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?


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. 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 have “n/a” 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.

Radical WaniKani Standard
Barb Hook
Big Big
Construction Work, carpenter
Cross Ten
Drop Dot
Enter Enter
Fins Eight
Ground One
n/a Gun not a radical
n/a Leaf not a radical
Lid Lid
Mountain Mountain
Mouth Mouth
Nine kanji
Person Person
Power Power
Prison Wrap
River kanji
Seven kanji
丿 Slide Slash, katakana no radical
Stick Line, rod
Sun Sun, day
Toe Oracle
Tree Tree
Two Two
Woman Woman
Book kanji
Bow Bow
Child Child
Cow Cow
Dirt Earth
Dog Dog
Evening Evening
Eye Eye
Fire Fire
Five kanji
Flag Corpse
Hair Hair
Hand Hand
Head Enclosure, upside-down box
Heaven kanji
King Jewellery (variant)
Legs Legs
Middle kanji
Moon Moon, month, meat (variant)
Narwhal Katakana na
Private Private, katakana mu
Rice Paddy Rice paddy
Small Small
Stand Stand
Stone Stone
Stool Again
Stop Stop
Street kanji
Sword Sword
Thousand kanji
Treasure Katakana me
Water Water
White White
Writing Writing
Arrow Arrow
广 Canopy Sloping roof
Direction Direction
Door Door
Dry Dry
Father Father
Fingers Hand (variant)
Fur Hair
𠆢 Hat Person (variant)
Heart Heart
Life Live
Now kanji
Old kanji
Origin kanji
Poop Short thread
Spoon Spoon
Task Use
Towel Cloth
Triceratops Small (variant)
Winter Follow
Alligator kanji
Bamboo Bamboo
Bed kanji
n/a Beggar not a radical
Branch Branch
Car Car
Ceremony Ceremony
Cliff Cliff
Ear Ear
Energy Air, steam
Flowers Grass
Foot Foot, leg
Forehead Cover, crown
Horns Eight (variant)
Insect Insect
Leader Standing man, person (variant)
Loiter Going man
Master kanji
Measurement Sun (i.e. the Japanese inch)
Not kanji
Pi kanji
Plate Plate
Red Red
Rice Rice
Roof Roof
Samurai Scholar, samurai
See See
Shellfish Shellfish
n/a Spikes not a radical
Spirit Altar (variant)
Thread Thread
Umbrella Second, fishhook (variant)
World kanji
Axe Axe
Blue Blue (variant)
Coffin not a radical
Color Color
Feathers Feather, wing
Go Go
Gold Gold, metal
Ice Ice
Key kanji
n/a Kick not a radical
Lantern kanji
Lip Ring kanji
Meat Meat
Meet kanji
Mustache kanji
Rain Rain
Run Run
Say Say
Scooter Road
Self Self
Tsunami Water (variant)
Twenty Twenty legs, folded hands
n/a Viking not a radical
Village Village
西 West West
Window Mother
Wolverine Pig’s head, katakana yo
Angel Katakana ho
Animal Beast, dog (variant)
Blood Blood
Boil Fire (variant)
Box Container, open box
City kanji
Death kanji
Eat Eat
Fortune kanji
Grain Grain
Jet kanji
Knife Sword (variant)
Lack Lack
Ladle Ladle
L Lion That’s… literally just the English letter L
Long Long
Mama Katakana ma
Neck Neck
Sheep Sheep
Tongue Tongue
Yakuza Death
Bird Bird
Black Black
Boat Boat
Circumference kanji
Clan Clan
Fish Fish
Gate Gate
Husband kanji
Oneself Self
Pig Pig
Spear Halberd
Stamp Stamp
Table Table
Teacher kanji
Temple kanji
Top Hat kanji
Wing kanji
Yellow Yellow
Cage Box
n/a Cape not a radical
Cloud kanji
Compare Compare
Easy kanji
n/a Hills not a radical
Hole Hole
Hook Katakana yu
Horse Horse
Net Eye (variant), net (variant of a different radical)
Sickle Topped rice
Snake kanji
Suit kanji
Weapon Weapon, lance
Anti kanji
Brush Brush
Building Hill (when on left), village (when on right)
Cleat Claw (variant)
Clown kanji
Coat Rack Bolt of cloth
Correct kanji
Eternity kanji
n/a Gladiator not a radical
Heavy kanji
Helicopter West (variant)
History kanji
Jammed In kanji
Machine kanji
n/a Pope not a radical
Spicy Bitter
n/a Spring not a radical
n/a Squid not a radical
Tent Outspread legs, departure
n/a Yurt not a radical
Alcohol Sake jar
Beans Beans
Bundle kanji
n/a Chinese not a radical
Dynamite kanji
Fault kanji
Geoduck Head
Kiss kanji
Landslide Morning
Music kanji
Sell kanji
Sick Sickness
Stairs kanji
Tombstone kanji
Turkey Old bird
n/a Bear not a radical
n/a Blackjack not a radical
Drunkard Spear
Escalator kanji
Few kanji
Humble kanji
Older Brother kanji
Orders kanji
Root Boundary
Simple kanji
Skin Skin
Sound Sound
