New or alternate mnemonics

I couldn’t find a thread where people post all the original mnemonics they come up with when they have trouble with the ones given by WaniKani. If there is one already that I missed, my bad, and I’ll delete this one.

One I came up with today that I’m pretty proud of is for 体 (からだ) :

You’re such a fast runner that the cops have started to pull you over when you’re out for your morning jog. To combat this, you have installed a car radar detector in your body! Your body is now a car radar (KARADA)

car raider just wasn’t working for me, because it’s not a term I’m familiar (and raider ≠ rada) so it wouldn’t stick in my mind.

What are some of the gems you’re proudest of?


People usually help come up with alternative mnemonics in the leech squashing thread when someone is having trouble, but that’s the only close existing thread that I can think of, at least. So I think it’s probably good to have this one. :slight_smile:

Radar also isn’t pronounced like ‘rada’, either, though. :thinking: I agree that raider isn’t very helpful (at least for me) but I’d have the same exact problem with ‘radar’, where I’d probably put れ instead of ら. But, alas, if it’s working for you, that’s all that matters!

For whatever reason, I didn’t have trouble getting からだ to stick so I just kinda got lucky with that one.

There should be a whole section for this, Topics covering several levels…

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I totally agree, らだ RADA could be problematic for some people. It depends on how your mind words.

For me, it doesn’t matter too much if the sounds line up, but more that the spelling in romaji lines up with the spelling of the English words I’m trying to relate it with

One dedicated user should make a wiki post with an entry for every level where anyone can add their and others’ mnemonics.


深 level 12
Looks like someone is sinking. Dying light on the left and water surface on top. He is going deep. He will しん soon.

I use shin for deadly situations…

Like meeting your SO’s parents?

This was a while before I started Wanikani, or knew much about what radicals were, but…
Since 時 was one of the first kanji I memorized, when I came across 待 I could remember that it had the same right half, and when you’re “waiting,” “time” passes. Similarly, when I came across 持 I could remember it since you can ask someone to “wait” by saying " ‘hold’ on a bit."

I tend to come up with mnemonics by a weird sort of word association - which, honestly, is the best way to come up with mnemonics.

  • 乱れる (みだれる)

One of the stops on the Tateyama-Kurobe Alpine Route (which I visited in April) is named 弥陀ヶ原 (みだがはら). But that always makes me think of “Midgard”, the name for Earth in Norse mythology, and Midgard is always in disorder.

  • 暴れる (あばれる)

My mnemonic for this is this guy:


His name in the Japanese version is アバレキラー, and acting violently is kinda what he does. (To be fair, the whole team are the アバレンジャー, but he’s the one who springs to my mind first.)

  • 裁く (さばく)

mIRC used to have “/e smacks [person] around a bit with a large trout” as a default emote (I say “used to have”, but maybe it still does, I haven’t checked). I just imagine it being done instead with a mackerel - or in other words, a さば.

I’ve been planning on creating a new community mnemonics script from scratch. My original plan was to try to update the old script but just looking at the code was a headache on its own. I’ve been quite busy so there’s been little to no progress so far, but when I do get the time it is something I’d love to finish to make the WK experience that much better for everyone :slight_smile:


That’s brilliant, I like that. For what matters, in my language “Radar” is pronounced exactly as it’s written, so it works for me ^^

In level 7, I initially struggled to keep 未 and 末 apart.

Looking at the horizontal lines from top to bottom, I realized “End” has the shorter line at the “end” of the horizontals - the second one is shorter.

For “Not yet” - is the shorter line at the end? Not yet! So the top line is shorter.

Maybe it doesn’t make nearly as much sense as my brain thinks it does, but I’ve never had to doubt which is which since.


Ah, remembered another one:

  • 省く (はぶく)

Habbukuk is one of the Old Testament minor prophets, but his book is so short that it’s easy to skip or omit it.


Does anyone have any suggestions for remembering that 本気 = serious?

This is one that won’t seem to stick with me.

A clown with a honkey nose? Because clown business is serious business.

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I don’t really have a good way of remembering it but the word sounds a bit like ‘Honky’, which makes me think of Honky-Tonk music. I don’t have a great way of connecting the meaning to the reading but it kind of stands out for me.

I have a harder time trying to remember the differences between the other synonyms:

4 - 本気
15 - 大変
34 - 深刻
35 - 真剣

The way I remember the kanji for “hand” is that to me it looks like a facehugger from the Alien movies, and the thing I remember most about them is how they look like spiders with big long fingers.

"Does anyone have any suggestions for remembering that 本気 = serious ?

This is one that won’t seem to stick with me."

George Jefferson was very serious when he was talking to the honkies (what he frequently called white people).

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Does anyone have an alternative for 保つ? I get it wrong because the mnemonic uses Tom but it begins withs Ta.

This is probably useless for you, but I managed to learn it as being just not quiiiite 守る (まもる), though I’ve no idea why that helped me.

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