These adorable clips and characters will help you memorise kanji symbols and make you smile at the same time.

Kanji is often considered one of the hardest things for students of the Japanese language to master. With thousands of characters commonly used in everyday life, memorising the Japanese language system adopted from China can be a daunting challenge for even the most diligent of pupils, so anything that helps to brighten up the task and make it a little more exciting is always a welcome distraction.

A new Instagram account set up by Tokyo animator Ayako Hiroki is making news for doing exactly that, as it includes a series of stop-motion videos that showcase a variety of different kanji characters with cute, endearing and memorable scenes.

Called “Kanjigram”, the short videos in the collection began appearing online at the end of June, with the first clip paying homage to the character 字 (“azana”/”aza”/”ji”), which makes up the second half of the word “kanji” (漢字).

▼ The clever animation splits the character into its two parts, or radicals,
showing a child (子) throwing a roof (宀) over its head.

▼ Next up is the kanji for “tree” (木).

▼ Seeds are used to create the kanji for “seed” (種).

One of the most adorable clips in the collection is this one, which depicts an umeboshi pickled plum hobbling over to a rice ball with his walking stick, before throwing himself onto it to create the word “plum” (梅).

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梅:plum (うめ/バイ) (ume/bai) ・ 6/6は梅の日。おにぎりになりたい梅のおじいさんのアニメーション。 その昔、雨の降らない日が続き、作物が育たず人々が困っていました。そこで神に梅を奉納したところ、大雨が降って無事に作物が育ったことから、6月6日を梅の日としたそうです。「梅雨」という言葉も、この恵みの雨が由来。 漢字の「梅(バイ)」は元々「楳・某(バイ)」で、神に捧げる器を木にくくりつけている形が由来だと言われています。昔の人にとって、梅は神聖なものだったんですね。 ・ #kanji #kanjigram #stopmotion #animation #madeinjapan #instart #instagood #animationart #artistsofinstagram #handmadefont #handmade #ume #plum #instafood #onigiri #dragonframe #漢字 #コマ撮り #アニメ #おにぎり #梅 #梅雨

A post shared by Ayako Hiroki〈kanjigram+α〉 (@kanjigram_a) on

▼ Another cute clip pays homage to the kanji for “violet” (紫).

▼ While this one helps us remember the kanji for “half” (半).

The video for the word “peach” (桃) draws on the legend of “Momotaro” or “Peach Boy” for its design, with the hero and his animal friends defeating the monster at the end of the clip, just as they do in the Japanese myth.

“Summer” (夏) features some warm-weather motifs, like a blow-up paper goldfish and octopus, to help cool you down while you study.

▼ There’s also a beautiful depiction of time (時) in the collection.

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時:time (とき/ジ) (toki/ji) ・ 6/10は「時の記念日」。 時間を大切にすることを呼びかけた日なのだそうです。 芭蕉は「月日は百代の過客にして、行かふ年も又旅人也。(月日というのは、永遠に旅を続ける旅人のようなもの。来ては去り、去っては来る年も、自分と同じように旅人である。)」と時間を自分に重ねました。時計盤の上で「時」のアニメーションです。 ・ #kanji #kanjigram #stopmotion #animation #madeinjapan #instart #instagood #animationart #artistsofinstagram #handmadefont #handmade #timelapse #time #clock #dragonframe #漢字 #コマ撮り #アニメ #時の日 #時間

A post shared by Ayako Hiroki〈kanjigram+α〉 (@kanjigram_a) on

Having just appeared online less than a month ago, there are plenty more kanji and videos to come, so be sure to follow the account if you want to keep expanding on your Japanese skills.

In the meantime, if you need more inspiration to help memorise all the different kanji characters, you might want to take a look at this new book, which helps you learn kanji with the magical power of poop!

Source: Net Lab
Featured image: Instagram/kanjigram_a