Kanji Mission

JapanTree’s Kanji Stories is a “clean parody” of KanjiDamage “that leaves yo’ mama alone (and is safe to use in the classroom).

And a parody of WaniKani without cruelty to imaginary animals. Rock On.

How’d this all get started and what can it do for you? Let me tell you a story…

This is a story all about how my life got flipped-turned upside down
And I’d like to take a minute
Just sit right there
I’ll tell you how I became the prince of a town called Bel Air

Wait. That’s not the story I was trying to tell. I was going to tell you a story about Kanji.

Now if you grew up in America (poor you) in the ’90s those “Fresh Prince” lyrics were indelibly etched into your brain. That’s some powerful learning.


I’m no fresh prince, but I wouldn’t mind being the King of Kanji. Hey, I’d settle for the Kid of Kanji…  Karp of Kanji… K…  mmmmm….


Like I was saying. I have a little story to tell. Its about Kanji. All of them (the important ones anyway).

Its a story made to stick and made to make you learn Kanji (the fun way)



I didn’t learn Kanji (the first time) with stories. I was beat – by evil Japanese teachers – with a Kanji stick!

Granted that method taught me to recognize over 1900 kanji by my last university course. But it was ineffective for long term retention and just all together bad.

Plenty has been written about the evils of the “beat them with a Kanji stick” approach.

Its no wonder why teachers have loved this approach for hundreds of years. Teachers are Sadists. No, let me take that back not all teachers are Sadists, some are dead.

I’m not ashamed, I can confess I LOVE torturing students. I LOVE telling them, “its hard, but no pain no gain! 🙂 ”  (always include the smiley face. students love smiley faces)

You do not want to learn that way, especially with Kanji.

The method presented here on JapanTree is geared toward smarter Kanji learning.

This is a work in progress, though. So bear with me.

Here are a couple pages you need to read: (but long story short, have fun and make mistakes)
How To Study with Kanji Mnemonics
Your goals – Castles in the Air


(the following are some random but important notes on Kanji)

A super simple explanation of Kanji and what learning them with mnemonics is like:

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

Now, Considering that all this explaining is probably giving you a headache, I’m stopping here (for now). Just jump in. Just do it. Make mistakes, get messy. Have fun. Learn some kanji.

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