Share weird/ridiculous mnemonics

Does the following appear familiar to you? You’re going through some fresh lessons and there’s a Kanji/Vocab for which you just know the mnemonic as soon as you read the reading/meaning, but it turns out to be something different and less helpful, making you wonder why they did not just use that what immediately comes to your mind? If yes, feel free to share your random “but why not …” moments with mnemonics below!

I’m gonna start with the reading mnemonic for 黒 (black) which is こく. Needless to say that when I read “It gets in your mouth”, the only association that made sense to me was A BIG BLACK COCK. It might seem a bit inappropriate to think of black cocks every time you’re talking about colours but I really can’t imagine any stronger mnemonic for this reading since it nicely covers the meaning as well.

PS: This thread is more about the random kind of entertainment WaniKani can provide and less about actual suggestions for mnemonics.

PPS: Yes I am aware that black is not a colour.

PPPS: And yes, it is colour and not color.


We all have experience with creating weird mnemonics. One example:

食 (しょく)

African kid died of SHOCK when he saw me wasting my food while EATing.

I know…I am sorry and ashamed of myself. :pensive:



“Do NOT put me in your mouth!”


It does seem a little risky to use Ryu for a reading that isn’t りゅう, since that’s what WK uses for the りゅう onyomi. Plus, just because of pronunciation.

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Technically black is both a colour and not a colour. When you look at black objects, that black you see is a colour, as certain wavelengths of light are being reflected off the object. It’s just that relatively little light is being reflected off (for matte blacks), and the light being reflected off tends to correspond to the bluer end of the spectrum (hence why dark blues and blacks often look alike).

This chemical (as in,from a dye) black is different to the black you’d see in a cave. There, you’re not seeing anything, since there is no light at all. Your brain interprets these two things as the same, because they’re both just the relative lack of light.The black on your monitor is the same thing. It’s just lower intensity light from the black-light light passing through the inactive pixels

oops I didn’t mean to write an essay….


Why stop at mouth?

Who said something about stopping? Maybe it’s just the beginning :wink:

i lmao’d for like 5 minutes

this wasn’t intentional…was it?

Waiting for the “Tofu” word.

Well, at least it was funny for me.

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Most of mine are too embarrassing/incomprehensible for me to share. Here’s a simple one.


Lol the Hang kanjis mnemonic is the best 掛

Taking a nailbat, you decide to create one grave and another grave, take two people by the toe, and hang them upside-down to beat them to death. Once the two people are dead, you can put them in the new graves you just made.


Imagine hanging two people up by their toes and beating them with a nailbat. Hear their screams and pleas for mercy as you beat them over and over again.

After, you hang them up by their toes and then run into them with your car (か). No mercy.


immaturity is the main source of the humour

its basically a straight reading from the kanji but the paragraph just caught me off guard for a second

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multi-track drifting?

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One that got me in a bit of trouble was 池 (いけ)which happens to use the letters found in the English name Ike. My friend and I often play Fire Emblem together and I caused quite a controversy by jokingly referring to Ike as いけ, and insisting that it is the grammatically correct reading of his name given the letters used. It’s also funny to image a serious warrior running around under the name of “Pond”. (Which is what 池 means).

I tried to memorize the mnemonic for 卒 (graduation) which involves a person with a lid carring a cross or something. But it’s easier to remember an emoji of someone happy ヽ(^ー^)/ plus a graduation cap.


This one is mega weird and probably wouldn’t work with anybody except me… but I guess that’s what this thread is for huh?

生地 - kiji - material, dough, fabric (amongst other readings)

Because the readings are so weird for both kanji in this word, I decided to make a mnemonic for the entire word.

I imagine Sergei Prokofiev (who composed Lieutenant Kije) dressed in drag, wearing clothes made out of pricy fabric, holding an expensive purse, in general just being ‘materialistic.’ He is living inside the earth, right at the core. Perhaps preparing some dough to cook at the high heat and pressure down there.

I knew I wouldn’t remember this word at all unless I made a very elaborate mnemonic for it, and so far I don’t think i have missed on a review of it!


And, I can’t help but add something that may actually help somebody out there, unlike my previous post.

Forgive me if this seems extremely obvious to everyone, but I also have a mnemonic for the concept of rendaku. That is, when a reading of a word uses rendaku, I include the concept of “handmade” in my mnemonic for that word. For example, for the word 青葉 - aoba - fresh leaves/greenery, I imagine a guy making some tiny greenish-blueish leaves by hand. I use the word “handmade” because this word itself uses rendaku, but also because it is pretty easy to take this mnemonic and just apply it to any word (probably harder to apply it with abstract concepts but for now I haven’t had a problem.)

And, when the word does not use rendaku, i simply don’t use this mnemonic and so I can assume the word is without rendaku if my brain does not conjure up an image of somebody making something by hand.


I have one mnemonic I’m proud of that I’ve even shared with some of my English classes in Japan.

The kanji, 助(じょ). I had no idea how to remember this one, but it was one instance (of many) where I was grateful for WK’s radicals. A top hat and power plus a reading of Jo? I had to go with a JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure reference.

(A man in a top hat) gave the (power) to (help) people to ジョ-ジョ. Thanks Mr. Zeppeli!

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I used Kanji Damage’s mnemonic for this one. made it vary easy for vocab too. (though that mnemonic is very inappropriate.)

for 助, I have an image of Estelle from the Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky games. Estelle, using a jo staff, helping people with her strength (and I guess wearing a top hat, and very not happy about it).

Admittedly, now that I look it up, I realize I’ve always been pronouncing Jo staff wrong, but nevertheless it’s a very solid image in my mind. >_>

Another one born of my mispronunciations, Charlie Sheen just wasn’t working for me. I still don’t know who the guy is. So I use a more modern meme-friendly Shia Lebuff. I mentally mispronounce his name, so it works perfectly for me. And the wanikani Sheen mnemonics all pretty much still work 100%.

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