I've just starting doing this new method with RTK, and for me so far it is:
-a bit faster than the traditional Heisig way and/or using others' stories
-more fun, thus far at least lol
-usually simpler for to review
-most importantly, easier to review
In short, you look to form a story using the kanji key words that immediately follow a newly introduced radical in Heisig. You think of the setting/context and how the subsequent key words could be strung together into a story. Then you focus on the individual parts, coming up with images for the subsequent kanji.
I will call the kanji that immediately follow the radical "followers."
1. Choose a setting/context for a given radical.
-Look at the follower key words, look for any relation between them, imagine some setting/event/context based on what you think of. See the example bellow to see how I come up with settings. The order Heisig lists the elements is unimportant.
-Your setting can also be based on the radical itself, but it doesn't really matter - through repetition, you learn to quickly associate the radical with any arbitrary setting.
-You can break the followers into multiple settings. Mine usually use about 10-15 followers. Note: I don't bother coming up with a setting if there are <4 followers.
-The above point means that if there is a follower that itself has 4+ followers, then you can turn that into either a separate setting or a distinct sub-story of the original.
-You can also use multiple settings to distinguish between WHERE in the kanji the focus radical lies. Personally, I don't really have a problem with this.
-Memories you have are very good to use (despite the fact that the story you come up with may deviate from what you really remember; what's important is the context and scenery).
2. Formulate in your mind a story by selecting specific followers.
-This is pretty vague, look at the example.
-Feel free to leave out certain followers. You can come back to them in the next step or just do normal Heisig method on them.
3. Look at one specific follower, relate it's components to the key word in the normal Heisig way; however, don't include anything about the main focus radical, as it is implied by the setting.
-Images are particularly powerful - it is a story. In the example below, immature turkeys might seem arbitrary and lame - why are the immature turkeys, specifically? Well, it doesn't really matter, just make sure to make that image vivid.
1. Radical "wheat." I look at the followers' key words (NOT their radicals) and see things like "draft", "earnings", "private", "regularity." I think of World War I, though this could literally be anything so long as it makes sense to you. Usually I do a specific scene where the story takes place. In this case World War I isn't really specific location that you picture when review, but this doesn't really matter - I'm not really sure why, it just works. I guess maybe because you learn to associate the followers with the given radical anyways.
2. Write or think of a sequence that these followers can be used in to make a sensible story. "Draft" men into the army. Men make "earnings." To what "extent" are they patriotic? At first they are "immature." After awhile the "regularity" of being in the army sets in. They are now "privates." Have a mission involving alternating "shifts." And so on...
3. Focus on the individual parts pretty much in the same way you would normally with Heisig, but don't include anything about the main radical. At first they only DRAFT the "tall", fit men, which soon changed when they realized how brutal the war was. The men get EARNINGS and send them "home." The EXTENT of their patriotism can only be seen by how they "display" it in their actions. At first they are a bunch of IMMATURE "turkeys." They "drop" down to do some push ups and come up with an air of REGULARITY about them. And so on...
-As I said in the beginning, this method has be advantageous for a few reasons. The main one is that my reviewing success has dramatically increased. I learn the kanji, and after that I rarely fail cards.
-Experiment yourself with this method. I haven't been doing it too long and I'm sure it's imperfect. Let me know what your results are.
Last edited by somstuff (2012 July 16, 10:15 pm)
*beep* *beep* My brilliancy meter is detecting something on it's radar. Unfortunately my pidgeon brain cannot comprehend everything you state in your post without pictographic examples of some sort. Could you perhaps post a video explaining all the things you state here with pictures of the specific kanji in question?
Also, could you use earlier examples of kanji? I'm only in the 600's and I'm sure there are people way below that who would like to experiment with this method as well.
*EDIT* Ok, I think I may have gotten the hang of what you write. So basically the method is writing a sequence of stories out of the keywords that Heisig provides in his book, and where it gets easier is where all the stories are 'chained' together into a bigger story? Can you confirm this?
If it is true, then I just have a few questions:
1. Can you give a detailed description of how this method makes it easier to remember the kanji for you and the benefits of using them on a longer term?
