- Jan 2023
Sumerologists place the origins of the development of writing around 3300 bc in the pictograms associated with abstract marks representing numbers; ‘the writing system invented or developed … of a pictographic character; its signs were drawings’ and cuneiform gradually developed out of this, which ‘is a script, not a language’ (Van de Mieroop Reference Van de Mieroop1999, 10: our emphases).
- Dec 2022
Asian Memory Methods : Secret Memory Techniques, Kyoto 1771
reply to LynneKelly at https://forum.artofmemory.com/t/asian-memory-methods-secret-memory-techniques-kyoto-1771/79217
Thanks for this Lynne! I've ordered a copy.
I've been working on-again, off-again at learning Japanese and spent quite a while looking at mnemonic techniques with respect to it and kanji in particular. I've done a reasonably thorough, though not exhaustive search on the topic with respect to titles in English.
I had come across Rowley's book along with a few others, though generally they've only got a few hundred examples, usually meant for early learners. One of my favorite more comprehensive texts was:
Henshall, Kenneth G. A Guide to Remembering Japanese Characters. 1st ed, 7th Printing. Tokyo, Japan: Charles E. Tuttle Company, Inc., 1988.
It is much more comprehensive and has some incredibly useful descriptions of kanji, how they relate to other kanji (pictographically), as well as additional subtle meanings and what I would almost call "mini-stories" about the words, origins and their development over time, which for me made them much easier to recall and use. These descriptions also included some scholarly mentions as well as interesting Japanese historical and cultural context that also slowly build up to something bigger over time. He cleverly links and interlinks various words together to build up meanings over time as well. In addition to this, he included specific mnemonic phrases to make the kanji easier to remember. (Many of these become cumulative and rely on knowledge of previous words and pictograms.) I'll note that later editions were somewhat similar, but the incredibly rich stories were significantly pared down or removed making them less valuable, at least to me. He covers 1,945 kanji including those up to the sixth grade and general use kanji which he individually numbers within the text (so one could also more easily create and cross link them within their own memory palace/journey/songline.) Given the relationship of Japanese with Chinese, perhaps similar texts may exist for Chinese?
As an illustrative example of the work in the text, here's a link to a picture from a random page of the book: https://boffosocko.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/wp-1672269705369-scaled.jpg that may be helpful.
- Aug 2022
The first rule of Isotype is that greater quantities are not represented by an enlarged pictogram but by a greater number of the same-sized pictogram.