YouTube too, so you can see what it’s about before you commit money to it :slight_smile:


Thanks, I don’t own a DS, but a quick search with 漢字記憶術 directed me to a book that apparently does that exactly. Will see how it goes. I’m somewhat surprised that mnemonics apparently aren’t much of a thing in japanese… :man_shrugging:

It seems writting them over and over is just the way here … :sweat_smile:

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And now I see that you mentioned “In japanese” . Hahaha ooops :sweat_smile:

Yeah, I’m looking for those mnemonics in japanese, but not to be snobbish about keeping it all monolingual, but because using the Heisig keywords it’s actually harder sometimes (specially since the 6th edition is only in english), given he stresses the fact that each character should have one unique individual keyword, which brings quickly english words that I’m simply not entirely sure how or if they differ from their synonyms (which it happens also in WK up to some degree), which in turn is a recipe for confusion upon reviewing.
Also radical names in japanese is something I see often in the instructional manuals and while writing people will mention them when explaining a characters shape or making a comment regarding avoiding confusing radicals, so just using the real names makes sense.

I finally went with this book after searching for mnemonics (記憶術).

There is a sample story for the kanji 瑣 in the word 瑣末

Simple enough, and get to mix all the components. If the rest of kanji is like that, it will be exactly what I was looking for. :slightly_smiling_face:


I also want to learn how to write at least all the joyo Kanji, It’s really weird how I can read, and recognize the kanji, but when it comes to reproducing it my mind goes blank. Recall really is a different ability from recognition.

For now I’m just using an Anki deck to do a few of them each day since this doesn’t take much time.

Maybe later on I’ll incorporate some of your ideas. It makes sense to learn the radicals with their japanese names if one is interested in studying further this sort of thing.

I really should be balancing out my studies more but this too much fun :smile:


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