Help needed - mnemonic for ultraleech "改"

Help me please - I’ve seen 改める and 改まる over and over and over again. I’ve somehow programmed myself to get them wrong every single time. The かい reading is ok perhaps.

I work best with strong visual mnemonics - doesn’t matter if they’re dumb or really complicated, so long as my mind has a picture. The “A lotta” doesn’t work for me - to abstract?

How did you remember this awful kanji? Even if I think “Say the opposite” I still get them wrong.

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The meaning

One does Renew Oneself in Winter. Winter is the time to renew oneself. Because it’s too cold to go outside, so one stays at home and renews oneself.

改まる – You are being renewed. Who is renewing you? Well, it is your your mother. But you’re tired of her attempts to renew you, so you keep saying: “Stop trying to renew me, Ma!”
Which is why it has ま in it.

改める – But what about you renewing someone else? Meh, that’s too much work. Renewing oneself is hard enough, renewing other people? Meh.
Which is why it has め in it.

The reading

Well, you said you’re ok with かい reading, so it doesn’t seem to need a mnemonic. If it does – think of someone named Kai who needs to renew himself.

あらた – You know you need to renew your house, because you saw a rat in it. Of course, English prononciation can create problems with this mnemonics…
For myself, I remembered it because it sounds almost like あなた。


Maybe it will make matters even worse, but one interesting fact is that the word 新しい (あたらしい) come from the same root, and it was actually pronounced あらたしい in the past.

You probably know very well 新しい, so maybe remembering 改まる as “that weird あたらしい thing” can help jog your memory enough ?


Well, there’s also 新た as well, which has the あらた pronunciation, so that might be a better word to base it off of. Plus, the concept of something being renewed and being new is sorta similar enough that it makes sense, or at least it does to me.


Thanks all. I have a bunch to work with here - Ma, rats and newness.
Wish me luck


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