12 Free Lazy Kanji Example Cards

So, I find that example can really help clarify a point in a way that explanation cannot. The explanation, principles and rationale for Lazy Kanji remain the same; these are just elucidating examples. Thanks to MDBG, Heisig and Alia for the kanji definitions and stuff.

Remember: always write out your kanji by hand once per rep. Handwriting is still a real life skill 😉 . See Nutshell for more details.

The format is as follows:

  1. FRONT: Kanji
    1. BACK: Keyword(s), supplemental info [example words, mnemonic stories, readings, etc.]
    2. More back matter

Enough talk! To the examples!


    1. day
    2. sun
    3. 日 ㄖˋ abbr. for 日本, Japan 日 ㄖˋ sun / day / date, day of the month
    1. moon
    2. month
    1. bright
    2. clear
    3. あきら あきらか
    4. ming2
    1. person
    2. Bruce Lee
    3. pictograph of a person walking
    1. big
    2. 大きい
    1. a drop of
    2. [not a standalone kanji]
    1. plump
    1. dog
    2. hound
    1. car
    2. vehicle
    3. pictograph of a car
    1. army
    2. military
    3. wearing TOPHATS and driving around in silly CARs is a requirement in the ARMY
    1. destiny
    2. luck
    3. army + movement
    4. when an ARMY MOVES, DESTINY is in the balance!
    5. The MOVEMENTS of an ARMY determine the DESTINY of nations!
    6. ウン
    1. dizzy
    2. sun + army
    3. The SUN shining into the ARMY’s eyes makes them DIZZY
    1. platform
    2. 台 ㄊㄞˊ Taiwan (abbr.) / surname Tai 台 ㄊㄞˊ (classical) you (in letters) / variant of 臺|台
    1. 怠 ㄉㄞˋ idle / lazy / negligent / careless
    1. 怡 ㄧˊ harmony / pleased / elated

Note: Observe that the back of the card doesn’t have to conform to any specific format. Some backs contain more info, others less. Some contain stories, others don’t. Some contains readings, others don’t. It’s all in the game. All that matters is that they contain at least one English meaning (i.e. keyword) for the character that is on the front; this keyword does not have to be unique across the board — keyword collision is okay. Any other additional/supplementary info is fine, too, just not necessary.

Observe also that we are learning the kanji in a logical, incremental order that allows you to see, reuse and build on interconnections; that’s the Heisig magic right there. Explicitly learning radicals (character components) first/separately is unnecessary, because that information is implicit in the order in which you learn the characters. Also, many of the traditionally defined 200 odd radicals are themselves actually composites of other characters, so…yeah.

Speaking of mnemonic stories, RevTK/RevTH is a treasure trove of those! KanjiDamage is pretty sweet, too.


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  11 comments for “12 Free Lazy Kanji Example Cards

  1. 吉本荒野
    July 21, 2013 at 10:21

    いいねえぇ・・・!

  2. Grant
    July 22, 2013 at 06:48

    If you’re an Anki heretic like myself check out Kendo’s lazy kanji Anki deck ankiweb.net/shared/info/3711455699

    The extra meanings and automatic links to stroke order(Denshi Jisho) and alternate stories(RevTK) are really helpful. I don’t think I ended up using many of his default mnemonics but the structure of the cards is amazing.

  3. Joseph Franklin
    July 23, 2013 at 00:46

    Speaking of surusu, the site doesn’t seem to be working now. anyone know why?

    • Angus
      July 29, 2013 at 23:13

      I’m having trouble too – it keeps randomly switching decks, showing the current deck name incorrectly (i.e. as a different deck) and possibly (not sure about this one as I might have just made mistakes) adding cards to the wrong decks.

      • Joe
        July 30, 2013 at 12:57

        Was looking forward to doing my reps today but every time I click on do reps it just opens a blank page (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

  4. ijp
    July 24, 2013 at 08:06

    > Speaking of mnemonic stories, RevTK/RevTH is a treasure trove of those! KanjiDamage is pretty sweet, too.

    Personally, I don’t recommend taking other people’s stories. Maybe it’s just that I only ever found the bad ones, but I rarely came across one as memorable as the ones I came up with myself. Sure it was more time consuming, but it was time enjoyably spent (I still laugh every time I get a rep for 創, as it makes me think of somalian pirates performing a raid and only getting genesis CDs :P). Besides, you’ll eventually need to do it when you inevitably come across a kanji not covered in RTK (e.g. 臍).

  5. Hyusuten
    July 29, 2013 at 09:00

    I like one other fact, and that is whether or not the kanji is commonly used in names so that while I learn the meaning, I understand that this is more common for it’s use in sirnames then for the meaning

  6. Paperkoopa
    July 30, 2013 at 11:37

    So Khatz; I’ve been working with this method for a few days now, but now I realized that with all those Kanji-Methods I’d never actually learn how to say the things I’ll then be able to read.
    So I get what the Kanji’ mean, but then I have no idea how to actually say them without looking up the romaji version of the word.

    What I basically mean by that that I have no way of connecting spoken japanese (like in a podcast/radio) and written japanese (books, websites). Only thing I could imagine is getting subtitles to everything watched, but there aren’t many Anime transcripted to japanese (as seen in your list of correctly subbed Anime) or podcasts like that.
    Did I miss something important on the way here?

    Thanks!

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