Religion-related Mnemonics

WaniKani has recently taught me radicals like Pope, Devil and Spicy. The first two are self-explanatory, Spicy was described as “You ate something very spicy and have to beg Jesus for mercy”. I recall the mnemonic for sheep was something along the lines of “Jesus is hitting a sheep”.

Am I the only one who feels a bit uneasy when reading about those figures in such context? Now, I’m not full-on offended, no, but a part of me thinks this is a form of disrespect.

Of course, since, I dare to say, everyone knows who these figures are it’s an effective mnemonic. I can’t argue with that. I don’t have any “PC” proposals. I’m simply asking for your opinion.


And after all, Japan has the Tomb of Jesus Christ.

Anyway no, I don’t care at all. In fact, this is my revenge after centuries of “Blood Libel.” It’s not a good revenge, but it’s all I’ve got.


If you view it as purely for the sake of a mnemonic in nature, I don’t think it should necessarily offend anyone, though I understand some may take it that way. But then you can just come up with your own mnemonics – the only thing that matters is coming up with something that will make you recall the reading and meanings, that’s all that counts in the end because the mnemonics eventually fade away anyway ^^


I’m not religious myself, but the mnemonics you mention sound to me more wacky than disrespectful.

I remember one case in which an example sentence was actually offensive and the staff had it deleted, and I don’t think this compares.


dear god does this feel like a stretch


If the intention was to offend there may be a point, but just mentioning the pope or Jesus shouldn’t be a problem.

But I find that the pope is not very memorable and the mnemonics not so useful. Especially when there is some lion tacked in.

A bad lion allows the pope and his family to multiply. The lion and the pope are both bad, actually. The bad lion keeps the pope’s enemies away so the pope is free to multiply his family and gain larger influence in the land.

Apart from being a total mess … the pope’s family? Did I miss something?


I’m pretty sure the staff created Wanikani as an elaborate ruse to disguise their hatemongering.


This has got to be a troll. Right?


I think intention matters. As far as I’m concerned, WK is not trying to disrespect any of those figures, so I have no reason to find it disrespectful. If you think they are disrespectful, you’re probably taking it too seriously.

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Using your imaginary friend in a mnemonic is offensive?
Maybe if the mnemonic was like, ‘Nail it to a board like Jesus’, but ‘Beg Jesus for mercy’ is offense? Isn’t that half the point of this man anyways? And I’m sure he murdered tons of sheep. Man had to make clothes, and eat, and such and such.

To play the devil’s advocate, there is a case to be made that offensive or rude mnemonics are more effective because one tends to remember those things. Of course it’s another thing entirely if the mnemonic is aim specifically at offending somebody, I don’t think that is the case here though.

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Yeah, I’m in agreement with the several people who mentioned intention matters. None of those mnemonics have judgement calls on these figures. If it was like “Stupid Jesus won’t give me milk for my spicy food!!” maybe I’d feel differently, but they’re not.

  • Also, just learned the sheep radical and it just mentions it looks like a sheep. Thought I’d also throw that out there.
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I don’t think it is disrespectful at all.

Won’t someone think of poor Charlie Sheen? Does no one have sympathy for the Devil?


I don’t feel anything about these mnemonics, no disgust or offended or uneasy, maybe because I’m not religious.

The only thing I can say is that if you don’t like a mnemonic don’t use it, ignore it and make one yourself that’d you like, I don’t care if a mnemonic is violent/disgusting/shocking or whatever as long as it helps me remember is fine by me.


These are supposed to shock you in some way tobe memorable. If you feel strongly about it it is working. You can makeup your own too.


idk, I personally don’t feel that way.

I do agree with you on this, I think it’s disrespectful. To me, talking about Jesus is like talking about mithology and I do find it funny sometimes and I admittedly make fun of it in private, but I have friends and family whose beliefs include Jesus and would find stuff like this insulting, and I know there are people out there with other religious beliefs (over which I have no right to decide whether they are valid or not). It is making fun of ‘something’ that some other people find valuable and worth of worshiping. However, since the demographic that WK is intended for doesn’t seem to particularly include religious people, I don’t see a big problem in keeping them (since they are not blatantly diminishing). But if they wished to make a more inclusive product then they should pay more attention to these details and change them.


Honestly I haven’t been using the given mnemonics for a while, but I have a lot of mnemonics from Japanese religion and pop culture.
The way I see it if Tenjin god of poetry and natural disasters doesn’t mind me using him to remember things about heaven, then I should be in the clear with Jesus god of mercy and forgiveness…


You could think of it as disrespectful, since Jesus wouldn’t hit a sheep (that’s sheep abuse). But it’s not something to get offended over and the mnemonic is more memorable because of it.

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