I’m struggling a bit with the colors. It’s not like there’s an easy pictograph for the colors as with cat or dog.

Blue – あおい

aoi-blue green

Radical: blue 青

It doesn’t look like there’s a radical for the top half of the kanji, which is the part I’m having the most trouble with. The bottom is relatively easy, it’s the kanji for month but also the kanji for moon.

Memorization trick: there’s a blue moon every 22 days.

Red – あかい


Radical: red, naked 赤

I nearly shot my mountain dew out my nose when I saw the other meaning for this radical. I’m hoping that shock will help me remember the radical, but I’m having trouble making up a story. I sometimes confuse it with 先 and try to add that extra line to the top, even though I can usually remember that 赤 has the extra dashes and 先 doesn’t.

Memorization trick: it sorta looks like a person opening his or her robe to get naked. Arms stretched out, sleeves at the waistline, ties sliding down past the legs.

Black – くろい


Radical: black 黑

It’s interesting that the radical is a little different than the kanji. Seems like the best way to memorize colors is just repetition repetition repetition.

Memorization trick: Well, I’m still working on this one. Are there any black birds? The bottom is similar to the bottom of the kanji for bird (鳥) Top is the radical for village (里). Bottom could be sparks? Sparks fly when there’s a blackout in the village.