Kanji 331-348. Writing, Axe, One-sided, Cow

WritingAxeOneSidedCow

This lesson begins a set of three in which we’ll cover core kanji with four strokes. The table below shows all the 4-stroke core kanji in the KSP series, including the 6 we have already met.

Kanji Already Met

sun
hand
tree
moon
water
fire

Kanji in This Lesson

writing
axe
one-sided
cow

Kanji in Next Lesson

tusk
claw
father
shaku
family name
heart

Kanji in Subsequent Lesson

lack
beforehand
measuring cup
well
mutually
sign of the cow
fur
circle


writing

#331. I tend to see this kanji as a pictograph of a folding writing table… but if you would like to incorporate the radical, ‘lid’ (top-hat) and the X-shape below it, try this:

To encourage correct writing, the teacher put a top hat on all pupils who drew their kanji correctly, and punished the other students by drawing a big red X on their work.

When trying to remember this shape as a primitive in other kanji, some have noted that this looks a little like a Scotsman in a kilt.

versus

#332. On the left, writing, on the right, glue.

Please discuss the relative merits of writing () kanji on your homework sheets versus gluing () them in.

adjusted

#333. The bottom element looks like a ladder: the sign-writer climbed the ladder to adjust the writing on the sign.

mosquito

#334. The mosquito is the only insect that regularly writes dotted messages on my skin.

axe

#335. This is a pictograph of an axe, but some find it useful to see the top and left strokes as a cliff, and the lower T-shape as a nail, leading to this mnemonic:
the axe-wielding serial killer nailed his victim at the base of the cliff.

It works okay as a mnemonic, but make sure you take note of the direction of the first stroke, which is NOT consistent with cliff. That’s why this kanji is treated as a core kanji.


reject

#336. An axe with a drop of blood on it… perhaps the axe-wielding serial killer became antisocial because he was rejected as a child.

If you like your mnemonics to be a little less macabre, see the drop as a crack in the handle. The hardware store rejected the shipment of axes because of the cracks in the handles.

hill

#337. Axe () and one (). Why did everyone run up the hill? I only brandished one axe.

soldier

#338. Although the lower element is the same as ‘tool bench’, I always see it as a small horse carrying a soldier who wields a mighty axe.

If the horizontal is attached to the axe, making hill (), all that is left is the ‘animal legs’ radical, so you could make a mnemonic combining ‘hill’ and ‘animal legs’. (I think of the scene from the film Gallipoli, when one of the soldiers is reciting his athletic inspirational verse before running up the hill into machine-gun fire, telling himself he will run like a tiger… but use any solider needing animal legs to get up a hill.)

chop

#339. Let’s enjoy a logical kanji, for once:
Wood + axe = chop

Point

#340. The kanji combines hill, and mountain, and it actually refers to a very high mountain. If you tok a mountain and added a hill on top, you would have a very high mountain with a noteworthy Point at the summit.

seacoast

#341. Water and soldiers. Pick a famous coastal attack, like Normandy.

one-sided

#342. This kanji is only one side of a complete scene. On the right, out of view, is a beautiful lady. On the left is a man going down on one knee to present her a ring on a cushion as he asks for her hand.

For now, you cannot create any other kanji with this element.

cow

#343. Supposedly a pictograph of a cow’s heads, though it only seems to have a single horn. You will see this kanji often enough in other kanji that you are not likely to forget it in the long term, but to get you started, try relating it to the single-leafed tree that forms the kanji for ‘vermilion’ ().

A cow tried to climb a vermilion tree, but the cow was so heavy and clumsy, it broke the two bottom branches off.


before

#344. I bet you’ve never seen a cow with human legs before!

affair

#345. The kanji means ‘affair’ in the sense of ‘event’ or ‘happening’, as in ‘current affairs’. Picture a news item on a current affairs program, featuring your ‘person’ character and a cow.

revelation

#346. From koohi.com:

The revelation makes the cow’s mouth drop down, Hamburgers are made of what?!

wash

#347. Before you try to wash, make sure you have some H2O put aside.

special

#348. Cows are special in Hinduism, so they can wander around the temple.