Bold (or thick) radicals? Does it mean anything anything?

So I noticed a few radicals use thicker lines (like the beggar radical) than other (like the clam radical), and I was wondering if there’s a reason or if this is just how whoever drew them for WK did it? Not a super important question I’m just curious.

(See example)


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Bold radicals are actually images, while other ones are characters. Some of the Radicals that Wanikani uses are custom radicals. And they are not found in standard JP fonts. So WK is using their images.


Where are you seeing this? Do you have any script installed that would change the fonts? Or are you maybe using a third party app? The clam one looks rounded, not like it would normally look.

They seem fine to me when I look at their detail pages on

Probably in one of the apps, since they’re all 3rd party, the display style can be non-standard.

Like @temporaryuser381 said, the thick ones are image-based. The rest of them are font-based, and will render differently on different systems since different systems use different fonts.

Sometime soon, WK will be switching to vector-based radicals, so they will all be consistent with each other… though they will still differ a bit from the kanji, depending on what system you’re on, because kanji will continue to use fonts which vary by system.


That makes a lot of sense. I hadn’t thought of the differences in fonts. Thank you!

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