Mental block


I always felt that 力 looked like an arm flexing with power, curved inward, kinda like these two guys:

For 九 I just remember it as it as nine, not sure why, probably because I think of a nonagon with nine sides, and that 丸 later is for circle (infinite-sided polygon). Also, the hook on the bottom right of 九 isn’t very armish to me compared to 力, too bent.


There’s even a userscript that uses user-created mnemonics! (I think.) It’s somewhere in the API section. Look in the big list by ShotgunLagoon.


Nope! In fact, from the outset, I called it “hi” ヒ because it looked identical to the katakana.


Get a piece of paper and write them out side by side. Copy each one a few times. Actually having to write/draw something helps us notice all the little details we tend to overlook when just, you know, looking.


Tbh, the way I remember the differences between nine and power is 力 is flexing but 九 can’t flex because it broke its arm, so it is powerless. ???


I remember it by power (ちから) has か in it and 力 looks like katakana カ


This is also 9. 刀…



You guys were totally right. Just looking at them side by side and focusing on the differences really did help. Now I just moved to being quizzed on a couple of Kanjis and I’m confused about what they’re asking! When it says “radical” I know what to answer, but if it says kanji meaning am I supposed to be answering something different? When do I write “one” vs. “ground” vs. “itchy”?


If it is the radical you put ground
if it is the vocab or kanji meaning you put one
if it is the vocab or kanji reading you put いち。


Check the background color, you will get used to it.

Blue – radical
Pink – Kanji
Violet – vocab

On level 1 you will already see vocab 人 (ひと) and kanji 人 (にん, じん). Kanji can be read differently in different contexts, you should looks closely at the explanations, background color, and go slowly in the beginning.


I guess I’m missing something. Where is it I’m supposed to be learning
something additional to attach to these radicals I’ve memorized? I happen
to know how to count from one to ten, so those I could take a stab at, but
it never told me any proper spelling for 3. It only said “son” but I
already knew it was “San” so I got that one. But another example is the
character that is “construction” or “industry” … where have I missed that
they taught me something else about that word? Anything I type it has said
is wrong and it’s obvious there’s just a step I’ve missed somewhere.


It’s 匙 さじ spoon. Also, if the hook of the second stroke connects with the first stroke, it becomes a nice spoon facing the right side.

七 is overly spiked to the left, so it can’t be a spoon. (Although, spoon radical in writing can sometimes actually be both 匕 and 七.)





You should probably look into how kanji readings work, on’yomi and kun’yomi, and how the reading may be different for different words.

Have a look at this.


The radicals will be re-used in many other kanji, not just a single one. Wanikani basically teaches you small stories that include the “radicals” of the kanji to make them easier to remember. In the beginning the kanji are simple (single “radical”), so you won’t see the difference, but up to level 3 is free to try for a reason.

One important thing is that the explanations give phonetic examples of the words, which sometimes happen to be American English pronunciation. Son is read as /sʌn/.

I’m going to count to three, then I’m going to whack you with these three sticks, son (さん).

The Japanese reading is shown on the left as you can see on heisamaniac’s skärmavbild, and directly next to son in parenthesis.

Did you already look at the hiragana turorials? Is the same approach there.


The phonetics are sometimes a stretch even so. If you find yourself repeatedly typing the wrong thing because of the mnemonic, it’s best to just come up with your own.


nine and power are similar kanji
power flex inwards
and nine flexes outwards
if that makes sense


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