2. Do you review with Reviewing the Kanji or with Anki?
3. When you use this 'chain sequence' method aren't you making it difficult to remember each kanji individually since they are all part of one single study, or has it no effect on individual kanjis at all? Are you able to remember, say, the kanji in the middle of the story without the need of the rest?
On a side note, which do you recommend using for reviewing? This site or anki? I have been using this site for a while and am wondering whether I made the wrong choice or not.
Please excuse me if some of it has already been answered in your first post.
Last edited by Errol246 (2012 July 18, 9:25 am)
Heheh, I had a feeling that was confusing. I hope this clears it up a bit. Also, no camera, so can't do vid .
To start, here's another, more detailed example using the "sword"/"dagger" radical (#83). It's doesn't have your "pictographic examples" , but I do think it is somewhat clearer than before.
1. (Optional) Memorize the sword radical using whatever way you want. It will probably stick in your memory anyway though.
2. List the followers for your starting radical (at first it helps to write them down, but after that it's easy just to look at them). For "sword":
3. What kind of setting/story do all those words invoke? As I said, this part's kind of arbitrary, really, but I'll just think of a knight rescuing a princess from a tower.
4. Go through and make a story from the followers' key words.
-wears rollerblades there
-cuts some ropes
-seduces the princess
-rule that gives money to well-doers
-promoted to vice something
-knight n princess get separated
*Order is unimportant, just pick things that could happen at some point in the story
5. Do Heisig on each of those, don't include the radical.
-There's a RULE that says anyone who does some good gets paid "money."
-Unlike most knights, this one rollerBLADEs to the tower through the pouring rain "drops."
-His armor is SHINING so brightly it makes the "sun's" jaw drop (his "mouth" wide open). *Could have used seduce here instead, even though we haven't learned it yet- he needs to "seduce" the "sun" to give his armor some SHINING qualities.
-The door to the princess has no less than "seven" ropes that he has to CUT through to get in!
-He enters and the princess is lying there in a SEDUCTIVE position, with her mouth slightly open. His jaw drops / mouth opens. *This changed from my original story in Step 3 - that's okay.
-Knight gets promoted to VICE-king and is becomes very very "wealthy" (remember the rule up there? It was the king's daughter, after all).
-Knight realizes princess has "knife"-like teeth in her "mouth," so he leaves her and they are SEPARATEd forever. Unhappy ending lol.
I feel like that was pretty much exactly like my first example lol. Whatevah.
So basically the method is writing a sequence of stories out of the keywords that Heisig provides in his book, and where it gets easier is where all the stories are 'chained' together into a bigger story?
I guess so. But the fact that they are chained isn't what makes it easier - it's the fact that you think of that story and setting when you are given the key word. Also, it's the bigger story first, then the smaller, individual Heisig-type stories that ~fit in to the larger one.
1. Mmk, I don't know all the details here. One main thing is that you don't have to remember one of the radicals. You are given a word, and after a lil bit of Anki-ing (or right away a lot of the time), you automatically think of the setting. And you not only do you only have to remember less, but in the learning portion you mnemonically link less as well. As far as the long term thing goes, I think it's just the same as the Heisig method. In the early stages, when you are prompted with a key word (like when reviewing in Anki), you think of your image or mnemonic that you created beforehand, and produce the answer. After awhile, that mnemonic gradually sort of disappears. Like when I see "rule," my image doesn't really come to mind; I just know that it's 則.
2. Since I discovered Anki before this site, I've always used Anki and I love it. I'm sure Reviewing the Kanji here on this site is perfectly fine though.
3. Not really. I'm not sure why, exactly heh. The main reason why it is indeed a "story" and not just some scene with various things going on is to keep the followers as separate entities. And you can see from how like in Step 4 of that example, the order isn't really important.
Do you first learn all the kanji by Heisig's method, then devise the whole chain of stories, or do you decide on a topic depending on the 'theme' of the lesson and then make up the stories as you go along?
Decide on the theme/setting, make up a story based on only the kanji KEY WORDS, and then make up little, individual, Heisig stories for each kanji using it's elements and taking place in the setting. Those individual stories aren't really related to each other. I mean they share the same context and are part of the same larger story, but they don't depend on one another.