Kanji 555-597. Crown and House



#555. This kanji is a tricky one when learning the ‘crown’ and ‘house’ radicals, because at first glance it appears to have a chimney, like ‘house’. A closer look reveals that there is no ‘drop’ at the top, so the top radical cannot be ‘house’. Instead, the long left stroke of ‘human legs’ passes through the crown.


The folks at koohi.com have produced two excellent mnemonics for this kanji:
The maimed waitress (no head and arms just her legs and trunk) is dropped into the water with a cement crown to make sure she sinks. She shouldn’t have been so nosy about her yakuza-boyfriend’s schemes. [Originally by geezer].

This is the famous story of Archimedes and the Crown, where buoyancy was discovered. Watching the crown sink in the water, Archimedes detected the fraud and ran naked through the city (human legs distorted from running) yelling Eureka! Eureka! See Wikipedia entry on Eureka.


#556. A samurai is loyal to the crown (king), and will never sell out even if the alternative is having his human legs chopped off.

I, one

#557. The keyword here is the roman numeral I, meaning ‘one’, but it must be distinguished from ‘I, myself (), which also uses a capital ‘I’. Of course, there is already a perfectly good kanji for ‘one’ (), so this one might seem superfluous. It is not simply archaic, like Roman numerals – it has the advantage of being less susceptible to alteration… Imagine writing a check with and someone changing it to or .

The kanji combines ‘samurai’ () and ‘spoon’ (), along with the ‘crown’ primitive. Picture the number-one samurai who is so skilled that he can fight off any foe with a mere spoon, which is why he wears the crown of being number 1. Imagine all the lesser samuarai hovering around as he eats with his spoon, eyeing it warily, too scared to challenge him for the crown.


#558. Some people find it useful to see the upper strokes of this kanji as a primitive meaning ‘birdhouse’, because it combines the three short claws of the ‘owl’ primitive with a squared roof similar to ‘house’ (but with the three owl claws substituting for the single chimney). KSP considers this to be a combination of ‘drop’, ‘owl’, and ‘crown’ (but you can group the strokes however you want, of course, and define a birdhouse radical with its own picture if you like).

Martha the bikini model has just been crowned Miss Bikini, but as she steps up onto the podium to accept her crown, an owl flies past and gives her a sticky white drop of bird poo instead, as a different type of crown.


#559. Although the radical at the top is ‘crown’, it makes more sense to see it as a bomb-deflecting shield at the front of an army car.



#560. The ‘crown’ kanji consists of the ‘crown’ radical, ‘beginning’ () and ‘glue’ ().

From the beginning of his life, the heir to the crown effectively has it glued to him, an he cannot escape his royal destiny.


#561. This is a pictograph of a skeleton of an alien, with a boxy skull, arms out the side, funny ribs within the component, and then short legs.



#562. Compare this kanji with ‘sink’ (). This kanji has three of the same elements (‘H2O’, ‘crown’ and ‘human legs’), but adds ‘tree’ (‘wood’). Rather than using all the elements, just remember it as ‘sink’ plus ‘tree’.

The water level is halfway up the tree… So is the water deep () or is the tree sinking ()?

Note, some people see the combination of ‘crown’ and ‘human legs’ as a paper punch.


#563. Let the large, horizontal eye represent Cyclops of Greek mythology. Odysseus and his crew burn some grassy herbs (marijuana?) near Cyclops until he falls asleep early in the evening (). They manage to steal his crown and escape while he is dreaming.


#564. Spilled H2O is hazardous for a skeleton, as its bony feet get very little grip, and everything is slippery.


#565. When the ray () gun took out the army () car, there was a blinding flash of radiance.


#566. This is our first kanji using ‘house’.

This is my local watering hole. It has a roof with a chimney and we play 8-ball. I bet drinks-on-the-house that I could get the 8 in the hole.

When this kanji is used as a primitive in other kanji, the two strokes of ‘eight’ () often look more like ‘human legs’.


