To old-timers, what were the old references used in mnemonics?

I have read that previous mnemonics and things in the page in general had a lot more references, like 42+ as a review counter and Nick Kage as a national treasure. Do you remember any examples that has been removed?

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Charlie Sheen, for し, and Hard Gay, for せい, were two more.


I still miss Joseph Stalin. :cry: Thinking of him doing something weird always helped cement something.

Used for all じょう readings, rather than Jourm.


Can you remember where they were used?

Not all instances, but off the top of my head 子 used Charlie Sheen for the し reading and 正 used Hard Gay for the せい reading.

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How is hard gay Sei?

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He would shout out “Sei sei sei!” a lot.


Boobs. Rain boobs. Rain clouds.
Long cat. -
Sauron. Dream.
Cobra. Renew.


Oh yeah, I forgot about boobs and long-cat!

Here are some of the old vs new radical definitions:


Are they radicals?

The first column of my previous/first post in this thread are all radicals. The second and third etc columns are kanji that I still remember using both old and new radicals names. I put - for kanji I didn’t remember using old radical name but remember using new radical name. For a complete list, refer to @Omun’s post above.


Is poop still a thing? Nipple?


I wouldn’t notice if the mnemonic stories have changed, but mullet was definitely a thing. Looks just like that, too.

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I came back to Wanikani after a long, long hiatus and found some of the updated mnemonics very confusing because of these changes D :

Good news is that Wanikani works, because ‘mullet’ was burned into my brain.

Also, the old radical had some references to the Pope, I think. Unless I just made that one up through my sheer brilliance.

They definitely did. Are those gone now?


I definitely still think Hard Gay when I see some of the lower level ones “in the wild”.

The funny thing about that one is, I had no idea who Hard Gay actually was, and the video I found was so painfully unfunny I didn’t even make it to the part he ever actually said “sei sei sei”. But I could believe it as a fictional idea and it worked really well as a mnemonic.


Don’t forget boob grave.

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Nope. Now instead of thinking of the pope’s hat, just think about old people in general and how they’re religious. But I still think of the pope…

I think it was the “cross” + “eye” combination, as seen in 直 that used to be called the pope radical.

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