A List of WaniKani’s Radical Names vs More Common Radical Names

Unlike many people, I actually don’t mind Wanikani’s radical names. I find them clever when used in WK’s mnemonics, and anything that helps the Kanji meaning and sound stick in my brain is okay with me.

My problem is when I am studying Kanji with other people’s mnemonics, which is what happens when you use other people’s decks a lot. They make their mnemonics off of the more traditional names for the radicals and components. So I think it would be helpful to know both names for the radicals, the WK names and the traditional names.

Has anyone out there published a side by side comparison list of both?

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Dunno if there’s a list already, but I’ve made an (amateurish) start at a new one. Unfortunately, it’s 1am right now, so I’m gonna have to put a pause on this and come back later. I’ll make this post a wiki, so others can edit if they feel like it. It’s a little bit difficult to get an “official” name for several of them - they have some names listed, but they can also be identical to kanji which have different names. (Radicals which aren’t displaying are ones that WaniKani uses images for rather than text. I’ll have to determine whether they even exist as Unicode characters at all…)

All finished. I’m reasonably sure this is accurate. It’s still a wiki, if people want to make changes.

Most of WaniKani’s radicals are kanji in their own right, and aren’t included in the 214 traditional radicals, though not all of them have the same meaning as the name they have in WaniKani. In same cases, several similar looking radicals are merged together - Standard should be separated by /. Curiously, not all of the 214 traditional radicals exist in WaniKani. If they’re kanji or katakana, I’ve marked them as such. Ones that don’t exist in Unicode at all should try to put in image (or ping someone, like @polv, to get from the API) in the character column, and are marked “not a radical” - most of them are combinations of two or more official radicals, but one or two of them are actually half of an official radical.

Table of Contents

Radicals that are radical with uncanonical name

Radical WaniKani Standard
Fins Eight
Ground One
Prison Wrap
丿 Slide Slash, katakana no radical
Toe Oracle
Flag Corpse
Head Enclosure, upside-down box
Stool Again
广 Canopy Sloping roof
𠆢 Hat Person (variant)
Poop Short thread
Triceratops Small (variant)
Winter Follow (夂) / Strike (攵)
Horns Eight (variant)
Umbrella Second, fishhook (variant)
Window Mother (simplified 母)
Wolverine Pig’s head, katakana yo
Cleat Claw (variant)
Helicopter West (variant)
Tent Outspread legs, departure
Geoduck Head
Landslide Morning
Drunkard Spear
Root Boundary
Jackhammer Altar
Shrimp しゃく (Japanese foot of length)
Criminal Non-
Mole Arrive
Simultaneous Alike
Icicle Split wood (variant)
Korea Leather (variant)
Rake Also
Nose Second, fishhook
Pirate Lame leg
Bully Tripod
Shuriken Pig’s head (variant)

Canonical in some senses:

Radical WaniKani Standard
Spirit Show, Altar, Katakana ne (礻) / Clothes (衤)
Net Eye (variant) / net (variant of a different radical)
Building Hill (when on left) / village (when on right)
Moon Moon, month / meat (variant)
Coat Rack foot (as radical) / roll of cloth, counter for small animal (as Kanji)

Tangentially canonical:

Radical WaniKani Standard
Barb Hook
Construction Work, carpenter
Cross Ten (十字)
Drop Dot
Stick Line, rod
Dirt Earth
King Jewelry (variant)
Fingers Hand (variant)
Fur Hair
Task Use
Towel Cloth
Energy Air, steam
Flowers Grass
Forehead Cover, crown
Leader Standing man, person (variant)
Loiter Going man
Measurement すん (i.e. the Japanese inch)
Scooter Road
Tsunami Water (variant)
Twenty Twenty legs, folded hands
Animal Beast, dog (variant)
Boil Fire (variant)
Box Container, open box
Knife Sword (variant)
Yakuza Death
Spear Halberd
Cage Box
Sickle Topped rice
Alcohol Sake jar
Turkey Old bird
Yoga Move, stretch
Soul Heart (variant)
Flood Winding river
Angle Horn, corner
Weapon Weapon, lance
One Sided Split wood
Dance Dancing legs
Imperial Dragon
Can Earthen jar

