Today we will cover ま、み、む、め、も and マ、ミ、ム、メ、モ.
ま and マ are pronounced like 'mah' in 'mahjong'; romanised as 'ma'.
ま andマ are derived from 末・すえ・マツ・バツ・tip/end. It is an ideogram of a 木・き・tree with an extra 一 line on top to indicate the top of the tree. 末 is ideographically the opposite of 本・もと・origin, which shows the root of the tree with an extra 一 line. A good word to remember 末 and by extension マ is 週末・シュウマツ・weekend, マ looks kind of like a wineglass, so on the 週末 you finally get to drink alcohol マ. ま on the other hand looks much more like 末, so you can remember it as マツ or the tip/end.
み and ミ are pronounced as 'me' as in I, me, myself. It is romanised as 'mi'.
み is derived from 美しい・うつくしい・ミ・ビ・beautiful. 美 shows a 人 person with a headdress made of羊 goat or sheep, maybe a chief or a tribal leader with rams horns or pelt. You can remember み as 'Me beautiful', because you are (looks kind of like a woman stroking her hair in my opinion).
ミ is derived from 三つ・みつ・サン・three. This one is straightforward, just remember みつ or three, ミ.
む and ム are pronounced as 'moo' or the sound a cow makes. Romanised as 'mu'.
む is derived from 武・ブ・ム・military/warrior. 武 is and ideogrammic compound of 止 foot/walk/stop and 戈 spear, creating an image of warriors marching with spears. む looks like a 武者・ムシャ・warrior (on the right) holding a 十 cross shaped spear on the left.
ム is derived from 牟・ボウ・ム・moo (cow sound). It shows a bent arm ム around the neck of a 牛・ギュウ・うし・cow, basically saying this is my ム private cow that I caught. The ム kind of looks like cow horns and cows go ムー.
め and メ are pronounced as 'meh'; romanised as 'me'.
め andメ are derived from 女・おんな・ジョ・woman. There is another Japanese kanji 雌・メ・メス which describes femininity in animals, however is an archaic term for woman/wife. You can think of the メ as a 女 woman crossing her legs, looking at you with disgust saying 'メー not interested in you' after you tried to look up her skirt on the train. You are a bad person. め and メ look quite similar, メ just being a simplification of め.
も and モ are pronounced as 'mo' in 'mop'; romanised as 'mo'.
も andモ are derived from 毛・け・モウ・fur/hair/feather/down. Best way to remember this one is to think of a モ brush combing through モ・mo-hair, a silk like fabric made from the coat of an angora goat. も and モ also look quite similar, も kind of looks like two hands holding a mop and washing the floor.
That is all for today, tune in tomorrow for another lesson.