Thread

Kanji 787-831. Cocoon, Thread

The ‘cocoon’ primitive (⺓) is also known as ‘young’ and ‘slight’. One advantage of the name ‘cocoon’ is that it provides a logical link to the ‘thread’ primitive (), which is much more important. Simply picture the cocoon as belonging to a silk worm, and then the ‘thread’ primitive looks like a ‘cocoon’ being constructed from threads, with three strands of thread still visible.

Most followers of the Heisig method have adopted the image of Spiderman to stand in for the ‘thread’ primitive, to make it more vivid. This does not work well as a pictograph, but you will see this primitive so often that you will have no trouble remembering it. ‘Thread’ is a kanji in its own right, but it is also a very common primitive within other kanji. For most of the primitives or core kanji we have already met, it is possible to construct a new kanji by adding the thread primitive. The most common position for the thread primitive is on the left of the kanji, but other positions are possible. When creating your mnemonics, you do not need to note its position with any care when it is in its default position on the left, but take special note if this is not the case.


phantasm

#787. In the middle of the night, I felt an unearthly presence coming from the cupboard, raced to see what it was, and saw a glowing alien cocoon growing on my coat hanger. It may have been a phantasm (an illusion or hallucination), but in the morning I was too scared to check.

mysterious

#788. I finally summoned the courage to check my cupboard, and the cocoon was still there… But now it seems to be wearing my top hat. How mysterious…

(The ‘mysterious’ combination will appear several times in other kanji, so decide how you want to picture it. A dapper cocoon-born alien in a top hat is fine, but the primitive also resembles the Invisible man, with the cocoon element resembling mummy-like wrappings under a top hat.)

infancy

#789. The cocoon crackled and buzzed with power, then an infant alien emerged.


bowstring

#790. This kanji shows a bow but no bowstring, and yet it means ‘bowstring’. Hmmm. Mysterious.

Picture the Invisible Man using a mysterious bow with an invisible bowstring.

behind

#791. The alien thing in my cupboard… It hatched from the cocoon this morning, and already its taking steps on its walking legs. It follows me around now, always one step behind.

livestock

#792. Livestock keep disappearing from the fields. Some say it is the work f a mysterious invisible gentleman.

amass

#793. We’ve amassed so much livestock we’ll have to grow more grass.

ratio

#794. The ‘sparkler’ primitive can be seen as explosion lines radiating out from the mysterious substance in the middle… I was experimenting with a mysterious glowing substance, and found that mixing it with water in a ten to one ratio produces fearsome explosions.

nourishing

#795. The combination of ‘horns’ and two ‘cocoons’ looks like a doubled version of ‘mysterious’, so let it tand for ‘doubly mysterious’. It’s doubly mysterious how water can be nourishing despite its low energy content.

mercy

#796. Why one person shows mercy and the other doesn’t is just one of those mysteries of the heart.

magnet

#797. Let’s celebrate a logical kanji for once and keep this simple… A mysterious stone, a perfect description of a magnet.

thread

#798. This kanji combines ‘cocoon’ and ‘small’, but it is better to remember it as three threads of silk attached to a cocoon. Trust me, you will not need a mnemonic. In mnemonic images, think of Spiderman.

lineage

#799. In any drop of blood, the thread-like DNA has all the information about your lineage.

promise

#800. After I bought a Spiderman ladle, for my girlfriend, she made me promise to stay away from all superhero merchandise.

faint

#801. A reference to the quiet bliss of snow camping: two people snug in their cocoon-like sleeping bags, up in the mountains, far from the hustle and bustle of city life, listening to the faint sounds of the mountain.

Note, this keyword dopes not refer to fainting.

person in charge

#802. The monarchy makes no sense to me. Why should the person in charge be decided by which person has the correct lineage?

crimson

#803. Spiderman’s thread broke, and he plummeted down to where he got impaled on an I-beam. Crimson blood everywhere…

class

#804. Spiderman is running a class with a bunch of wannabe superheros. Today he is teaching them how to reach out with one wrist and spray thread.

chronicle

#805. Spiderman is writing a chronicle about himself. His memoirs have a big S for Spidey on the cover.

settlement

#806. After an innocent bystander got caught inside Spiderman’s web, he had no choice but to make an out-of-court settlement.