Radicals that are Kanji but different meaning

From WaniKani:

Radical WaniKani Standard
Alligator Considerably
Lip Ring Possible
Jet Not Yet
Teacher Filial Piety
Kiss Each
Stairs From
Escalator Reach
Bookshelf Book Counter
Treasure Chest Villain
Mona Lisa Concurrently
Greenhouse Endless
Sock Receive
Crab Trap Very

Outside WaniKani:

Radical WaniKani Standard
Bed Comma design, Tomoe
Pi Bald
Coffin Elderly (variant)
Key While
Lantern Open
Mustache Upside-down box (variant)
Top Hat Moreover
Wing Must not
Cloud Say, each, cloud in Chinese
Clown Spit out
Dynamite Third class
Tombstone holy
Crab that
Scarecrow to fill, roll of cloth
Womb clod of earth, land
Pool a unit of length, ladle
Guard exchange, convert
Poem any, at all, in the least
Gambler high, far
Mask formerly, ex-
Black Hole return, to go back
Mohawk stalk, stem, foot, base
Football lead on to, therefore, then
Lifeguard to combine
Mantis Emperor Yu Who Controlled the Waters (flood control, Xia dynasty)
Wedding for the first time, not until
Library flat, small, level
Catapult give, do something for
Rocket rare beast, strange, elegant
Cat Pirate to raise, high
Spider to crouch, to squat
Syrup chirping of birds (品 (“three birds”) + 木 (“tree”))
Boot violet flower
Slice sign of the hog
Hot Pepper false, punish
Nurse to rise, to raise
Signpost resist
Penguin be worn-out, be defeated
Splinter long-tailed monkey
Frostbite to surpass

Radicals that are Kanji with similar meaning

From WaniKani:

Radical WaniKani Standard
Nine
River
Seven
Book
Five
Heaven
Middle
Street
Thousand
Now
Old
Origin
Master
Not
World
Meet
City
Death
Fortune
Circumference
Husband
Temple
Easy
Suit
Anti
Correct
Eternity
Heavy
History
Jammed In
Machine
Spicy Spicy, Bitter
Bundle
Fault
Music Music, Bend
Sell
Few
Humble
Older Brother
Orders
Simple
Asia
Beforehand
Business
Early
Excuse
Fix
Request
Someone
Together
Younger Brother
Center
Circle
East
Elephant
Fruit
Good
Hundred
Idea
Original
Products
Genius
Part
Public
Well
Height
Man
Paragraph
Past
Walk
Attach
Comfort
Festival
Good Luck
Nothing
Conflict
Happiness
Long Ago
Noon
Previous
Become
Director
Ego
Feeling
Reason
Right
Righteousness
Blade
Half
Next
Number Number in a series
Peace
Ability
Allocate
Bathtub Bath
Cheap
Restaurant
Road
Accept
Control
Dawn
Guest
Nature
Both
Capital
Friend
Mix
Announce
Chapter
Ten Thousand
Warehouse
Call
Change
Exit
Farming
Peoples
Substitute
Surplus
Barracks
Giant
Lovely
Odd
Specialty
Above
Blame
District
Lineage
North
Oversee
Turtle Shell
Guy
Line Up
Certain
Cottage
Night
Same
Inside
Interval
Storehouse
Wide
Member
Belt
Commander
Sake
Bright
Departure
South
Sweet
Valuable
Omen
Prize
Skewer
Violence
Wrap
Have
Prefecture
Sky
Think
Tooth
Buddy
Former
Hill
Reality
Scroll
Three
Employ
Every
Preserve
Shop
Dragon
Again
House
Protect
Fat
Favor
Wave
Form
Sunlight
Times
Name
Stomach
Doubt
Concave
Convex
Below
Courage
Mysterious

Outside WaniKani:

Radical WaniKani Standard
Snake sign of the snake in zodiac
Drum A drum 口 with two ends, a base and feathers 土 on top
Dollar Dollar, fluoride
Vines to join ropes, to graft vines
Charcoal fuel used for sacrifices

Radicals that are something else printable

Radical WaniKani Standard
L Lion That’s… literally just the English letter L
Narwhal Katakana na
Treasure Katakana me
Mama Katakana ma
Hook Katakana yu
Grass Katakana tsu
Angel Katakana ho

