"And don't confuse this with the grain 禾 radical!"

Thanks, WaniKani mnemonic. That totally helps.

Now I confuse them constantly. Possibly because they are extremely similar, and you’ve just given me almost identical mnemonics (imagine a sickle cutting some grain).

Is the sickle radical the one with the grains? Yes! The grain radical is the one without the grains, but with the sickle. Simple!

(I know, I shouldn’t be salty, but I get this one wrong more than I get it right. It won’t be the first time I invent entirely my own mnemonic, but… that one really is pretty special.)


And to make things worse, there is the kanji : 采, not be be confused with 釆.


未 and 末 used to blow my mind, until I worked out a mnemonic that worked for me.


1 pixel.
Litteraly japanese ask me to be pixel perfect once more.


未 and 末 used to blow my mind, until I worked out a mnemonic that worked for me.

I’m glad I read the RTK entry on these two about a week before I encountered them on WK. Now I just wish WK used ‘not yet’ instead of ‘jet’ for the radical name… but I do prefer the ‘end’ name for the kanji to what RTK uses (extremity, I believe).


As someone who also encountered these via RTK, I mostly do not care about WK mnemonics, but use my own that I already came up with whilst doing RTK.

Btw, according to etymology (https://okjiten.jp/kanji698.html), “extremity” is actually a good keyword, since the kanji depicts a tree where the top part (ie. pointed extremity) is emphasized. Of course, the top can also be considered the place where a tree “ends” (just be careful not to confuse with many other kanji that mean also “end”, like 了, 終 etc).
The opposite kanji to 末 is 本 (origin, source)

In 未 the upper line depicts young branches that have just sprouted and are “not yet” fully grown :slight_smile: (https://okjiten.jp/kanji709.html)


I just fell into the 会 vs. 合 trap.
会 is supposed to be 2 mouths discussing together (“meet”).
But to me, 合 (“join”) just looks like 2 mouths. Worse, there is no explanation why 會 was simplified to a mouth.

I will have to stick to:

  • cloud = meet
  • square = join

Luckily both are so common, that at some point you don’t need the mnemonic anymore… hopefully :smiley:


That one was my favorite so far. Even now that I can tell the two apart when they are next to each other. When reading with a normal pace it’s so easie to confuse them.

The OP’s post and every post since have just been listing of all the ones stuck in a cycle of apprentice to master to apprentice haha


Those look pretty distinguishable though.

if that’s not a tongue-in-the-cheek comment, it may actually depend on the character font you are using.

On my screen it goes like this:



It’s actually much more distinguishable when handwritten or when the font size is larger. The stroke order becomes more apparent and you notice that 釆 has a single, unbroken stroke in the middle going from top to bottom where as 采 does not.

98786-07 98787-08

Obviously when computers fonts get to be small, those stroke differences will become less noticeable. Even with just a mild font size change the differences already start to stand out:

釆 采

That’s just font size 15 vs 22 (at least according to Chrome’s dev tools on my system) and at 22 you can now see that unbroken, vertical stroke and it’s not like the kanji are huge at that size.


I used to get sickle and grain radicals confused all the time until I came up with my own strategy.

The way I remember the difference is that rice and grain are NOT the same thing (otherwise they would have the same name). Therefore the one that looks like rice can’t be grain, so it has to be sickle.

That has totally worked for me so far.


You can add your own synonyms for meanings!

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While I’m kvetching…

Book translations for 車両:

Railroad Car, Vehicle, Train Car, Railway Carriage, Railcar

Not book translations for 車両:

Railroad Carriage, Train Carriage, Railway Car

Ask me how I know :stuck_out_tongue:


三番目: The Third, Third Thing

Not 三番目: The Third Thing

I’m OK. I’m fine. Just… graaah.

Yeah, it took me a while to figure out you could do that for radicals. Hello, jet/airplane.

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In my opinion (and as a non-native English speaker) “the third thing” would be alright as an answer. As long as you understand the consept i.e. 三番目 means something like “third thing (in a list/row/series/etc)”, it doesn’t really matter how your answer is formatted. If you have a tendency of typing “the third thing” as your answer, just add it to the synonyms.