I mentioned how much fun I’m having with my Nintendo 3DS before. However after I bought another game and discovered that not all the boxes are super funky, my excitement wore off a bit. That was until I discovered Nintendo Swapnote.

Swapnote is a simple little program that allows you to swap notes. The clue is in the name, unless you got it in the UK, it’s known as Nintendo Letter Box there. Or Japan for that matter, where it’s called Itsuno Mani Koukan Nikki, a name which just rolls off the tongue.

The notes themselves are split into up to 4 pages and the program animates the note as it was written by the sender, it’s interesting to see how other people draw and how everyone has different writing styles. Sound and pictures taken with the 3DS’s camera can also be added. Little backgrounds (known as stationary) can also be used and add a little more animation to the piece. These all have their limitations though, you can’t manually edit the formatting of the pictures and can only add 5 second sound clips. The actual drawing is limited to black and white too, although you can write in 3D, which is fun to mess about with.

All in all this app doesn’t have very much reason for existing, other than the fact that it is fun to use. After I added a few like-minded people to my 3DS friends list it became a kind of ridiculous version of Twitter. A version of Twitter without all the news discussion, advice and useful internet links, it was all boiled down to some people writing some silly messages (in 3D). As an example, one morning I opened up my 3DS to see this message, the delightful silliness of it brightened up my day.

Being a resourceful chap, I wondered to myself whether I could somehow find some sort of proper use for Swapnote and I remembered my kanji study. I’d put my kanji study off for a while but found that coming up with silly ways to remember these things was really enjoyable.

What better way to express these ridiculous mnemonics than with a 3D note swapping program by Nintendo? Due to the note’s animation you can see the stoke order of the kanji and I can attempt to draw the picture living in my head. Said picture, the result of my odd imagination, helps me to remember the kanji.

So I bought a new kanji book, began the slow process of learning more kanji and started writing a few little swapnotes. Some of the ideas I used for them have already mentioned on this website but it is all good practice for me so it doesn’t matter. Simply because I can, I uploaded a few of the notes that I’ve done to YouTube so I can place them here. Obviously you can’t view them in 3D, you will simply have to miss out unless you get hold of a 3DS system. Which I, of course, recommend you do.

Without further ado. Let’s learn some kanji…

1 – 轢

2 – 桜

See this post for more.

3 – 象

See this post for more.

4 – 座

5 – 遊