I've had enough - 構成 vs 構造

When 構成 came up in my reviews I knew I was screwed. I always mix it up with 構造.

I was sitting for at least 3 minutes debating whether I set up the composition for something to become something else (added a synonym “composition” from jisho.org) or do I set up the structure for it to become something. You can imagine my ANGER when it glared red again just when I was about to get it enlightened :)))))))

So PLEASE can you explain to me what’s the difference between 構成 and 構造 ? - what do I compose/organize and how do I structure. Those words became some incomprehensible abstract terms at this point. Maybe some example sentences?

Also, I’d appreciate some mnemonics that will work better than those provided by WK. They can be gruesome, disgusting, weird, stupid. Whatever works, I’ll take anything, just please help me, I’m desperate. I feel like by the time I reach level 60 those two will haunt me.


Well I’m sure I’m opening myself to howls of derision here, with my limited knowledge of and blatant disregard of particles. But here goes. If it’s a matter for you of distinguishing just between those two, and you know the meanings but just muddle them between them… how about: for composition/organise: the second kanji looks a bit like someone sitting down with a pen at a desk writing a list (their organising list, trying to get some organisation into things) or maybe to write a composition. Whereas for structure, it looks like a load of things piled on a scooter (a structure of things piled on a scooter).
Maybe that’s contending with just beating / gaming WK rather than you remembering/understanding the actual meaning though?! But I’ll leave that to someone else. Here endeth my suggestion :slight_smile:


I feel your pain. :sweat_smile:

構成 I keep forgetting this is configuration. But, I do recognize it as different from 構造 (structure). Not helpful, when doing lots of other words so I draw a blank when it’s time to review.

But you say you mix them up.

Interference, mixing up of similar looking kanji is common. I suggest just working on them specifically. Such as using the Leech Trainer as it throws similar looking kanji at you to keep you on your toes.

Link to TamperMonkey download for the Shin Leech Trainer

Just repeat and rinse. They will stick, but it just requires you going that extra mile for it.

Good luck! You can do it! ^>^



It seems they can oftentimes be used interchangeably. If you look at this thesaurus entry for 構造, you’ll see 構成 as a synonym for a lot of its meanings


well, on a purely gramatical level, 構造 is purely a noun, while 構成 can also be an adjective or a する verb.

in terms of meaning, looking at the example sentences for both on jisho, it seems to me like 構造 is more the structure of something in the abstract sense, while 構成 is more about the components and how they come together. I’m not confident in that, it’s just the impression I get.

It’s also good to take a look at native dictionaries. Looks like 構成 can also be used to mean “a composition” in the artistic sense as well, where as 構造 can be used to mean “structure” in the mathematical sense.


I got friends with me since level one. Don’t worry. It should probably take sometime to nail vocabularies especially those of similar kanji or similar meanings

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I just installed the script and it’s awesome, thank you! I had a self study quiz already but I never bothered to use it lol but this one is perfect for those stubborn leeches

the doggo instantly made me feel better :heart_eyes_cat:

just as @TheMunichMunch pointed out is seems they can be used interchengably so your mnemonic will be quite helpful, thanks! I was never good with making out actual shapes from kanji but I see a person making their organising list now :joy:

Those sentences really helped me. I forgot you could look them up on jisho. But you’re right, there seems to be a slight difference. Often 構造 is used like “heart structure” and 構成 is used in sentences about body composition but also in more abstract sense like composition of state/community. Thank you :relaxed:


Sometimes for this kind of situation I also think it’s fine to just give in and add synonyms to get past it.

Wanikani and SRS in general is great for sticking stuff in your memory, but it’s not so good at this kind of fine distinction, and I figure if it’s a critical distinction I’ll learn it better from absorbing it through reading native material or studying it directly.

Come to think of it, funnily enough, it looks like I did just that for these! So you’re definitely not alone.

They’re both long burned for me and the specific structure/organization wording has completely faded away and my gut instinct now would just be that 造 connotes more active creation, and 成 connotes more composition (like in 成分), so probably that’s along the lines of what the two words’ difference would be, even if I don’t know exactly how to put it into English words and don’t know how important the difference is in Japanese.
And I’m happy with that.


I have trouble with this pair as well. Both of these in my guru list after two months. Since the reading is easy, I’ve come up with my own offensive mnemonic for one of these based on reading (not posting since it’s my native language, plus it is kinda like first grade bathroom humor anyway). Hope it will help, plus I did extra review just now due to your post.

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