Confusing Mnemonics and Leeches Help Thread

I created this topic to be a place where anyone can ask questions about any items that are causing them trouble. Whether that’s a mnemonic that doesn’t make sense and you want it explained, or one that just doesn’t stick for you. Maybe you’re looking for something to trigger some connection you didn’t see before, or simply a better mnemonic. So far this thread has been really effective for me, and I am now easily passing the items I asked about, so I look forward to continued usage of this thread, and encourage others to also use this thread if anything is causing problems.

I just wanted to edit this post to make this all clearer now that this thread has seen some continued use. This is mainly because my original mnemonic question has been answered, but there are new questions popping up in the comments instead, so I wanted to help make sure that anything new gets seen.

Original Post:

I am once again stumped by a mnemonic so I’ve decided to just make a topic about it. I plan to just post anything that comes up in the future here rather than keep making new topics for individual items. I’ll be asking just if anyone can clarify certain mnemonics to help me actually make sense of them and remember them better. Anyone else is also free to use this thread to post other items that are tripping them up too. I’m sure it would be helpful for making things more memorable for everyone.

The item that is confusing me today is the reading mnemonic for 履く (はく) (To Put On Shoes)

“You decide to put on shoes. That will teach Mrs. Chou and her streets! “HA (は) HA HA!” you laugh out loud like a maniac.”

I know who Mrs Chou is and remember other mnemonics about her, but I just don’t see how this is very related to her and why putting shoes on is bad for her. So maybe someone can help make this a little more memorable for me?

And yes, I know I can make up my own mnemonics but I would still rather try and use the WaniKani ones first, I’m more likely to see the WK one when I’m checking what I got wrong.


If I remember right, she threw nails on the street? So now her plan is defeated. You have shoes.

Some say the key to memorizing things is to link them to other things in your mind. This is apparently an attempt to do that. Successfully or unsuccessfully, matter of opinion.

I like the concept of a standing thread to ask about/discuss mnemonics, thanks!


Ahh, okay, that does make some sense then, thank you. I don’t have a memory of her throwing nails though. Do you by chance remember what item that was on? Just curious to check it out.

Yeah makes sense, I just was missing half of the connection I guess. I should be able to recall it now you’ve said it though.

No problem, I hope it can be useful to some people :slight_smile:

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:woman_facepalming: I just burned street or was it the nail radical a few days ago and I didn’t make the connection it’s months apart from the actual mnemonic and at this point it’s something like Mrs. Chou street nail no narrative whatsoever, it was more like は what are you talking about? Well @AlexR1der you just saved me double taking during that lesson in a week or two from now.


Oh wait I finally made the realisation that the street radical has a barb in it. That must’ve been what they’re getting at. You’re protected from the barbs after putting shoes on I guess. But yeah I feel like they could have been clearer about trying to make the connection between Mrs Chou and barbs. Unless I’m missing some other item where it was more straightforward.


HA, you’re correct @ctmf and me we remember the old mnemonic, who knew. That barb thing, I probably didn’t bother with it this time around since street was a no brainer.


I feel like it was just 丁, but now the mnemonic doesn’t mention nails. Maybe I’m thinking of an old, now-changed mnemonic; I was level 2 in 2018 or something.


Mm yeah, if it’s been changed then I can see how that’s confused some things, but at least now I can put it together that it’s maybe referencing the barb

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It’s the first I noticed it was changed, but I THINK the old one told the story of how Mrs. CHOU likes to throw NAILS in the STREET, and then elaborated about how she’s evil, which is now just a separate footnote. The old way feels like a better mnemonic linking the radical, the meaning, and the reading all together. The current one is kind of lame by comparison I think, even standing alone. (And obviously it breaks the “put on shoes” link-back later)


Thank you for the insight :slight_smile: Definitely sounds like it would be better if it kept the nail part in, I agree it would tie it all together better. Oh well though, now I know.


yeah, it kinda lost its flair.
It’s mentioned here
hey @mods it seems like the reading explanation for 履く references the old mnemonic you might want to change that.


Honestly, 続く (つづく) (to continue) has me butting my head against a wall as well. I just cannot remember it’s reading when it comes up. The mnemonic feels clunky, and won’t stick. I can’t really think of a better mnemonic either.

Two dudes (つづ) get to continue on. I’m afraid you two ladies are going to have to stay here. This is a dudes only night club.

Maybe someone has some advice?

Search for some Japanese series. No need to watch the full episodes, go to the end, there you will see a big つづくso many times you won’t forget anymore


Now that you mention that, I think I remember seeing it in a show I watched. That wasn’t recent though, I think my current show has 次回 instead so I guess I haven’t seen it recently. But thanks, I’ll keep an eye out in future too.

Thanks for the ping! I’ll bring this up to the team.


Hi. I’m doing my lessons right now. Normally “home” is used as a mnemonic for ほう (at least it is in 訪 and 崩 and that’s enough for me to establish a pattern.

So I’m learning (ほうむ)る and they say

But, home is just ほう so now I want to write ほうる
I guess I’m just going to have to invent a new funeral that involves live cows for the む but this is an annoying inconsistency.


Oh yeah hmm that’s annoying. What it makes me think of is the saying “until the cows come home”. Perhaps you could think “now I’m going to be buried until the cows come home” which pretty much just means you’re going to be stuck there for a long time.

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得る’s (える, To Acquire) reading is not sticking for me at all. It’s simple but I keep failing it so I figured I’d post it here.

You need to acquire an elephant (え) for your elephant collection. If you don’t acquire an elephant, you’ll look like an idiot in front of your elephant collecting friends.

Anyone have any idea of how to make it stick better, or a better mnemonic? I don’t really have a problem with the mnemonic other than I just don’t ever think of it when this word comes up.

Well how about this as a mnemonic
I learned grammar and acquired the ability to recognize える verbs but since I can’t remember 得る I can’t tell if it is an える verb or not, so I gained nothing.


Might be slightly convoluted, but it could work. I’ll give it a go, thanks. I’m wondering if there’s a way to make it slightly simpler but I can’t think of a way.

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