易 radical occurence in WK Kanji

In level 8, we learn the radical 易 (easy). The kanji related to it are 場, 湯, 陽, 傷, 揚, 腸, and 易. As far as I can see, all of them, except the last one which is the ‘radical’ again as a kanji also meaning ‘easy’, the radical occurs in combination with the ground radical, 一. As far as I see, 易 isn’t a ‘real’ radical but a WK one. The ‘real’ one/decomposed one would be 勿. To me it seems a bit confusing that 易 is being used as a radical even though in all occurrences there is a 一 radical in between, really making it look like it belongs to the radical. On all the kanji pages on the kanji mentioned above, the ground radical is not listed as a composing radical, e.g. 陽 is presented as 阝and 易.

Wasn’t sure whether this should be posted in a WK Feedback board or anything. I guess in the first place I’d be interested in whether I got that correctly perhaps I am misunderstanding the way this radical works or it is a known thing that kanji are not perfectly decomposable into radicals? Not sure.

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WK fudges things with the radicals all the time, combining things that look “close enough” into the same category to keep the mnemonics simpler. It seems like you do kind of already know that the WK radicals aren’t meant to be accurate breakdowns of the kanji though.

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I mean, certain kanji have their own unique structure and that makes it hard to break them down into simpler, existing radicals. Now, I don’t know if there’s actually an etymological link between the two (I could search, but I don’t really feel like it right now), but as far as I’m concerned, 易 and the right half of the kanji you mentioned (e.g. 場) are different. At the very least, they’re written differently in Japanese today. You’re right.

My best guess here is really just that WK chose to do this because it makes it easier (pun not intended) to recognise all those kanji thanks to the familiar shape, and since most WK users probably aren’t going to write kanji without a computer/phone (definitely seems that way from what I’ve seen so far), it’s not really necessary to differentiate the two.

My advice to you would be to take note of the difference and find some way to account for it in your own mnemonics, but if you don’t find it too concerning, you can also ignore it. I’m a native Chinese speaker, so my approach to learning new kanji involves not only thinking about their structure, but also writing them out a few times at least. However, I know that’s not palatable for everyone – many people believe writing is a waste of time, though I disagree since it’s helpful even when limited to a few repetitions per character – so I’m not going to insist.

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Conversely, RTK, which was intended to teach writing, does distinguish them (the RHS of 場 is the ‘piggybank’ primitive, whereas 易 is split up as ‘sun’ + ‘knot’).

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Thanks for your reply and your perspective as a Chinese native. Funnily enough, I did actually realize that there is an ‘extra’ line squeeze in when the I started writing them on a writing practice app and somehow got it wrong many times in a row and started to look at it more closely.

Yeah, I think it would be nice to have a disclaimer at times but it’s not a big deal, I just found it interesting because they might be related as Jonapedia pointed out.

Nice catch!

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Yeah, admittedly, I also don’t really notice the differences between certain characters until I try writing them. Most notably, for instance, the difference between 専 and the right-hand side of 博. (I grew up with simplified Chinese characters, so there are certain details I’m less aware of.) Recognition doesn’t always require full awareness of all the details – as long as there isn’t anything else that looks similar and could fit into the same context, you’ll be alright, more or less.

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Yeah, but this is one of the ones I occasionally gripe about in that every single example of the radical in use, aside from the one that’s just the radical itself, is different. Why not teach the radical as 昜 and mention that 易 is the exception?

Even lends itself reasonably well to a mnemonic - “易 is like 昜, but easier”. Or something.

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