What is こういち?

Hello everyone.

I already knew a bunch of kanji, so I didn’t really need many mnemonics yet, but at level 5 some kanji are starting to pop up that are rather challenging. One of the mnemonics speaks about こういち to remember the reading こう. But I have no idea what it means and why it should help me remember the meaning of the kanji. The kanji I am talking about is the kanji of 考える. (to think)

It says " In it is a picture of こういち! He’s thinking that if こういち was here, he’d save him. Oh, if only こういち could save us all!"… I have no clue what this means and how it make me remember the reading. :face_with_open_eyes_and_hand_over_mouth:

Sorry if this is a weird question.



Koichi started this whole thing up



“When in doubt, blame Koichi…” is always a useful watchword.


Somehow, this question felt a bit like coming to Japan and asking “What is the emperor? Is it something edible?” trunky_rolling

Anyway, welcome to WaniKani and this commeownity, I really hope you’d like it here! hi


Not gonna lie, I die a little inside every time the mnemonic is Kouichi. For the first few levels, it was fine, but when you have a million different words with the reading “kou”, just saying Kouichi does absolutely nothing at all to help you remember the meaning of the word. I basically have to make up my own mnemonics every single time. When I’m going thru reviews, I always end up guessing “kou” on at least 5 wrong words before I finally hit the one that actually has that reading. Probably my biggest complaint with this platform so far.


i used to feel this way as well but i started reading the forums more when certain changes came through and i found the kouichi mnemonic to be a lot more useful

for example, in level 12 there’s 港 (harbor). i remember the reading with
“users on the wanikani forum HARBOR resentment towards KOUichi”

level 11 you finally see 好.
“users on the wanikani forum don’t LIKE the changes that KOUichi makes to the app”

not sure how much more mileage i’ll get out of it but it honestly helped ngl


That’s fair. I know “trust the process” is a big part of wanikani, so I’ve been doing my best to do that. I just hit level 6, so I’ve still got a long way to go. We shall see


I’ll do you one better: Why is Koichi?




Oh no, I feel so bad now. I didn’t mean to offend the maker of wanikani.


I used these mnemonics in the first levels, but then afterwards I would just use previous kanji to remember new ones. 公 and 工 are two I use a lot when I need to remember a コウ reading.

Similarly I use 上 for ジョウ and not “Jourm” which I’m not even sure is a real name?


Well well well…


I just search for it as well and got:

Not many results contain jourm
Search only for “jourm”?

I never had to read the mnemonic of 上 because I already knew it by heart from 上手 (skilled) and 屋上 (roof) so when I see a word with 上 I automatically think of 上手 so i never needed to remember “Jourm” or whatever. Never even heard of it. I have this with a lot of other kanji too. I already learned them “the hard way”. Thanks for the tip using them for reference!


For “Jourm” and a few others, it seems like maybe they just thought it was a ridiculous enough name that it would stick in your brain and be easy to remember. Mileage definitely varies in this approach, but that one in particular was easy enough for me to remember.

1 Like

Yeah, but to be a mnemonic, it needs to be an existing word with an established pronunciation, so you know what it’s meant to sound like. In my head I pronounce Jourm to rhyme with “form”, but that’s not really what じょう sounds like.

(The mnemonic for じょう used to be “Joe Stalin”, but they removed him along with a bunch of other historical and cultural references a couple of years back.)


I’m not a native English speaker so I wondered if I was just missing a reference, good to know it’s just random.


I dont think a mnemonic has to be anything, as long as it helps you remember a word. I do get what you’re saying, though. The one that’s killing me right now is the mnemonic for 曲 (きょく) being “cloak you”. They’re vaguely similar, but not not enough to make me remember the mnemonic or pronunciation consistently.

At the end of the day, it’s all subjective. What works for me isn’t necessarily going to work for you (and vice versa.) Considering how many mnemonics they had to come up with, its amazing that this platform is as effective and popular as it is. Overall, its been overwhelmingly positive for me, and I dont know how I was learning kanji before I found this place :man_shrugging:


The cast of characters that WK introduced were hard for me to memorize at first, but the further along I got, the more the lore started to stack on top of itself, haha, and the more effective those characters became as mnemonics. You might find that it gets easier for you as well, though of course you don’t have to use WK’s mnemonics if you have something else that is more memorable to you.