on’yomi kun’yomi Radicals

Meaning: Two

This kanji is made up of two radicals, and they are the same. They are Ground and Ground. Do you remember what the Ground radical is in kanji-mode? It’s One. What is One plus One? It’s Two.

More simply put, you can just know that this kanji is double One.


Think of all the things you have Two of. What is the most important? Some would say eyes, some would say ears. I would say the knee (に) because if you didn’t have them, it’d be really hard to go up stairs.

Imagine yourself without two knees, and see what it would be like. What would give you trouble? What couldn’t you do? Just imagining this for a minute or two will help you to remember the reading of this kanji more effectively.


You should definitely learn the meanings of these vocab words before moving on, and if you can, the readings too (though more likely the readings will come with time as you study them in your flashcards). If you learn the meanings now, though, you’ll have a much easier time later learning the readings!

a 二(に)= Two

  • Meaning: The meaning of this vocab is the same as the kanji itself. If the kanji 二 is alone, you know that it is the vocab word for two.
  • Reading: The reading is also the same as the kanji.

a 二つ(ふたつ)= Two (things)

  • Meaning: This is like 一つ, except it’s for two things. Two bicycles, two boxes, two whatevers. You may have noticed that when counting “things” the readings for the numbers are the kun’yomi readings.
  • Reading: You’re done counting He-Toes (that was 一つ). Now you’re moving up from the toe to the foot. That’s why you’ve counted two feet… ふた (foot) つ (two). Remember that the goal is to get you to remember the correct reading for this word, not for you to learn the word pronounced “foot two.” The goal of these vocab mnemonics are to get you just close enough that you’re able to pull out the actual reading.

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