20 July 2009

Follow me at Twitter @KanjiPicto

If you're interested in links about reading kanji and want to see what's up with new Kanji Pictographix products, please follow me at Twitter. Thanks. Michael http://twitter.com/KanjiPicto

24 January 2009

外 Outside | ガイ , ゲ • そと , ほか , はず.す

Kanji Mnemonic 91

Other meanings include other and undo

This is the kanji used in the word gaijin, which has a crude connotation as foreigners in Japan are often referred to as gaijin (or worse kitanai gaijin, dirty foreigner) instead of the more polite gaikujin

The left element is a crescent moon and the right is an old element relating to the cracks on the outside of turtle shells. I see it as a gaijin who undid his pants to relieve himself outside.

23 January 2009

験 Examine | ケン , ゲン, あかし , しるし , ため.す

Kanji Mnemonic 475

Yesterday we looked at investigate. Today's kanji has the same right element of two people talking. Here we have a horse instead of a tree as the left element. Associated meanings include verification, effect, and testing. Imagine someone examining horses after having performed an experiment and tests on them.

See the front and back of the PictoCard for this kanji.

27 November 2008

08 November 2008

危機 | きき

The kanji that go with these illustrations, make up the popular axiom 'crisis = danger + opportunity'. While it's a nice sentiment, a closer look at the second character shows that its primary meaning is 'loom' or 'device', or even 'machine' and, get this, 'airplane'. Somehow, 'Crisis! Dangerous airplane!' doesn't have the warm fuzzies that make me want to emblazon a tattoo on my bicep.
Ages ago the meaning of 'loom'  lead to the idea of 'wherewithal' and 'means' to get stuff done, which in turn lead to the associated meanings of 'occasion' and 'opportunity'.

02 November 2008

竜 Dragon | リュウ , リョウ , ロウ • たつ , いせ

Over the past three years I've been working on a 6-box set of kanji flash cards. In that time I've redrawn the 1,000 illustrations that are in my book, Kanji Pictographix. I've also taken on the task of creating mnemonic illustrations for the official 'Joyu' set of the Japanese Ministry of Education of 1,945 kanji. To date I have over 1500 illustrations drawn. Only 445 more to go.

Here is my mnemonic for Dragon. This kanji also holds the meaning imperial.

My New Book Cover Design

I'm working on an updated and expanded version of my kanji book.
Years ago when my son was a little guy I drew this. It's a different style than what I normally do, but I really like the energy and humanity of the image. I thought it would make a great poster. Now I'm thinking it would tie in great with a father's day promotion for the sale of my book. My publisher is against changing anything in my books especially the cover, but I think a change is due.