Disable all radicals

Is there a way to disable all radicals? I simply don’t use them, so they fill my brain with info I don’t need. I know that I can add a script that allows me to mark wrong answers as right, but I’d rather just disable the entire functionality and not have to deal with them at all.

I mean I get that they’re good for mnemonics but I just don’t learn the meaning of the kanji that way.

No, there isn’t. If you don’t care, just keep getting em wrong. Although I wonder how in the higher levels you’re going to differentiate between very similar kanji (経 and 結, for example).

Just add “I’m paying for WaniKani but don’t use the main content that they provide when Anki is free” as a synonym for each radical and you’ll be good to go. There’s not many of them in the grand scheme of things.

(yes, that was a joke)


It’s easy getting through the first few levels without radicals, but just take a look at the later levels. It’s almost impossible to differentiate and memorize many of those without learning the radicals.


I just keep the radical page open on another tab and look them up whenever I have to. No point in memorizing them if you don’t want to.

Sure there is, just install this script


Are those kanji considered similar?

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Around level 14 you will only get a few radicals per level, and most are “you know that kanji already”. You should survive learning 250 “radicals”, especially because they are recurring parts of kanji that you need to know anyway. You could add synonym “a” or something to all radicals, but I don’t understand how those parts could qualify as “info you don’t need”. Some may have silly names, just focus on the “right” names then.

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You’re here to learn around 2000 kanji and around 6000 vocab but you don’t want to learn 250 radicals?

You’re just making your life on WK harder.


I have learned the radicals but in my own way. I know how the kanji are composed as I’ve studied Japanese long before trying out WaniKani. I love this site but people learn in different ways (and have different skill sets before starting here) and there’s nothing wrong with that.

But yeah, I do end up kind of learning the names WaniKani has given them because I enter them to the system so many times but I don’t actively try to memorize the names (as like the OP, I don’t use the mnenonics) like I do memorize the kanji readings and vocabulary.

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They become useful when you start trying to write kanji, and can help tell apart some of the more complex ones. Just leave it as it is for now

Then you’ll never level up.

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Fair enough, as long as that works for you. :slight_smile:

I guess we could call this a case of “you don’t know what you don’t know.” @felix330 I’ve marked yours as solution because I think that the comment is the most valuable. Together with the comment from @acm2010 and @Liras - “there’s only 250 radicals anyway”, I realize that I should probably just get over myself and learn them. So I will.

“Learn them anyway, not because you need them now, but because you might need them later.”

To be honest I didn’t know that there were only 250 :laughing:

Thank you for your comments, folks. またね :v:

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Yeah same here. I just learn the kanji by doing sessions of repeat-them-until-you-know-them, using one of the userscripts.

But maybe they’ll be useful later. I’ll keep an open mind.

The number is just a random guess by me, there are 478 radicals in WK, but lots are identical to their kanji equivalent so zero time is wasted, the “real” radicals than use WK specific names like gun or stick are the majority in the beginning but disappear later.

You can check out the level distribution of radicals here (no idea if deep links are supported there, otherwise go to Items -> Radicals):

From level 14 you get around 6 radicals per level, around 4~5 from level 40, and 0-3 from level 45.

From about level 12 or so, most radicals are just previosly learned kanji, being taught as radicals to make up the mnemonics later; each level has about 2 or 3 “new” radicals. On the first few levels, most kanji are simple and visually distinctive, thus easy to memorise, but later on some of the radicals pop up a lot in different combinations, and the kanji meaning is not obvious from the radicals, so radicals and mnemonics help out a lot.

As a reference, here are all the kanji that use the radical 糸:

Ah yes my favourite kanji combination.

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I’ve stopped caring about radicals a long time ago, but I’m cautious to tell OP that because I really used the radicals at level 6. Before my brain could effectively process the kanji, they were really helpful.

Honestly though, once you get past that point and your brain starts readily recognizing kanji, I feel like you guys are drastically overestimating the value of radicals. Why did I burn into my mind that 支 is a frog when it actually has nothing to do with frogs and means support? Why are gun and leaf still cluttering up my review pile from a year and a half ago when I’ve literally never used them to understand a kanji and wouldn’t even know how to at this point? Why do I have to remember that a samurai and mouth together is a longcat when I don’t even know what a longcat is? Wanikani has plenty of features that Anki doesn’t have without the radicals, and I use a script to skip them (the one that lets you change the result of your answer) because I don’t need them taking up brainspace that could be used for actual kanji.

I still think there’s value to learning radicals at level 6 though, especially looking at the level 6-7 radicals now, when so many of them will be kanji later. Definitely add your own meanings to them, partcularly if you don’t know what the meaning is (probably because you haven’t seen Lord of the Rings), or if they’re a kanji and aren’t being called that kanji. I used to go through every new batch of radicals and check that it wasn’t a kanji being called something else so I wouldn’t have to unlearn that 支 is a frog, or get a radical wrong later on because apparently “mother” is wrong for 母 and it’s actually “drawer.” Once they really start feeling obsolete though, then I don’t think there’s anything wrong with skipping them.


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