Radicals that are images

Radical WaniKani Standard
Gun Gun Person (variant) (𠂉)
Leaf Leaf Cliff (variant) ()
Beggar Beggar
Spikes Spikes North (variant of 北), business in Chinese ()
Kick Kick
Viking Viking
Cape Cape
Hills Hills
Gladiator Gladiator
Pope Pope
Spring Spring
Squid Squid
Yurt Yurt
Chinese Chinese
Bear Bear
Blackjack Blackjack
Trash Trash
Tofu Tofu
Creeper Creeper
Bar Bar to harm, to injure ()
Saw Saw to fasten, to secure, to hug ()
Zombie Zombie long kimono ()
Explosion Explosion
Morning Morning
Death Star Death Star to be like so, thus ()
Comb Comb
Elf Elf
Coral Coral
Cactus Cactus
Satellite Satellite
Psychopath Psychopath

Radicals that are already a radical with canonical name

Radical WaniKani Standard
Big
Enter
Lid
Mountain
Mouth
Person
Power
Sun Sun, day
Tree
Two
Woman
Bow
Child
Cow
Dog
Evening
Eye
Fire
Hair
Hand
Legs
Private Private, katakana mu
Rice Paddy
Small
Stand
Stone
Stop
Sword
Water
White
Writing
Arrow
Direction
Door
Dry
Father
Heart
Life Live
Spoon
Bamboo
Branch
Car
Ceremony
Cliff
Ear
Foot Foot, leg
Insect
Plate
Red
Rice
Roof
Samurai Scholar, Samurai
See
Shellfish
Thread
Axe
Blue Blue (variant)
Color
Feathers Feather, wing
Go
Gold Gold, metal
Ice
Meat
Rain
Run
Say
Self
Village
西 West
Blood
Eat
Grain
Lack
Ladle
Long
Neck
Sheep
Tongue
Bird
Black
Boat
Clan
Fish
Gate
Oneself Self
Pig
Stamp
Table
Yellow
Compare
Hole
Horse
Brush
Beans
Sick Sickness
Skin
Sound
Body
Face
Valley
Tiger
Fly
Clothes
Demon
Leather
Servant Retainer
Fang
Claw
Turtle
Bone
Melon
Badger
Plow
Wind
Tall
164 Likes

RIP boob grave :cry:

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All finished. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Maaaate! This is above and beyond. You’re amazing!

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@bunenen check this out

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It’s a pity I can only heart the OP once. :heart::purple_heart::green_heart::yellow_heart::blue_heart::white_heart:

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Nice work! Intermittent comments will keep this resource from being timed out and deleted. Thanks, Belthazar!

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I don’t think it ever gets deleted. Just no longer able to be replied to.

Is there maybe a list of Wanikani radicals with some frequency information (how many kanji use them)?

That’s good, because this is some very good information!
I happened upon it after Iooked up geoduck and thought that doesn’t really look like a leaf sticking up at all, but what the heck.

I mean yeah, even if the forums die they can act as a messy wanikani wiki of sorts.

(Intensely feels sorry for any newbie who thought “wolverine” radical was official and legit)

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Thank you so much!! This is incredible helpful.

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Thank you! I used this to upload the radical names that I learned outside of WK to the synonym lists. I now have to work on making my own mnemonics for the kanji for which I keep getting the readings wrong, since the WK mnemonics are sometimes too bizarre or detached for me to remember.

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I wonder if we can make some sort of petition to turn WK radicals into UNICODE or ASCII standards…

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I wish they would simply get rid of this nonsense. I find it a complete waste of my time. You’d be surprised by how many synonyms I have attached to this abomination. LOL. Its inclusion has been counterproductive to my kanji learning.

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I think zombie is available as a character (as opposed to png-only) : 袁
from wikipedia:

Shuowen considers it to be a phono-semantic compound ( 形聲 , OC *ɢʷan): phonetic + semantic (“clothes”).

  1. ‡ (of clothing) long
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Nah, that’s not quite it. The strokes are the bottom are different.

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Well, it’s not bad at all! Out of the 478 WK radicals, 348 are either the same as the official radical or a radical based on a kanji; 106 if we only consider the first category. 32 are “not a radical”.

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