Crazy Kanji

For the past 2 years, I have used images and stories in order to recognize, write and remember the general meaning of 2000 kanji (Chinese characters used in the Japanese writing system).

While the majority are mundane, many kanji have engaging stories.

I studied kanji in the manner devised by James Heisig. Heisig divided kanji into components that he terms primitives. At times, these primitives reflect the etymological roots of the kanji. Often, however, Heisig assigned the primitive a meaning based on its pictorial resemblance to something. At times, the primitive and its meaning are totally arbitrary. The rub is that the primitives are used over and over again in different kanji, so that even when the meaning and the way the primitive looks is at first unrelated, it quickly becomes ingrained in the mind.

The challenge in remembering a kanji is to link the primitives in the kanji to make a story that reflects the general meaning of the kanji. Often wacky, at times deep and beautiful images abound!

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2011 August 12 09:05
by roma

Linen


Story by James Heisig, Remembering the Kanji Volume I, page 169

2011 August 3 23:38
by roma

Trump's Got Nothing on the Ancient Chinese


Story by James Heisig, Remembering the Kanji Volume I, page 209

Sidenote: 場 is found in the word 場所 (place)

2011 July 27 23:35
by roma

Ooze


Story by James Heisig, Remembering the Kanji Volume I, page 227

2011 July 17 19:25
by roma

Beguile


2011 July 10 16:02
by roma

Japanese Cowboys Back on the Range


Story by James Heisig, Remembering the Kanji Volume I, page 154

Correction: 地域 means an area, a region, a district

Sidenote: This story about Japanese cowboys reminded me of Japanese indians.