Is there a better mnemonic for 京/Capital?

“There is a lid covering all the mouths that are too small to feed themselves, forming the capital. All of the small mouths come together and create a place where everyone can support each other.”
Makes me wince.
Does anyone use something more memorable than this?

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I’m aware that it’s kind of backwards, but it could help if you learn how Tokyo and Kyoto are written. Both of them use 京 for the “kyou” part of the word, and both are/were capitals.

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I don’t have a mnemonic but since it is the To in Tokyo and Kyoto (and the Jing in Beijing and Nanjing) that’s were my memory of this one comes from. In general I find if I can anchor something to experience then I find that is as good if not better than a mnemonic.

Japanese train and subway stations are great anchors for me. 表 and 参 will always link in my mind to 表参道駅 on the Ginza line.

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You, uh… might need a mnemonic, since it’s the kyou in Tokyo and Kyoto. :stuck_out_tongue:

But yeah, ninety percent of my kanji “mnemonics” are Japanese words that I already know which use that kanji.


Now I am embarrassed, I’d like too blame it on autocorrect, but no I did actually type that. I promise you I did know what I meant.


You can also learn it straight from the turtles shells:


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In the Hunger Games, the smallest mouths in the districts are sent to the CAPITAL, where they are put under a lid (dome) and forced to fight to the death.

One of those mnemonics that is incredibly dependent on your knowledge of pop culture, but if you know the reference…

Hint: Imagine your sadness at all those little mouths fighting to the death. DEATH to the CAPITAL!

Wait, this isn’t hunger games, this is Battle Royale! And the Battle Royale is happening in KYOto! (Great novel/manga/movie, by the way)


Yes, as can be seen in the ancient form, originally 京 depict a tall building, like a temple or pavilion. The meaning changed later to city, then capital . But I’m not sure if it’s really a good mnemonic :sweat_smile:

But anyway @sunnyone , you probably don’t really need a mnemonic for this one… As said by others, it’s one of the Kanji of Kyoto and Tokyo, so you’ll see it over and over again in your Japanese studies.

Umm yea it’s the Kanji in Tokyo and Tokyo is the capital. 東京

Tokyo actually means east capital. You see it’s also in Kyoto which was the previous capital 京都 which isn’t in the east that’s why they named Tokyo the east capital. So umm, yea capital.

The kanji always reminds me of those stone lanterns, so “the lantern marks the capital”.


I’d love to sample your "umm yea"s for my new remix of a song. Do I get your permission?


The capitals of the world keep a lid over their small mouths, because if the other cities found out they would laugh at them and take the Capital title for themselves. Imagine Osaka Laughing at Tokyo’s small mouth and taking the Capital title away.

I’m sure we could work out an agreeable royalty percentage for the sample.

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That’s what the kanji book I’m using uses as its mnemonic actually! It compares it to 高, and talks about 小 acting as posts supporting the building.

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Thanks everyone … I’m not likely to forget it now.
I hope it’s cool to ask for other ideas on mnemonics, as there are a number of them that just don’t work for me and I’ve been unable to make any of my own stick either.


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