Some of these mnemonics . . . are prettttttty racist

Hi Everyone,

This is my first post, and I’m doing it since I love the program WaniKani for the most part, and it’s helped me INCREDIBLY in furthering my Japanese, but some of the mnemonics are shameful.

Like what’s up with the constant use of the KKK? With the bloody history and extreme racism of it (not to mention the current unveiling of white supremacists in the US), it’s shameful that crusades of people are being numbed or socialized to the casual and humorous use of the KKK for their own benefit in remembering kanji.

I understand that mnemonics are supposed to be shocking to help people remember, but that doesn’t mean it has to be racist to mention the least.

Koichi, and other leaders of WaniKani, with the already existing critique on the racist tendencies in Japan and in Japanese, I urge you to replace the use of the KKK mnemonics as to not be seen as another Japanese racist platform.

I say these words with love and a vision for a more just WaniKani <3




That one had me blink a few times aswell. And me being … ye that is not okay. The ironic part is… I do remember that kanji pretty well.

I personally have no other opinion about it. It is only there to help me learn the kanji & vocab, it is not making any statement about the KKK itself nor does it say anywhere that WK agrees with those viewpoints.
So… I am litteraly in the middle on this one.

As a Jewish person i’m still upset they took away my heavy Jewish pockets filled with gold from 重.
Instead of rich they changed it so the Jewish person is heavy/fat. :frowning:


All of the mnemonics that currently use KKK are going to change to “cake” in the content overhaul we have coming up. I don’t particularly like this one either, so I’m happy to see it go. :+1:


Thanks for your response. Yeah, I didn’t see too many KKK mnemonics when I started, but as I got to higher levels, more just kept coming . . . Also, I hear you on the fact that WK doesn’t state any specific viewpoints on the KKK, but just the playful use of it normalizes people who weren’t and aren’t impacted by them today. Like if my grandfather was lynched by that group, and I saw these mnemonics, it would get me really irritated, so in a way, the constant use of them could be pushing away groups who’ve been targeted by the KKK


What about all the ones using Jesus? Its highly offensive to non-Christians shove your religion upon us.
What about the ones involving animals getting hurt. They’re offensive to vegans. Animals have are living things, don’t make light on their suffering.
What about those involving water slides? They’re offensive to people who can’t swim.
What about X? That’s offensive to Y.

I’m offended by everything. How dare you guys.


Thanks for letting us know Kristen! What a relief!!

Making fun of the Ku Klux Klan or using it to make things memorable is totally different from adhering or propagating their ideas.

I’m totally okay with KKK mnemonics because they work so well. Cake won’t have the same effect, at all.


Can you really be racist against all races though

edit: is it really racist if you do it to all races though

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Oh, I see. Yeah, it’s understandable. KKK was actually one of the few mnemonics from WK that stuck with me, since comparing its sound with けい is not forced at all.

EDIT: Yeah @Richard-Degenne I agree with you. But check the part I quoted from charl0. It’s a valid point.

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You guys are welcome to discuss things here, but please keep it civil. Be nice to each other.


Aww. Sad to see it go. I haven’t seen the new mnemonics yet, so I can’t say for sure, but there’s a good chance “cake” will be a lot less memorable.


I respect you as a person Daisuke, but I’m not saying we have to change everything. Like the water slides example is a little ridiculous haha. But the one about Jesus is true!! I brought up the KKK first because that was the most outrageous one to me. I’ll write about the Jesus one next! Thanks for participating on the thread <3

What makes you say the mnemonics are “racist”, by the way? Is simply mentioning the KKK (not sympathizing with them) “racist”?


Once again, censoring something because it offenses someone is way over the top.

If you’re able to read French, I warmly recommend you read this blog post from a blogger I adore.


Can I marry you? :sparkling_heart::sparkles:
I think I fell in love with you super much :sparkles:~

Ooh, “le totalitarisme tranquille”. That’s a catchy phrase.

You’ve really stretched the meaning of racist to the point of meaninglessness. Given your example of what constitutes racism, even mentioning the KKK to denounce them would be racist.


Good question obskyr! Simply mentioning the KKK does not have to be racist itself, but integrating it in a platform where vast numbers of people will encounter it while ignoring the people whose family legacies have been brutalized, enslaved, and routinely killed by the people of the term, it’s racist because it’s being used to help us remember words thanks to the suffering of others.