Readings & Meanings:
After sunset, it gets dark around here.
I couldn't see my hand in front of my face.
Memorizing Japanese is hard. I wish I had anki-pan.
Why is 暗記, meaning memorization, associated with 暗, darkness? A simple explanation: if you memorize your texts, you don't need to see them in the light to read them. But I think the key is deeper than that. Take a look at these other 暗-inclusive words:
- 暗算 - mental arithmetic
- 暗号 - code, password, cipher
- 暗証番号 - PIN, password number
I picture these mental memorizations and calculations occuring in the darkness of your mind, in your brain where nobody else can see them.
暗い is not the same as 黒い. 黒い describes the color "black."
Think of 暗い as the sound of sunset: the sun is just barely still in the sky, and it's going under.
What the heck is anki-pan? Like the Doko-Demo Door, it's a wonderful invention from Doraemon(wiki, the cat from the future.
Anki-pan was a bread that you could write on anything that you wanted to memorize. The tragic flaw was, once the bread, um, leaves your body, you forgot everything that you had "memorized" with it. This is how I remember 暗記 means memorization.
(Like many of Doraemon's cool gadgets and inventions, anki-pan is a pun. あんパン is a bread filled with sweet bean paste. You may be familiar with アンパンマン... or maybe not.)