n/a Trash not a radical
Asia kanji
Beforehand kanji
Business kanji
Crab kanji
Early kanji
Excuse kanji
Fix kanji
Jackhammer Altar
Request kanji
Someone kanji
n/a Tofu not a radical
Together kanji
Yoga Move, stretch
Younger Brother kanji
Body Body
Bookshelf kanji
Center kanji
Circle kanji
n/a Creeper not a radical
East kanji
Elephant kanji
Fruit kanji
Good kanji
Hundred kanji
Idea kanji
Original kanji
Products kanji
Scarecrow kanji
Shrimp kanji
Soul Heart (variant)
Womb kanji
n/a Bar not a radical
Genius kanji
Part kanji
Pool kanji
Public kanji
Well kanji
Grass Katakana tsu
Height kanji
Man kanji
Paragraph kanji
Past kanji
n/a Saw not a radical
Walk kanji
Attach kanji
Drum kanji
Face Face
Valley Valley
n/a Zombie not a radical
Comfort kanji
Criminal Non-
Festival kanji
Good Luck kanji
Guard kanji
Nothing kanji
Poem kanji
Tiger Tiger
Conflict kanji
Gambler kanji
Happiness kanji
Long Ago kanji
Mask kanji
Noon kanji
Previous kanji
Treasure Chest kanji
Become kanji
Black Hole kanji
Director kanji
Ego kanji
Feeling kanji
Reason kanji
Right kanji
n/a Explosion not a radical
Flood Winding river
Fly Fly
Mole Arrive
Mona Lisa kanji
Righteousness kanji
Angle Horn, corner
Blade kanji
Half kanji
Mohawk kanji
Next kanji
Number kanji
Peace kanji
Simultaneous Alike
Ability kanji
Allocate kanji
Bathtub kanji
Cheap kanji
Dollar kanji
Football kanji
Icicle Split wood (variant)
Clothes Clothes
Demon Demon
Leather Leather
n/a Morning not a radical
Restaurant kanji
Road kanji
Vines kanji
Accept kanji
Control kanji
Dawn kanji
n/a Death Star not a radical
Guest kanji
Korea Leather (variant)
Nature kanji
Both kanji
Capital kanji
Friend kanji
Greenhouse kanji
Lifeguard kanji
Mantis kanji
Mix kanji
Wedding kanji
Announce kanji
Chapter kanji
n/a Comb not a radical
Ten Thousand kanji
Warehouse kanji
Call kanji
Change kanji
Exit kanji
Farming kanji
Peoples kanji
Rake Also
Substitute kanji
Surplus kanji
Barracks kanji
Giant kanji
Lovely kanji
Odd kanji
Specialty kanji
Above kanji
Blame kanji
Charcoal kanji
District kanji
Nose Second, fishhook
Servant Retainer
Lineage kanji
North kanji
One Sided Split wood
Oversee kanji
Pirate Lame leg
Turtle Shell kanji
Bully Tripod
Fang Fang
Guy kanji
Library kanji
Line Up kanji
Rocket kanji
Cat Pirate kanji
Certain kanji
Cottage kanji
n/a Elf not a radical
Night kanji
Same kanji
Spider kanji
n/a Coral not a radical
Inside kanji
Interval kanji
Sock kanji
Storehouse kanji
Syrup kanji
Wide kanji
Boot kanji
Catapult kanji
Claw Claw
Member kanji
Slice kanji
Belt kanji
Commander kanji
Sake kanji
Shuriken Pig’s head (variant)
Turtle Turtle
Bright kanji
Dance Dancing legs
Departure kanji
South kanji
Sweet Sweet
Valuable kanji
Omen kanji
Prize kanji
Skewer kanji
Violence kanji
Wrap kanji
Have kanji
Hot Pepper kanji
Prefecture kanji
Sky kanji
Think kanji
Tooth Tooth
Buddy kanji
Former kanji
Hill kanji
Nurse kanji
Reality kanji
Scroll kanji
Three kanji
Employ kanji
Every kanji
Preserve kanji
n/a Cactus not a radical
Signpost kanji
Bone Bone
Melon Melon
n/a Satellite not a radical
Shop kanji
Badger Badger
Imperial Dragon
Plow Plow
Can Earthen jar
Dragon kanji
Wind Wind
Again kanji
House kanji
Protect kanji
Fat kanji
Favor kanji
Penguin kanji
Wave kanji
Form kanji
Mysterious kanji
Sunlight kanji
Crab Trap kanji
Times kanji
Name kanji
n/a Psychopath not a radical
Splinter kanji
Stomach kanji
Frostbite kanji
Tall Tall
Doubt kanji
Concave kanji
Convex kanji
Below kanji
Courage kanji

RIP boob grave :cry:


All finished. :slightly_smiling_face:


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


@bunenen check this out


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


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


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)


Thank you so much!! This is incredible helpful.


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.

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

Nah, that’s not quite it. The strokes are the bottom are different.

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