How Kanji are constructed


What an interesting video about kanji; super easy to understand. Thanks for sharing!

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ありがとう <3

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Thanks for this.

Just the other day a technical translator explained 形声 to me. I was surprised to learn something new that is so fundamental and useful.

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This came at a pivotal time for me–having just learned 利 and 仲!I noticed the pronunciation matched, but almost brushed it off as a fluke :flushed: I’m looking forward to learning more kanji like this! Thanks a ton.

It’s a shame that Jisho doesn’t indicate which of these forms a kanji belongs to

Nice. I was actually just thinking about starting a thread to cover these same concepts, but that video summarizes it much better/clearer than I ever could

Thanks! It’s so easy to understand!

ok. so at the end of the video 終 (しゅう/End) kanji is displayed as a 形声 (けいせい), I searched it in 広辞苑 (こうじえん/Koujien) and it shows this:

But according to, 冬 kanji does not have any reading which is pronounced as しゅう. So what’s going on here?

Regardless of the readings of 冬, it’s undeniable that many kanji that contain that element have the onyomi of しゅう.

It seems like there are two types, and the ones that take the とう reading from 冬 tend to be written differently, where the second of the two lines below is written from the lower left to the upper right.

So it makes me wonder if there’s actually historically two items merged into that one modern form.

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I’m currently working on the Wanikani Phonetic-Semantic Composition userscript, it includes information like this in WK:

I didn’t changed much yet, it doesn’t work on the review page on Greasemonkey (just use Tampermonkey), for example, but it helps. I’m currently working on a better data source and brush the script up a bit.

The preview version is here:


I didn’t find any authoritative info, but this 苳 means the same as 蕗 (giant butterbur, whatever this is), so the lower part maybe it is a simplification of 路. The reading doesn’t match then either, however. I looked up lots of kanji today and “multiple theories” happen very often. Maybe even the dictionaries cut some corners to give a short solution and this kanji is not a phonetic composition after all, or the reading changed for some reason.

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