Kanji 159-180. More core kanji with two strokes



#159. If you know your katakana, you will recognise that this kanji looks like the katakana KA, giving rise to the following mnemonic:

I drive a very powerful カ.

Another option is to see the character as a pictograph of someone doing powerful one-arm push ups, with the arms represented by the diagonal (one arm raised, the other on the ground), and the curved stroke running from the head on the left, through the bent waist, to the feet on the ground.
Push Up With Power Kanji
Don’t confuse this with the kanji for sword (), introduced below. Sword lacks the raised arm. If you are using the push-up mnemonic, this fits in well. Not much power is required for a conventional push-up; it only gets impressive if it is done with one arm in the air.


#160. Sticking to the katakana theme, this looks like KA-RO.
Don’t eat any more, you’ll just add more カロries.

If the katakana mnemonic doesn’t work for you, read it as the nickname ‘Power-mouth’ ( ), for someone who can be relied to add a lot of noise to any gathering.


#161. This kanji is one of the few that combines elements in a way that makes perfect sense.

In the rice-paddies (), males are the ones who provide muscle power ().


#162. This kanji has the meaning of ‘co-‘, as used in the keyword ‘co-operation’. It combines the element for ten with three small versions of the power kanji.

Three small people can have the power of ten if they co-operate.


#163. You might be able to think of a ribald mnemonic by combining power, mouth and wood. On the other hand, it makes sense that, when you erect a tower or any other structure, you add wood ( ) for structural integrity.

imperial order

#164. Combines ‘bundle'() with ‘power'(). You could remember it using the logical notion that a very powerful emperor is likely to send out his imperial orders by the bundle, or you could choose a more lively mnemonic:

When the emperor places an imperial order for pizza, he orders such a huge bundle of pizzas that the pizza boy needs huge muscles.


#165. The ‘meat’ radical indicates that this refers to a part of the body, and the three power symbols indicate that it is very powerful. It must be referring to the smell.

Don’t confuse it with ‘threaten’, below, which combines the same elements. Given that the ‘power’ element can also mean ‘muscle’, a group of three conveniently means ‘triceps’. That means that this kanji can be seen as a diagram of a torso on the left and the triceps on the right, so it is a close-up on the armpit..


#166. Compare the positions of the radicals for armpit () and threaten (). When your triceps rest alongside your body, they make a narrow crevasse known as the armpit. When you hold your arms (including triceps) above your body, your posture becomes threatening.


#167. This is a pictograph. Don’t confuse it with power ().


#168. A pictograph, with a drop of blood to draw attention to the blade of the sword.


#169. If attacked with seven swords, chances are you will get cut.


#170. The upper two strokes used to be one, but it got sliced into parts when it was entered by a small sword. Note that this kanji also has the additional meanings of ‘understand’ and ‘minute’.

I’m sure you understand that if you could enter an hour with a dagger and cut it into parts, those parts would be minutes.


#171. There are opportunities for ribald mnemonics here, but let’s just say that ‘to seduce is to make a sword of one’s mouth.’


#172. Who got seduced by the sun? Why, Icarus, of course, who flew so close he melted his wings.


#173. Easily remembered as a pictograph of a fist, but this gives no direct clue to its meaning., which is usually something like ‘from’. The ‘from’ meaning is difficult to use in mnemonic images. KSP recommends learning the shape as fist and then learning the meaning of ‘from’ when you start putting the kanji into Japanese words. For more details, visit jisho. To combine both meanings, think of the phrase ‘from my cold dead fists…’ as made famous by Charlton Heston.

reach out

#174. Like ‘fist’ (), but with an extra diagonal.
Reach out and fist someone (with a diagonal blow).


#175. Combines ‘mouth’ and ‘reach out’.
An open mouth and reaching hands … These are the signs that a baby wants to suck some milk.


#176. This element sometimes looks like a T, and sometimes like a J, with the KSP version looking a little more like a J. Think of it as ‘J Street’, or see it as two streets making a T-intersection. Or combine all of that by seeing it as the T-intersection where J Street meets the highway.

Sometimes the primitive is interpreted as ‘nail’, because it looks like a nail with a large flat head.


#177. A mouth on the street begging for things… Can I have some money, can I have some food, can I, can I, can I?


#178. Another sensible combination.

Fires () that you hang up along the street () are called lamps.


#179. There are other kanji that mean village, and it could be argued that this kanji is closer to meaning in town, but to avoid confusion amongst Heisig students, KSP persists with the convention of calling this kanji ‘village’. Think of it as a slightly developed village that has lots of streets and is surrounded by rice fields.
The following rhyme has been suggested to remember which kanji has the ‘village’ keyword:
Pillage the village, for the rice and and the tea. the street primitive on the right looks like a ‘t’.


#180. What can a person do? What can [insert your person character] do? What can’t they do?