Jitai (字体): The font randomizer that fits

That 運 is actually quite well recognizable.
That font is a good one for practice, if you can read with that font (and with practice you will), then almost any pen handwriting would be easy for you (and there are similarly difficult fonts for brush writing style)

If you say so. It barely looks like the kanji to me.

If you put that picture and the same on regular printing font, side by side, they are quite different, yes.

But each of the three blocks (“radicals”) are quite distinctly recognizable (not blurring together), so if you can see the “wakanmuri” (the top position radical drawn like a vertically stretched katakana wa ワ), the “kuruma” (車, car) and the “shin’nyou” ( 辶 ) parts, then you can see 運.

For wakanmuri and shin’nyou, they are easily recognizable I think (in those positions, and those general stroke shapes, it is the only possibility).
The kuruma part not as much, actually it looks like 申 with a dot on top. However those don’t appear under the wakanmuri, while 軍 on the other hand is a common component.

It goes down to knowing not only the shape of the components, but where ( in which position) they appear in composition, and if some combinations appear a lot or not.
Practice will make a pattern out of it. If you know beforehand what to look for (position and frequency, in addition to shape) you will develop recognition skills faster.

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Wow, this is great, should be pinned somewhere!

That kind of insight seems like something you just cannot have until you’ve already studied a lot of kanji. Heck, even when I was at level 27 pre-reset I never really noticed any patterns of what radicals commonly went together and in what layout. But then again, I wasn’t experimenting with handwritten fonts back then so I guess I wasn’t really forced to in order to recognize certain kanji that were written in a kinda wonky way.

Worked for me too. Thank you.

Thank you so much!

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I’m generally pretty good at recognizing different font styles, but these do not look like the same kanji at all. The font used was nagayama_kai. The radicals used in the kanji on the left are completely different (it looks like two 火 kanji next to each other).


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Sadly they are the same kanji: 栄 | 漢字一字 | 漢字ペディア
see under 旧字 which means something like “old style”


I see, that’s interesting! I’ve still disabled the font for now as I don’t know if it’s a great use of time to learn too many kanji variations at this stage of my learning. I don’t mind the ones that look “messy” as long as the individual radicals are recognizable, but this one threw me for a loop.


Yeah, that is certainly valid.

On the site you can also see at which level you would have to know the Kanji variant in the 漢検 (a test for Kanji for Japanese people) and apparently it only becomes relevant around 準1 which is a level ordinary Japanese can’t pass without study. So I think your way is the way to go ^^.


栄 is the 新字体 (shinjitai, new character body) of 榮 (旧字体, ancient character style).

Other than in old printed texts you may find the ancient forms in calligraphy or signs.
Note the new form are just an adaptation in printed typefaces of centuries old semicursive (行書) handwriting.

It is quite consistent.
榮螢營勞 => 栄蛍営労.
Note that those “three dots on roof” can have a different origin:
學覺 => 学覚
( In simplified Chinese they adapted to printed typefaces the centuries old cursive 草書 handwriting style, and kept the distinction of those series:
榮螢營勞 => 荣萤营劳
學覺 => 学觉 )

You don’t need to “learn different kanji (variations)” but only the variation of a single component, and it can be applied to all kanji using it.
Remember, only a few kanji are actually whole units, the overwhelming majority are just compositions of smaller components.
I don’t think you need to “study” it, having seen it thanks to that font, and with the explanations in this thread, I am quite sure you will now be able to recognize any ancient variant of a kanji using those components that you already know.


Thank you :slight_smile: It didn’t work at first, but then closed and reopened and it worked. Thx! :slight_smile:

Which WaniKani app for iOS ships with Jitai? Does it work on iPad?

I posted about this here in the Item Inspector thread, but it really impacts Jitai: it seems that you simply cannot access locally-installed (non-system-standard) fonts in Safari/WebKit anymore without defaults modifications (though if you followed a macOS upgrade path, you may have had that turned on for you). Just webfonts and system-default fonts. And to subvert “font fingerprenting attacks”, this issue is going to spread to other browsers soon, too.

That would make Jitai in its current incarnation much less useful: Windows, macOS and most Linux and mobile distributions come with a Mincho, a Gothic, and a Rounded font, but beyond that you’re out of luck.

It seems like the longer-term solution is to support webfonts. Since we can’t upload webfonts to WaniKani, they would have to be in a public repository like Google Fonts.

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