Difference between 矛 and 予

On Level 7, I learned the radical Spear (予). Now on level 12 I learned the radical Beforehand (予).
They seem exactly the same (at least on my linux machine and my android smartphone). How am I supposed to differentiate both of them when they get reviewed? Am I missing something?

Just to be sure, I checked the Unicodes of both of them. They are indeed exactly the same character (0x4E88).

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Spear is different


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矛 and 予 :eyes:


A link to a previous comment about this same situation.

Well, you guys were right. That was my fault :sweat_smile:

When I learned Beforehand (予), I noticed their similarity and wanted to search them for a quick comparison. But when using the search box on the Dashboard, I thought the page which is shown below is automatically the first search result, but it’s just the page you opened before. Therefore I copied the same character twice…

I think we can close this topic, but I don’t see any way to do this here. (It’s my first time using this forum).


Curiously enough, they removed “halberd” from the alternative meanings of https://www.wanikani.com/vocabulary/矛 but if you search for “halberd” on WK dashboard, it still finds the vocab and kanji.

So I guess along with the secret blacklist we also have a secret whitelist?


@CyrusS @anon20839864 I’m curious about that too


They do have hidden synonyms, if that’s what you are asking. For example, all the previous radical names still work, but they are not listed as synonyms


I see the logic for radicals. Not for vocabs.

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The reason is the same. If you learned the meaning of a word/radical previously, you shouldn’t have to relearn it just because the WK staff decided that the meaning/name they teach should change.

When they remove a vocab meaning, usually it’s because there was some specific reason the meaning was not right.

In the first place, why do we learn the radical at level 7 when the first kanji that uses it is taught at level 21 (務)?

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The meaning doesn’t change. Halberd is a synonym of spear.

Yes but the meaning that they teach changed, from halberd to spear.

Not precisely. They’re both polearms, yes, but there’s a difference.

This is a halberd:


This is a spear:


Well if you want to be very precise with the meaning, neither a spear or a halberd is a 矛 (ほこ). So both should be wrong. But since when do we have to answer with the precise meaning?

That is one halberd. Here’s another, see if you can tell the difference between this and a spear:


Oh, I ain’t questioning what answers WaniKani should or should not accept. Just your assertion that spears and halberds are the same thing. :stuck_out_tongue:

I can see the halberdy bits. They’re almost edge-on, but they’re there.


As I’m not a weapons expert, they are (in some circumstances) the same thing to me.


Especially if you are on the pointy end.


It has been too quiet on the forums. Let’s have a semantics fite Hooray!

You could play more sword & sorcery RPGs or Assassin’s Creed (Ezio games, natch). Halberds usually do greater damage but are slower and heavier than spears