So I’ve decided to drop the Heisig method from my Kanji curriculum.

The problem may be that I’ve already got several hundered kanji under my belt and having to learn them again under this new method isn’t particularly appealing. It may be that because I’m in Japan I don’t really need to take this method given that I’m surrounded by Kanji everywhere. Or it could be that he very often gives kanji keywords that have nothing to do with their real meanings (“but of course”? I’ll of course your butt in a minute, seriously).

Something that I’ve been doing parallel to Heisig is increasing my vocab spreadsheet everytime I come accross a word I don’t know that contains at least one kanji that I’m familiar with. I then grind them through Supermemo daily or whenever I get time. I’m finding this kanji grinding method much better than heisig.

I originally started Heisig becuse when I finished JLPT Level 3, when I looked at the Level 2 kanji list I nearly died. You need to know well over twice as many characters (300 for level 3, 1000 for level 2) so I figured I’d combine Heisig with the level 2 kanji list. So I started from the first character, “arm”. I looked up the Heisig story from Reviewing the Kanji and got “Write your address on the fleshy part of your arm”. Address? Flesh? Oh man, this wasn’t going to work. I was going to have to start Heisig from the beginning. So I did. And having looked at Heisig for the first 200 or so characters, versus reading and updating my wordlist… the wordlist has won out.

Firstly, reading Japanese is fun, compaired to reading Reviewing the Kanji. Secondly… once again, I’m not sure why, but I don’t need mnemonic stories to remember Kanji… I might do for some of the harder ones, maybe, but I’ve not hit that yet. Just grinding Kanji and getting them wrong, and letting Supermemo work out the best repetition for characters you’re bad at seems to work the best for me. So for now I’m just grinding my custom vocab list, as well as JLPT level 2 kanji manually.

I actually worked on some of my gifs today. I’m sure you’re proud.