Sometimes the mnemonics/radicals feel a bit forced


Can you explain to me where do you see the moustache radical?

I mean, you could pretend it’s the top part, but that would be really crazy, right… not sure if that would help people with memorizing, since it looks nothing like the radical.

Sorry if I sound negative, just the last few levels, the mnemonics have been really bad to the point where I’m making my own…


It’s the part that surrounds the mouth. Obviously it’s a small mouth, like the lips are pursed. You’re welcome to write 8000+ mnemonics for them if you’d like :slight_smile:

That being said, they’re in the middle of a major overhaul of the radicals, so most of these radical complaint topics will be obsolete when that update goes through.

Edit: oh, I just realized you were talking about the bone kanji and not the moustache radical itself. The form of the radicals sometimes changes, but that doesn’t mean it’s not that element.


For me, the slighlty altered radicals were no problem until I started handwriting.

And besides, self-made mnemonics usually stick better anyways…


It’s not far off the top part.

It doesn’t really matter anyway. Whatever it takes to remember that as bone then go for it. How about it’s the bit above the forehead ie skull?

月 can be a variant of meat or flesh and ⼍ is seen as cover/crown rather than forehead. From that alone you can think of a body part that’s your crown ie head/forehead which is largely bone.


I only use mnemonics when I have something that simply isn’t sticking through repetition. That way, even if the mnemonic feels forced, I can expect it to somehow work.


I feel exactly the same. It seems like the mnemonics of many kanji are trying to tell this incredibly convoluted story instead of getting straight to the point.

Example, for 直 Wanikani says “You accidentally stab your cross into the eye of a lion. Of course, this is a terrible thing you’ve done, because it’s Mike Tyson’s Lion. You have to fix your mistake.”

Seriously? I just imagine a cross-eyed lion trying to fix something. The image pops right into my head and gets straight to the point.

Thats just it though, what works for me isn’t going to work for everyone, and the best mneumonic is one you create on your own. WaniKani is great as a springboard for ideas, if nothing else.


The only one I honestly can’t stand is “raptor cage”…


Cross eyed lion, now that is a good one! =D

I find there are many good mnemonics, but there are some that just makes me cringe. Now while redoing levels I see many where I never learned the mnemonic at all, and probably wouldn’t find it useful either, but luckily knew those from before or got them through repetition. But I find there are more good ones than bad, so they did a good job all and all. Hopefully this overhaul will also cover some of the lesser mnemonics in to something better. They can always ask the community which ones should be changed, and what are the suggested mnemonics =)
If they put it to a vote, cross eyed lion tying to FIX would get my vote over the current one =^-^=


Often the convolution is warranted because it’s a setup for the reading mnemonic as well.

Mike Tyson is mentioned because a) he’s memorable, b) he actually has a lion, and most importantly… he proceeds to choke you ちょく for stabbing his lion.

I like your meaning mnemonic! Though it doesn’t exactly help for the readings.



When I get a kanji wrong, I go back and re-read the story, the meaning and the reading. If the story still isn’t “sticking” I make up my own. When I make up my own, I construct it from the elements looking at them from left to right or from the top down. It’s harder for me to remember the WaniKani story if it starts with an element that’s in the middle for example.


if you dont want use mnemonics〜 there’s old cheap technique to make it easier to remember〜 just some remember actual word which using those kanji〜

if 「骨」is your problem i will search some jukugo contain 「骨」as reference to remember〜 it’s nice if have multiple on kun reading combination if possible〜

「骨」ほね→ is word bone、borrowing shape of kanji 「骨」

「骨肉」こつにく→ blood relative

「骨組み」ほねぐみ→ frame、build structure

so i will remember words → bone、blood relative、structure when encountered with this kanji again〜

so yeah actually this is not solution〜 but this just my way to make it cheap easy to remember (almost effortless) and get bonus get much exposure with many words using corresponding kanji〜

some of wanikani user adopt this way too〜 you’re mileage may vary but you won’t know until you try this simple method〜♪


This! I can never remember if a kanji with pelican radical is actually written with radical 113 (normal pelican like katakana ネ) or radical 145 (with extra stroke).



I remember it as from RTK (if I don’t misremember…)

示 - 示す I see it as an altar, offering things to God.

衣 - ころも I see it as clothing.


Yup, I like to use Wanikani for inspiration there too. For example, I imagine the lion choking on one of the tools he was using to fix something.

The main problem with the stories is I get lost in the details. Okay, so I stab a lion … but the kanji doesn’t mean “stab” or “attack.” Aha, it’s Mike Tyson’s lion! But wait, the kanji doesn’t mean “punch” or “fighter.” Oh yeah, does it mean “to make someone angry,” or “to run away” (from Mike Tyson for hurting his lion)? Nope, not those either …

It’s kind of frustrating when I remember the “story” for a kanji, but can’t remember how it relates to the meaning of the kanji. When I come up with my own story, it doesn’t happen as much.

Still, if I like the story WaniKani gives, I’ll use that too. Whatever helps me remember best basically.


I found that I could remember the story just up to the bit where the meaning / reading was included. Then I can’t remember the actual meaning / reading.

I didn’t know that Mike Tyson actually owned a lion until someone mentioned it here. I had never heard of Hard Gay or a wrestler called Ran - but now I know them.

Star Wars related mnemonics are the most helpful because that’s my favourite movie. I make them up if the existing mnemonic is not sticking in my brain

かい Kylo Ren
れい Rey
ちゅう Chewbacca
はん Han Solo
Tie Fighter radical
あつ R2D2


Basically, every time a mnemonic mentions someone famous I fail (I don’t know any of those famous people, like Mike Tyson or whoever), and since I suck at creating my own mnemonics, I usually learn it the old way, repeating until I eventually get it right