Kanji 435-460. Twelve-stroke Combinations

The previous lesson did not introduce any new primitive elements, but it presented 37 new kanji with stroke counts of eleven. Similarly, this lesson will introduce 28 new kanji with stroke counts of twelve. No major new elements will be introduced, but a couple of kanji will use the ‘sparkly’ primitive, introduced here because we are about to meet the ‘sparkle’ kanji.


#435. An easy one. A diamond sparkles like three suns.


#436. Ten () and specialty ().
After becoming a Dr, then you must study for another ten () years to master your chosen specialty ().


#437. This kanji combines ‘craft’ and ‘page’. (The page element is also known as ‘head’ in some contexts, which occasionally leads to easier mnemonics – but not this time.)
Crafting () a page () for easy reading requires paragraphs.


#438. I get a constant stream of pages of orders from the administrators. Do I really have to obey them all?


#439. This kanji is featured in the Youtube demo, showing how to add images to KSP mnemonics. It conjures a sad, lakeside scene: the camera pans from the water, to the old person gazing at it, and then to the moon reflected in the water.


#440. There was such a large quantity of work to do that that daybreak () arrived and I was still on the computer ().


#441. Three trees make a forest. Note that a forest is more substantial than a grove ().


#442. A pictogram of the construction of shelves, from a tree, to rough version of a set of bookshelves in the middle, to a polished version on the right.


#443. When you plant a plant, don’t expect it to turn into a tree () straightaway ().


#444. Grassy, generation, tree… Leaf.

Picture the grass-loving, tree-hugging generation smoking their green leaves.


#445. For good feng shui, make sure the ridgepole of your house is constructed from a single tree and points to the east.


#446. ‘Disconcerted’ describes your state of mind after someone has laid waste to your home planet to make way for a new hyperspace freeway.


#447. Within , you should be able to make out ‘state of mind’, ‘left’ (, made from hand plus craft), and ‘moon’ (), also known as ‘month. Á pun can help us out here:
I was in a lazy state of mind, so I left () everything for a month ().


#448. I’d had my eye () on it for a while, and I had the money (), so I bought it.


#449. Would you like to exchange husbands for a day?


#450. A congratulations card is nice, I guess – but its so much more meaningful if you add () money () to it.


#451. Samuari, show (altar), lack… goodwill.

The samurai () climbed on top of the altar () during a sword-fight, which showed a lack () of goodwill () towards the gods (but very sound military tactics).


#452. For now I have knowledge () but one day () I will have wisdom ().

atsui | sultry

#453. Japanese use different words for hot conditions (like a hot day) and things that are hot to touch. This kanji refers to ‘hot’ in the former sense, leading Heisig to choose the word ‘sultry’ (which would never be applied to something hot to the touch). Given that ‘sultry’ has slightly different connotations (humidity among them), KSP will simply call it ‘atsui’ (暑い), the word used by Japanese to describe hot weather. The kanji features ‘sun’ () and ‘someone'() but if may be useful to note that there are two suns, with earth between them (), plus a long diagonal stroke
Conditions were so atsui that the earth felt like it was being baked between two suns, and many people had heat-stroke.


#454. Animal horns, alcohol and glue…

The revered Reverend had a drinking problem so to remind hm that alcohol was the Devil’s brew we clued little horns on to the cap of the whiskey bottle… Oh, and we glues the cap on too, just in case.


#455. Scaled down version of the William Tell apple-on-the-head story… The archer is very short, a dart is used instead of a bow and arrow, and the apple is replaced by a bean.

Note, some online mnemonics refer to the bean radical as ‘table’.


#456. The top bit looks like samurai (), but that leaves mouth () and horns (and another mouth), which is confusingly similar to beans () without quite making a match – the top stroke of bean has already been used in samurai. It is neater to consider this as ‘ten’ () plus ‘beans’ () plus ‘mouth (), which leads to a simple but bland mnemonic:

I was so hungry, I rejoiced at putting ten () beans () in my mouth ().

(Note, some online mnemonics for refer to ‘drum’, because the upper elements are also found in the kanji for ‘drum'(), but the ‘rejoice kanji does not include all of ‘drum’, so KSP advises against this.)


#457. Shapely long hair and page ().

You ought to tie up your shapely long hair so it doesn’t fall across the page as you read.


#458. The X-shaped pattern with four short strokes radiating out from a central point resembles the light of a sparkler, and is often called ‘sparkle’, but KSP avoids this label as the X-shaped radical looks nothing like the kanji for ‘sparkle’. Instead, let’s call it ‘sparkly’.

This kanji consists of ‘rice paddy’ (), ‘sparkly’, and ‘soil’ (), but we’re going to ignore that, and notice that it looks like a computer () blowing up, with the sparkly X showing the first bits radiating out from the explosion point.

Danger! Danger! Our bases have been compromised, all computers will self-destruct in 10, 9, 8…
[Credit to Angrybeez at koohi.com].

Note, the ‘bases’ signified by the keyword are usually baseball bases.


#459. This kanji combines ‘bow’ () with ‘simple’ (). Adjust your mnemonic according to which you think is simpler, the bow and arrow (simple idea, hard to use) or the gun and bullet (complex construction, but simple to use).

What’s that fancy weapon? It’s called a gun. It’s like a bow () and arrow, but much simpler (), just squeeze the trigger and it fires one of these:


As an adjective, this kanji can mean ‘astringent; bitter; puckery; rough; harsh; tart’ – and as a verb it can mean ‘to hesitate’.

If you eat something astringent, don’t hesitate: use H2O to stop () the sparkly sensations of bitterness.