#567. This kanji combines ‘house’ with the hooky version of ‘dry'().

The eaves of a house allow you to hang things like coats outside on hooks, where they can still manage to stay dry.


#568. This is one of the better known kanji, because it features in the kanji for kanji. It depicts a child in a house, studying… kanji.

cheap | relax

#569. The keyword for this kanji has changed to ‘cheap’, but it is a good idea to remember Heisig’s proposed keyword as well, ‘relax’.

Think of a woman relaxing at home, under her roof. That is the cheapest place to relax – much cheaper than some fancy hotel.


#570. I couldn’t afford security, so I made a papier-mâché guard using lots of glue and stuck him outside the house. It fools most people.


#571. In the beginning (), my house was perfect, now it is delapidated.


#572. Research has shown that 9 holes of golf can help alleviate stress.


#573. Organised religion is basically the same as the old primitive sacrifices at the altar, but it has been brought into the house and made a bit more respectable.


#574. I stabbed him, and made a large () hole ()… You have a problem with that?


#575. The ‘house’ primitive here is actually the roof of a large treasure chest – underneath are the jewels. (But don’t misremember the upper element as ‘lid’ – this is more than a lid because it has reinforced side to protect the treasure.)


#576. The craftsmen () had to get access to the house to fix the hole (), so we had to empty it.


#577. This kanji is a direct reference to the age of the Internet, where any half-baked wananbe expert can proclaim something from the comfort of is own house and have it span () the globe .


#578. We entered the building by stealth, carefully cutting () a hole () in the glass.


#579. A pictograph of the first settlement on Mars, with a roof constructed over a valley to contain a breathable atmosphere.

Shinto shrine

#580. The chiropractor bought out the local Shinto shrine and called it The Spine House. He bragged that he didn’t even have to change the sign out the front!

early evening

#581. In the early evening, as the light fades, all the houses start to resemble (:resemble:) each other.

If you see ‘resemblance’ as a candle, then think of the early evening as the time when it is still light outside, but inside the house, under the roof, it is getting dark enough to need a candle. This is a lit candle under a roof.

Note: Heisig called this ‘wee hours’, but ‘early evening’ seems more accurate. See jisho.org.


#582. In the preparation of a banquet, a woman would typically spend all day in the house.


#583. My plan in life is to build a house, marry some woman, and plant a tree in the front yard.

draw near

#584. The start of a horror movie… The camera draws near to a house, where something strange () is happening.


#585. This is one special snake… He lives in a house and eats his insects with a spoon, which he holds with a coil of his tail.


#586. A picture of loneliness: an uncle () in a house, alone under the roof, no one else to be seen.


#587. To maintain secrecy (), secret societies invariably () house themselves on top of a mountain ().

宿 inn

#588. An inn is basically a house (宀) where one hundred () people (亻) can lodge.


#589. I adore mountains () over religion (). (Note that this mnemonic gives you the position of the primitives).


#590. A household with only one mouth to feed but a whole rice paddy to feed it is going to end up pretty wealthy. Note that, without the roof, a simplified version of this kanji becomes the radical for ‘wealth’.


#591. Savings are what you get when you direct your money () to your own house (宀) , where you store it, rather than to the street (), where you would spend it.


#592. Sometimes I think I am too tolerant. My kids bring their ‘grassy’ joints in under my roof. I see them, but I don’t do anything about it.


#593. Whoever invented this kanji was concerned about global warming well ahead of their time… They depict the H2O from the himalayas melting and running down into the valleys (), flowing onto the rooftops (宀) in a massive flood.


#594. A house (宀) of bee-insects () invariably () has honey.


#595. Home (宀) is supposed to be where the heart () is, but I’ve got my eye (罒) on the street (), because I’d rather be out there with my bros.


#596. There are a few () monied () gents in this house (宀), but the one () at the top of them is the V.I.P.

hard up

#597. How you know you are hard up. You live in a hole (), people refer to you as ‘somebody’ (), and you have to hunt for your food with a bow ().