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

Thank you Belthazar. This could help non-english speakers create new mnemonics as well.


Welp gotta catch em all.

Get to it!

That’d be because they added more in the last two and a half years. Guess I should stick them in, for completion’s sake. If I can work out an easy way to pick out the new ones.

(Or alternately, the post is still a wiki… :stuck_out_tongue: )

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I was wondering why many radicals that aren’t radicals at all were showing up. This is very helpful, thank you.

What do you suppose the logic for this? They are rarely used or maybe not used at all in the 常用漢字? Actually I’m having trouble finding these after scrolling through the list a few times. Could somebody point the missing ones out?

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Yeah, some of them (like 鬥) aren’t really used in Japanese (since it’s actually a Chinese radical list). Some of them (like 龠) are used in such rare kanji that it’s hardly worth teaching. Some of them (like 爿 and 艸) are taught only in variant form, sometimes because the non-variant form isn’t used in Japanese. And some of them (like 香 and 玉) are used so infrequently or are so similar to another radical that WaniKani just finds it easier to define it by its components than make a whole new radical just for one or two kanji.

In any case, here’s the full list of the 214 traditional radicals that aren’t taught on WaniKani (though as mentioned previously, some do appear as their variants):



Thank you so much!! You are a blessing! It’s a bit of a relief that some of the “sus” radical names are truly the correct meaning.


I might help to give Kanji meanings to Radicals that are only Kanji, but not radical (to be displayed inside the table)? Especially if such Radical meaning is too far from Kanji counterpart…

I have started adding Kanji’s keyword for a while, but some questions

  • Do Radical images need to be resized to 16x16? Usual Markdown image resize syntax doesn’t work in tables, so it will need some manual work.
  • Should I separate Radicals into several sections?
    • Radicals that are radical with uncanonical name
      • Canonical in some senses
      • Tangentially canonical
    • Radicals that are Kanji but different meaning
      • Outside WaniKani
    • Radicals that are Kanji with similar meaning
      • Outside WaniKani
    • Radicals that are something else printable
    • Radicals that are images
    • (本の部首) Radicals that are already a radical with canonical name
  • What about sorting? By level?
  • Furthermore, it might be possible that radicals that are images might really have a real meaning, but not encoded into fonts…

Well, if no one stopped me, I’ll just do what I believe in, anyway.

Well, my post is longer than I remember it being… :stuck_out_tongue:

As for sorting, they were originally sorted by the order given on the WaniKani radical pages, at the time I made the post (so it’s possible some have been moved or new ones have been added - I don’t recall).

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I think it’s indeed the same as Zombie, even if it looks different. (I think I read somewhere on how the character morphs, and the origin.)

Another one I think of having an actual meaning at the very least would be (of Chinese counterpart), which in Japanese, it looks different .

Also added 𠂉丆业㦮俞.

Pretty sure Cactus can be same thing as Spikes, just being simplified - I need written proof for this, anyway.

Thank you so much, this is a lifesaver! :heart: As much as I love WK for making things so much easier, I’m absolutely not going to memorize a story about a drunkard defecating under a tree somehow meaning “machine”??? when the kanji uses the radical “short thread” twice, looks very much like a power loom, and has the tree on the left there to remind you of it’s pronunciation.


Weirdly enough, etymologically speaking the phonetic component in this kanji is actually the right half, the 幾. But whatever mnemonic works for you is what helps you best. :slightly_smiling_face:


I did notice according to the keisei phonetic-semantic composition script that the reading came from 幾, however since I don’t know that one yet the tree is definitely more helpful atm haha. It’s a nice little bridge to remember 幾 as the phonetic aspect in future kanji. :+1: :grin:


Much easier to remember words like 飛行機 if you think of it as “machine” though.


Ah, sorry, I see what I wrote was unclear. I’m definitely remembering that it means machine, but just by means of thinking that it actually looks exactly like a machine, not by means of a roundabout story about a drunkard and a tree. :slight_smile:

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