Japanese People Forget How To Write Kanji – How to remember the kanji with mnemonics


Don’t let it happen to you!

Learn to write kanji by mnemonics and you just might remember them long after that classroom kanji test…

Learning kanji without mnemonics is like learning to spell without having learnt the alphabet!!!!

For example:

If English were not your native language and you didn’t know the alphabet and you had to learn the word “LOVE”;

you could learn it by copying it by rote 100 times…

(Or you could just shoot yourself and get it over with… )

After copying it 100 times, you take a test and maybe you’ve memorized it well enough to write it as LOVE and not Loue or Iove. The test is over and you promptly forget it.

Instead of mindlessly copying the word “love” without knowing the alphabet letters “L” “O” “V” “E”, it would make much more sense to learn these letters and then remember that the word “love” is spelled L O V E.

In exactly the same way,

the Kanji character for LOVE, (“Ai”) has for components (radicals),  .

Yes, equal .

In the same way as the letters L O V E spell LOVE,  “spell” .

Whether or not the components themselves have any meaning (and exactly what that meaning is) is not so important, what matters is that you have a name for that component and it separate in your mind from other components. (For the record  each have a specific meaning, but it doesn’t matter much)

Just like the “L” in Love doesn’t have meaning by itself, the meaning of a radical is not important; you don’t need to ask “what does that radical mean?” or “how does ‘mouth’ plus ‘ten’ mean ‘dreams?'”

It just does, in the same way that L O V E equals love.

Although the radicals don’t necessarily have meaning in themselves, in the same way as L O V and E have distinct names, radicals have a name and you should use that name to distinguish them.

To see  the names of the radicals for , hover over the radicals below to see the names pop-up:


Knowing the radicals (components) is like knowing the alphabet. They are like the “letters” that make up kanji.

To learn them and use them with mnemonics is what this website trains students (and Japanese teachers) to do.

So please explore our free kanji mnemonics

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