The hard part is linking the word to your story, I find. An unclear story that results in you forgetting one primative can be rectified easily with review but when you first look at a keyword such as benevolence, the thought process for me goes...
benevolence benevolence, what was the story....... hmmmmm....... benevolence is the opposite of malevolence....... so its about people doing good rather than bad....... oh thats right, the hippocratic oath that says clerics will do no harm, cross their heart n hope to die etc.
my story is no problem but a week after I wrote it I couldn't associate it to the story. But now I failed it a few times, I can remember it every time...
...very confusing. It means if I can't link to the story straight away does it mean I should just fail it a few times, or change my story a bit, or scrap my story? The first thing that jumps into my head if I think of say, "Chief", is not necessarily the same thing a week later and so I can't always jump to my story.
What do you reckon? I assume the jump from keyword into the story is something that often has to be reinforced right?
From: South Dakota, USA Registered: 2008-01-19 Posts: 132
For me, failing a few times is part of remembering.. Failing the same kanji 4 or 5 times? That's a serious problem. Often I just need to add a few words to a story to help clarify. I usually fail kanji by confusing them with other ones.. Like "grate" and "grind". So I had to connect grate to cheese grater. Since there's no cheese grinder, problem solved. But, it took me a few failures to figure out what I needed to do. I don't change a story because I forgot something once or twice unless it's blatantly obvious that the story won't work.
My take is that if the story comes to me immediately upon seeing the character, I just get it back out there into the second stack immediately. It's only if I've failed the same card a few times or if I can barely even remember what my story was to begin with (or in the case that I latch onto details in my story that aren't intended to indicate primitives) that I rework the story.
If youz got a problem with my snooting, prim, white glove wearing, finger clapping friend, then youz gotta problem with me >.
Seriously, if you really picture that, I don't see how in the heck you can get it confused with any other images. Just take one of those insane anime moments where the character is rubbing his/her index fingers together, give it white gloves and make it clap. Having it talk with a proper/snobby/giddy accent solidifies the heck out of it.
I do see how one could run into problems just remembering the story and not actually imagining it though. I find that the kanjis hardest to remember are the one's I do this for. So I have to go back and find something i can really picture in my head.
I wouldn't worry too much about mixing up 'hand' and 'fingers' anyway. I already knew Heisig's fingers as the "hand radical", so my stories don't generally distinguish much between them -- I just know that if it's on the left then it's got the abbreviated 'fingers' shape. I don't think this is any harder than the way that the 'cow' primitive takes different shapes on its own, on the left and above another primitive.
There's at least one kanji later on with both 'finger' and 'ear' primitives in it, so I wouldn't recommend using 'fingers in ears'...
Throughout the book so far Heisig assigns some primative meanings that are completely random, for example Brain as 田. I do not understand why throughout the book he choses a lot of primative meanings that have some relevence to the character.
heisig did a tremendous job pulling the right strings out of that degenerated mess of characters. some stories or primitives can be disturbing. if you check the dependencies and they re not too many, you could adapt them to your liking. but most of the time he really did choose ideas that fit for one reason or another. you only realize that if you dive into those dependencies, which is essentially tracing back how he wrote the book. you d be loosing a lot of time on this. just trust the system it works.
I wish I'd used a particular woman for the "woman" primitive. Sometimes I get it creeping in when it shouldn't be there, and I remember I had to take extra care over many stories to make sure this wouldn't happen.
I just read about half this thread before realizing how old it was, and seeing the word "primative" that many times in a row was just painful. Someone should have given Wizard a gentle nudge at some point.