2004
05.23

Do you study Japanese? How do you remember kanji? Instead of just brute-force memorization of kanji through repetition, I find that using pictures as visual aids can help. There are a few books you can buy which show kanji made up of multiple little pictures – for example, 水 being dipicted like a tap with running water. I’ll look up one of the better books and put a link in later, I think. Anyway, it’s normally better for memorization if you make up the visual images yourself, although sometimes this can be very tricky for some kanij.

Today, the kanji I want to remember is 夢 (ゆめ). Though I can read this kanji on site from it’s overall shape, I didn’t know how to write it until today. So, here is how I am going to remember it. The top of the kanji means grass, the middle part looks like a fireplace grill and tiles beneath a fire, and finally the bottom looks like the kanji for evening, 夕. So my image is of a fireplace with a grill and tiles; above the fireplace lots of grass is growing on the mantlepiece; and the fire is burning in the evening when we dream.

The test will be when I try and write this kanji for the first time – preferably in a week or two and not immediately. How about trying this kind of method if you are trying to remember that kanji you always forget.



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