My issues with the "saber" mnemonic

You know, I liked Hard Gay as a Wanikani mnemonic, practically a mascot for the sure but I understand why he was retired. Not even for any PC reasons, it was just getting old and obscure. You can’t really find a video of him saying “sei!” anymore.

My issue with the “saber” replacement is that it’s easy to confuse with the knife刂 and sword 刀 radical. Honestly, they should have considered “sailor” or even “Sailor Moon”. It’s a pop culture reference, which they try to avoid, but nobody who studies Japanese is going to not know who Sailor Moon is.

Just my two cents.


Thanks now I feel old and obscure


What is sailor moon?


A popular anime. But Sailor Moon is specifically the protagonist, the blonde girl Usagi. When gaijin think of an entry in the “magical girl” genre, they usually think of Sailor Moon.


Jokes on you, I think of Madoka.

edit: oof. i got embed bamboozled


For the record, how do people differentiate the “King” mnemonic おう from the “King of England” mnemonic きん?

I guess you could picture an Asian monarch for おう, but then that could be confused with しょう for Shogun…

I remember when they talked about your hillbilly relatives for きん… Not sure why they changed that.

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I find my brain gets interference with virtually every mnemonic and the corresponding words / kanji. E.g. I always think さく for sack is the reading for the actual Kanjis that means sack. Haha. Takes a few goes around to get it down. I definitely had it with sabre too.

I just picture two different looking kings.

I’ve found it best to put minimal effort into the mnemonics because they’re supposed to dissolve after a while anyway. They’re a temporary crutch to “true” memory.


By them being completely different? It feels like not using mnemonics in this case would be way easier.

The sabre in question - that’s probably my bad, but I don’t pronounce it close enough to せい for it to work.

EDIT: Sorry for teasing!

You could try to remember that most words sound different in Japanese and English, so when you’re about to type さく for sack, or きん for king etc it’s likely the wrong answer. There are very few words that happen to sound the same or similar, the first one that comes to mind is 缶 and can.


Yeah 缶 is awesome :sunglasses: I never actually type さく as the answer. It just comes to mind first which is an annoying mental detour. I usually just fail on purpose until that stops happening. So no big deal. The WK nmenomics are great for me.

Special shoutout to the 新しい mnemonic. Always loved that one :sweat_smile:

Honourable mention for 難しい too.


everytime I see this mnemonic I remember that anime saber marionette J

Ok. Thanks

I just associate readings to actually used japanese vocabulary and can combine multiple readings to same word, likeたん of 探偵, and てい of 探偵

I memorize kanji related verbs and kunyomi words separately.

It requires you are pretty good with japanese though already.

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Two kinds of kings, and then also shouguns, masters, oof… These all sound the same to me, especially since I’m not so good at visualising faces.
There are so many kings, shouguns and masters that I started coming up with my own mnemonics instead. For example, for きん I try to imagine something with gold (e. g. a 斤 is made of 金) or King Kong (e. g. 近 is a scary きんこん getting close on a scooter).

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honestly I usually imagine a lightsaber rather than a metal sword for the sei mnemonic

You may have something going with the 金 idea. Combine it with a king, and it’s King Midas, who of course, famously turned everything he touched into 金.

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The 血 radical mnemonic had just cracked me up :joy:


:joy::joy: Definitely the best thing about WK!