on’yomi kun’yomi Radicals
さん やま

Meaning: Mountain

The mountain radical and the mountain kanji are the same.

Make sure you’re studying your radicals. If you are, then you’re studying your kanji as well!

Reading: さん

Think about mountains talking to each other, calling each other by their names and adding the name-ender san (さん) to each of their names. “Hello, Everest-san.” “Oh hi, Fuji-san.”

Be sure to imagine this vividly. The more absurdly you can imagine it, the more likely you are to remember the reading, san.


There’s only one vocab word to learn right now, but you can bet that a word like 山 will eventually come up a lot, especially considering how many 山s Japan has.

a 山(やま)= Mountain

  • Meaning: The meaning is the same as the kanji (it’s a vocab that’s alone as a single kanji, so usually it has the same meaning as the kanji).
  • Reading: Since it’s a vocab consisting of a single kanji and all alone, you can usually guess it uses the kun’yomi reading. Since you know this word means “mountain,” you can remember that mountains are great for growing the best vegetable in the world the “yam” (やま).

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