I'm sorry but 定 's radicals are just wrong

I apologize if this comes off as negative and this is my first post here but the guideline says we can talk about ‘what do you hate most’ so I hope this is okay.

定’s radicals are roof and, I’m sorry, correct? Seriously? Who in their right minds wouldn’t see ‘coat rack’ instead of correct. Yes I get it, the radical in 定 doesn’t have the little slide on the right like coat rack does, but correct doesn’t have the huge curvature on the left either!!

I literally JUST learned correct and coat rack as radicals and the FIRST EXAMPLE using them and I have to play mental gymnastics. Yeah the mnemonic is a very succinct little statement, but I worry about this thing coming up weeks down the line and me unable to process the correct radicals for recollection.

With how many Kanji Wanikani’s had to make unique radical makeups for I understand a couple fall through the cracks. But I just wanted to share my feedback as someone who is baffled at such a decision for this specific character. Maybe other people feel differently, but this is my experience.


Sure, these are similar looking but not visually the same 疋 vs 定. Their building blocks simply differ.

I’d say you’re overthinking things. Knowing radical names isn’t important in the long run, recognizing them as components in kanji for guessing the correct reading/meaning of specific kanji is. But, in the end, you’ll just look at a kanji and “know” its reading and meaning, no further analysis or breaking it down into components.

Especially in the case of WK, where radicals are not the official names, but just tools for memorization and creation of mnemonics, it’s not meaningful to put too much energy into learning them I think. They’re initial stepping stones.

I highly recommend the Keisei-script as it really helps in the upper levels with recognizing radicals and their relationship to readings. This is highly useful and gives you a different path to memorizing readings than the WK mnemonics that gets increasingly convoluted in the upper levels due to the many constituent parts of complex kanji.


It’s probably worth noting that, since the radical for 定 is only officially 宀, some Japanese dictionaries list the other component as 疋, some list it as 正, and some break it down even further as 一 and 龰. WaniKani simply chooses one of many approaches that are already in use elsewhere.


I sympathize with your complaint but in general there really isn’t a hard “right or wrong” with the whole radical system but different conventions (as is often the case in language; think of this when learning about japanese verbs). There are some more official ones from various dictionaries but Wanikani has their own conventions and whenever you don’t like how they break things down I suggest to just make your own radicals and/or mnemonics; don’t forget to therefore add user synonyms and notes to remember down the line.

For example, I exclusively use the radical meanings and often kanji compositions as listed on jisho.org and adhere to none of the WK mnemonics, because they just don’t work for me very well. Whenever necessary I create my own. I don’t fault WK for that either, because it’s just impossible to make a system that suits everyone across the globe.

In short: feel free to adapt the system to your liking.


Everyone’s covered anything I might’ve said on the subject I think, so I’d rather say welcome!


I hope your move here goes well! Also I find that JoJo is quite popular, so you might be able to use it to make friends or start conversations. If you want to out yourself as a nerd at least :person_shrugging: I’ve had a good experience with it so far. Anyhow, a lot of guys in their 40s/50s grew up with or read the manga as teens/young adults, so it’s nostalgic and fun to talk about JoJo with them. On the other end of the spectrum (idk what age group(s) you’ll be teaching English to), but apparently elementary school kids watched Part 5 of JoJo (I’m told and I know at least one single digit kid who’s watched it lol). Idk how many/if they’re watching Part 6 (I kinda hope not lol), but there’s a possibility.


Don’t worry - by writing out this post, it’ll probably be burnt into your brain and you won’t forget it for a lifetime. That’s just the weird way our brain works.


More of you won’t realize the actual radical components, unless you write it. About the IME, it is indeed possible to pick a wrong Kanji.

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Those two are not as infuriating as 題 (topic— だい) to me. It took me so long to recognize the radical for correct in that kanji as “correct” since it’s all morphed.

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