add 加 Andy can really add! He crunches numbers, and wants to add funds to the library!
can 可 Morgan Freeman's first narrative line in the movie: "There must be a guy like me in every prison: I'm the guy who can get it for ya."
what 何 Red (Morgan Freeman) can get what you need.
baggage 荷 The emotional and physical baggage that Brooks (the old man) takes with him, leaving Shawshank.
song 歌 The whole bit with the opera song being played over the prison intercom!
river 河 River - up the river - prison - this movie!
change 化 Prison. It changes a man. Many men, in fact, in this film.
flower 花 The young buck Andy teaches for a year, a ripe flower in his youth, shot down on the Warden's orders.
freight 貨 It's a prison movie. Vagabonds riding freight-cars to get around isn't such a big stretch.
shoes 靴 Morgan Freeman: "I mean, seriously, how often do you ever look at a man's shoes?" [scene: Andy wearing dress shoes, not prison shoes, just before escaping.]
overdo 過 The fat guy getting beaten to death at the beginning of the film... talk about overdoing it, sheesh. Or any of the other harsh punishments in this movie... 2 months in the hole for Andy, killing his potential witness, etc.
whirlpool 渦 Whirlpool -> intense flows of water -> when Andy slips out of the pipe, 500 feet of raw waste, into a river during the storm.
calamity 禍 It was a real calamity when old-man Brooks was released after 50 years, and hung himself.
house 家 The first scene of the movie. Andy, gun and liquor in his lap, sitting outside his wife's lover's house.
marry into 嫁 One could say that Andy has "married into" his problems in this film. (unfaithful wife, framed for murder, etc.)
earnings 稼 Andy is the #1 guy when it comes to calculating earnings for prison guards (and preparing w2s)
summer 夏 The scene where they are tarring the roof, and enjoy some cold beers on a hot summer day.
widow 寡 The Warden's wife will be a widow after he blows his brains out!
fruit 果 The "fruits" (pardon my language) attacking/stalking/raping Andy. (Red calls them "the sisters")
chapter 課 How many chapters of the bible did Andy cut out to hide his rock-carving axe?
candy 菓 The "fruits" (sorry again) treat Tim like a piece of candy in this movie. Eck.
erect 架 I don't think this needs to be spelled out. =/
item 箇 Morgan Freeman - the man who can get any item you need, for enough "smokes."
melon 瓜 melons -> breasts -> something there is little to none of in this movie.
below 下 This movie is all about life below the surface. Life in jail.
fire 火 A fire. There are so many possibilities... and you probably already know it from 火曜日, but, for the sake of consistency: Andy lights a fire under young punk's ass to get his high school diploma.
department 科 Andy makes the library department of the prison something amazing!
splendor 華 The splendor of sweet, sweet freedom - this scene.
provisional 仮 The Warden's infamous provisional workforce, "the inside out program," where prisoners worked for nothing!
excellent 佳 Andy really had an excellent idea talking to the guard and suggesting he take a tax write off.
value 価 Andy really understands the value of things: music, money, hope, etc.
spare time 暇 In his spare time, Andy likes to carve chess pieces.... and plan prison breaks!
Notes: One of the first tricks I ever learned about reading kanji from my first teacher was this: sometimes you can find a "katakana clue" in the kanji to how it is read. Notice how many of the kanji in the カ group are pronounced as such.
Another tip, which may be painfully obvious but I'll mention it anyway, is when kanji share radicals or primitives, they tend to (it's by no means a golden rule) share pronunciations. There are 5 examples in this post: 可, 化, 過, 家, 果. The idea here is not to try to force each kanji into memorization, but to remember what I can, and with several similar kanji, remembering one can be the key to reading all of them. In other words, if only one of 3-5 stories stick where the kanji share primitive, I consider it a success (and you should too!).
Two really serious dramas in a row - expect something light-hearted, fun and from the 80s next week!
This is a spatial memory and movie themed website all about learning the on-yomi (original Chinese-inspired) readings of Japanese characters. For a fuller introduction, please read this post. Please keep in mind you should be familiar with the Remembering the Kanji book series for any of this to make any kind of sense. Thanks.