I thought I’d post this here for a bit of extra accountability.
I’ve been in a self-imposed PhD silo since January, but since finishing my draft I’m allowing myself a bit more slack for fun tasks and experiments. One of those is to work on my mnemonic skills and techniques. One thing I’ve identified as being a bit of a problem (where I’m slow) is in mental visualisation, which if you know anything about those techniques you’ll know that the visual capacity is at the core.
Anyway, one thing I decided to do to improve my visualisation is to do a lot of it. So I’m going to do a “Heisig99”, which is basically to learn all the Japanese Kanji symbols in under 100 days. That’s 2200 symbols, though all I’m doing is learning how to write them and to recognise their meaning when I see them. I’m leaving the pronunciation of them to a future date. [I’m following the methodology outlined [here](https://nihongoshark.com/learn-kanji/), which uses association and memory palaces as the main way to capture all this information.]
I’m charting my attempt here. I’m using Anki and Skritter as my main applications tracking my progress.
I will also have a weekly write-down-all-the-kanji session on a huge whiteboard. The use of memory palaces means that I am able to recall all the characters, in order, from memory (and using the correct stroke order, even up to very large numbers. You can see a timelapse video of today’s session here, all done without referring to any books.
I’ll check in regularly here but consider me on the hook. It takes me about 90 minutes of work to learn 25 characters and map out what’s going in which part of which palace etc. 25 characters a day will have me finishing in 88 days, so that allows for a bit of wiggle room along the way.
(Note that this isn’t really considered a great feat of memory. Lots of (motivated) people have learned the kanji in under 100 days.)