This lesson will introduce four simple primitives: ‘lid’, ‘long hair’, ‘tool bench’ and ‘grassy’. (Heisig fans might know these as ‘top hat’, ‘shape’, ‘tool’ and ‘flowers’). They are the coloured elements in the kanji depicted below.
#297. This kanji combines the ‘lid’ (or ‘top hat’) element with an L-shaped hook, so you could make your own mnemonic combining those elements with ‘deceased’, but I have always seen it as a cross section view of a coffin, with clear glass on the right hand side to allow people to look in on the deceased.
#298. The deluded old woman carried her deceased husband on her back, thinking he was still alive.
#299. If the eyes are deceased, you are blind.
#300. From ploughing that first furrow in the rice-paddy to finally having something to put on the stove under a lid takes such a long time!
#301. The three diagonal strokes on the right of this kanji are said to have begun as a pictograph of long, shapely hair, and they are often known as the long-hair radical. Henshall reports that they represent hair. Heisig took a different approach, and emphasized the shapeliness of styled long hair – he was also probably inspired by the use of this radical within the kanji for ‘shape'(形). KSP will stick to the pictographically accessible meaning of hair, and refer to this as the long-hair element. Within your own mnemonics, you can use what you like, of course – and even in the KSP app you can name these three strokes whatever you like. Maybe for you they conjure up the image of a long-haired hippie, the long hair of Sampson, or perhaps the dreadlocks of Bob Marley. To remember the ‘cedar’ kanji, try this pun:
See dah hippie hugging that tree!
#302. The king, previously known for hogging his whole umbrella, has finally given it up to some stranger with long hair – a very rare moment of generosity.
#303. Someone at koohi.com said that this kanji reminded them of an old-style phonograph – a stand, record, crank and bell. As they said “Even the primitives work out – a tool with a crank which plays music out of the bell mouth.” Now all you have to do is imagine giving this delightful old machine to a music buff.
#304. The upper element here is ‘eye’, and the lower element looks like a simple work table, which I prefer to call ‘tool bench’, to keep it distinct from the ‘tool’ kanji itself. Imagine working on a mighty robotic eye on your tool bench.
#305. Adds a ten to the kanji for ‘tool’.
A true craftsman can get by with just ten tools.
#306. This is the phonograph that featured as a gift when we learned the ‘give’ kanji (呉). Now the woman we gave it to is playing some records for recreation.
#307. Owl, tool, hand.
I have designed a special tool for luring owls. It is shaped like a tool-bench and has tasty morsels on it. You raise it up high with your hand and the owl will come and land on it. This is a picture of the first time I raised it – you can just see the owls claws at the top of the picture. (Next time I’ll raise the camera a little.)
#308. The radical at the top of the ‘potato’ kanji is often known as ‘grass’ (for instance, see here). KSP prefers to call it ‘grassy’ to distinguish it from the ‘grass’ kanji. Heisig calls it ‘flower’, because it is part of the flower kanji, and as a pictograph it may be taken to mean any short, low foliage.
The bottom of the ‘potato’ kanji resembles ‘dry’ (干), but it has a slight hook, leading some to consider it a radical in its own right – Heisig, for instance, calls it the ‘potato’ radical. We will simply think of it is a hooked version of ‘dry’.
After digging up the potatoes from the back yard, I washed the grass off and left them out on hooks to dry.
#309. Here ‘grassy’ is combine with the Z of Zorro (and take this chance to remember that the ‘of’ of the ‘Z of Zorro’ is the important bit as far as meaning goes.)
Zorro comes home with grass all over him. When asked what he has been doing, he says cryptically: turf wars.
#310. Here is the true ‘flower’ kanji, of which the ‘grassy’ radical is just one part. The bottom part, which combines ‘person’ (人) and ‘spoon’ (匕) means ‘change’. Think of the seasonal change from a grassy field to flowers.
#311. When I was young, I was often seen at parties with a joint of grass in my right hand… Now I know better, of course.
#312. Medical marijuana… Grass for the old and the suffering.
#313. Damn it! How did grass start growing in the rice paddy? Someone must have spilled some seedlings!
#314. England is the economic center of the grassy isles.
#315. Grassy plus early.
Many people see the ‘early’ kanji as a pictograph of a sunflower in the grass.
#316. Picture a tea party, with ten friends enjoying some tea under an umbrella set out on the grass – it’s a little crowded, which is why two drops got spilled.
荒 laid waste
#317. Grassy, deceased, stream.
After the enemy laid waste to the region, the deceased lay in the grass, rotting, the muck running down into the stream.
#318. ‘Grassy’ plus ‘what’.
Surely this is a scene at custom control. What’s in the baggage? Is that grass I smell?