Note: this keyword does not relate to colonial outposts or other groups of dwellings.

spinning

#807. Spiderman spends his time spinning threads on all directions.

cord

#808. Ten of Spiderman’s threads, combined, make the best possible cord – it was just crowned the world’s best cord.

grandchild

#809. A grandchild is like a child, but further along the lineage.

distract

#810. One villain tries to distract Spiderman as the other tries to part the web in which they’re trapped.

family crest

#811. On Spiderman’s family crest, the following sentence is written: “With great power, comes great responsibility.”

paper

#812. Spiderman’s family name is actually ‘Parker’, but he is careful not to let Spiderman and Parker ever appear together on the same piece of paper.

end

#813. Spiderman meets his end in winter, when his web gets brittle from the cold.

introduce

#813. I have a plan to beat SPiderman… just introduce him to an evil seductress.

long thread | sutra

#814. This kanji refers to a number of different things that have the connotation of a long thread. Heisig’s keyword ‘sutra’ refers to a Bhuddist scripture, or sutra, where ‘sutra’ actually means a thread; it can be seen as a metaphorical thread joining together isolated aspects of life into a more meaningful web of connections. The kanji is also used for the ‘warp’, or long straight guide threads used in weaving, and the ‘longitude’ lines in a map, which are every like the ‘warp’ of the geographical grid. The kanji is also used in man economic terms. As a verb, it indicates ‘to pass through’ or ‘to go through’, which can also be represented as a long thread.

Martha the bikini model () has landed a role in the latest Spiderman movie, as his unlikely but eye-catching offsider. In the opening scene, she is dangling by a long thread, far above the ground (), learning his techniques. Spidey is supposed to be training her but is running through the karma sutra in his imagination.

dainty

#815. Dainty women prefer working with thread rather than getting muddy in the field.

accumulate

#816. The obsessive farmer clears the spiderweb threads from the rice paddy every day, but they always accumulate again.

navy blue

#817. The sailor in the navy blue uniform grabbed the lollipop () from the little girl, but luckily Spiderman swung in and saved it for her.

association

#818. If you visit a meeting of the Spiderman Association, you ill be amazed at how many different plastic figurines they have set out on all the shelves.

strangle

#819. Then there was a day Spiderman’s suit malfunctioned. He tried to mingle with the crowd but did more strangling than mingling.

entwine

#820. This kanji has a fairly logical interpretation: to entwine threads, each thread must be threaded around the other threads.

tie

#821. The combination on the right means ‘good luck’ (). Spiderman ties up the villain and scoffs, ‘Good luck getting out of that!’

purple

#822. Spiderman was measuring out the pigments for his Spidey suit, using a spoon, but he didn’t stop at the right time so the red and blue got mixed, making purple.

continue

#823. We’re going to continue this Spiderman franchise as long as it continues to sell.

silk

#824. Silk is a type of thread, produced from the mouth of a silkworm after they are a month old.

practice

#826. Why did Spiderman go the East? To practice martial arts.

thong

#827. A thong is a thread worn by someone.

netting

#828. A primitive hunting technique: a netting of strong thread, in which horned animals get trapped, with the net over their heads like a hood, until they become deceased.

hawser

#829. This kanji combines ‘thread’ and ‘sturdy’. Given that ‘hawser’ is a nautical term for s strong rope used to tow a ship, that’s a fairly logical pair of primitives to denote ‘hawser’.

Hawser


line

#830. This kanji is used to refer to train lines… Spiderman does a hot spring tour of Japan using the train lines. You can see the Spidey costume hanging on the washing line as he enjoys the onsen.

tense

#831. In the finale of the latest Spiderman movie, Martha the bikini model has been enslaved, and her fate is literally hanging by a thread… Will Spidey save her? It’s very tense.