First off I have a confession to make: I used to think mnemonics were a waste of time and didn’t bother - at first… That was until about 100 kanji in and I was like OOOOKKKKK I need something to start helping me remember.
And pretty much none of WK’s mnemonics worked for me - usually too wordy. I started trying to make my own and noticed a pattern. The shorter and cheesier or cornier the mnemonic, the easier it was to remember.
See if you can guess the kanji from my mnemonics:
The child hid the TREASURE BALL under the ROOF of the HOUse.
The CHILD under the ROOF drew the LETTER G on his shirt.
The LEADER of ALLIGATORS was named OTHER-TA.
The LEADER of SAMURAI was DOING DEATH.
Pretty much anytime I have to remember something with a reading of SHI or DAI I just use death/died because it sticks.
The LEADER of CEREMONIES was SUBSTITUTEd because he DAI’d.
Just wondering if anyone else has a good cheese pattern they can share that makes a recurring appearance in their mnemonics?
When I’ve been using the mnemonics for the kanji, I’ve been trying to use WK’s stories but I do shorten them up similarly to what you’re doing. The only major change I’ve made so far, is to relate the KOU words with (Coke) instead of KOUICHI. I’m not sure if that will work long-term but so far it’s worked and bright red cans of coke bright in the sun (光) work better for me than a random person named KOUICHI (even if said random person was the founder of this site). Because my vocabulary is far more advanced than my kanji, in most cases, I just try to remember the appropriate vocabulary to remind me of specific readings rather than the WK stories.
Mnemonics are the key honestly, but don’t be afraid to make up your own if the WK one doesn’t stick for you. Sometimes one comes to me when I first see a kanji and I just go with it, even if it’s crude, lewd, or just ridiculous. If it makes the kanji stick, and the further you get the harder it gets, then go for it.
My pattern was to create mnemonics myself, using the first one that comes to mind. It can be a poor mnemonic, but doesn’t matter. If it doesn’t work, I will know; and I can always create a new one.
Mnemonics can be in any language - my mothertongue, English, Chinese, Japanese; it doesn’t matter.
I think it matters as well, that it is imaginable - that is, visual in my mind. Some parts of mnemonic phrases would be positional as well.
Still, many don’t need mnemonics - I have heard somewhere before, and it just rolls in my tongue.
Also, Koichi isn’t random to me