My experience

It would be more productive for them to email them directly than to have people who didn’t design the site trying to explain executive decisions they didn’t make to the OPs of these kinds of threads.

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You and Leebo are both right, of course, but I was under the impression that the devs actually want users to post here first so we can intervene (when applicable) and save them a response to an email. But that’s just my assumption.

Either way, this one was easily debunked by us informing OP about synonyms and also the reasoning for radicals in the first place. Whether or not OP stuck around to see responses, I don’t know. shrug

I get where you’re coming from. But I totally understand why they created this category.


I dunno why this grinds my gears so much, but Ive seen a lot of radical complaining over the past week or two and I just don’t get it. Without radicals I wouldn’t know a third of the kanji I do now. Take this from somebody who has not only attended a Japanese language school, but has lived in japan and has been studying Japanese on and off for years… I really really don’t care if i need to spend three extra seconds to learn a radical name, even if its a stand alone kanji, if it means helping me piece together bigger kanji in the future.

I went to Japanese school, paid a lot more than 9$/month in tuition, and left truly learning and remembering one god damn kanji. Because of these stupid little radicals and mnemonics my brain can now identify and actually read like 300+ kanji in a few months of lax study. That’s insane.

Japanese is not an easy language, there are no short cuts or speed boosts. take the few seconds, learn the radical. Then you can learn the 150 kanji that use that radical.

I just needed to vent goodbye


As you say, there’s a reason for this category, but far too often it’s just a repeat of similar suggestions. Maybe the hope would be potential posters would search to see what was suggested previously? But seeing how topics on other categories are frequently reinvented without the thought of even checking whether there was an existing thread, the possibility of absolving one’s responsibility to answer questions one doesn’t feel like responding to also serves a purpose. It can get overwhelming answering the same questions repeatedly especially by users who’ve decided to stop using the service.

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Couldn’t agree more. I like to think that there are still some users that do use the search and end up not creating a new thread, therefore giving purpose to our efforts. :slight_smile:

I also agree with this. But I like to think that we’ve also convinced some people to stay via this category.

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Being bothered by a handful of radicals really seems irrelevant when you’re committed to learn 2,000 kanjis, imo.

And the community’s answers are always the same, too. :stuck_out_tongue:

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The usefulness of WK’s radicals becomes very apparent down the line when they are used to distinguish very similar looking kanji (if I had more time to write this post I would try to find an example…). Just thought I’d throw that out there, there is a reason it’s like this.

I’m just beating a dead horse now, but when I learned more kanji in 3 weeks with WK than I did in 6 months without WK (and with better retention rates), I was an instant believer in radicals. Could it be improved? Probably, but as it is it still worked significantly better for me than anything else I had tried…


TL;DR The OP is willing to throw out one of the most efficient ways of learning kanji because they don’t want to learn some simple names for radicals that are based on full kanji.


Just do what I do and cheat on the radicals (I am a native Chinese speaker and the radical names actually hinder my learning). They get fewer and fewer the higher up in levels you go. I think past level 15 you get whittled down to 5 or 6 radicals per level. Isn’t there a script that auto-answers the radicals for you?

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I’d say that if you rely on the mnemonics, you should try to learn the radical names. But at the same time I see no problem with overriding them if you get them wrong, as I do it myself.

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At least he won’t have to deal with finding a part of a plate at a lantern festival. Silver lining, I guess.’

Also, Im of fan of the 180 degree Chiya personally.


I feel like that is the way to go. You don’t need to actually know them as well as the kanji, so ignoring is fine, but it’s not like they’re useless.

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Hey, one less person’s who’s gonna go on to complain about typo answer acceptance, synonyms, “useless vocabulary”, “WK doesn’t teach X important Kanji”, and on and on…

So many pointless complaint threads these days with the same age-old complains and same age-old answers :stuck_out_tongue:

What actually surprises me is how much some of you guys are willing to keep answering the same question… Tiring to just read the same complaint over and over…


I always felt like the radicals were freebies – so easy to remember and quick to answer – so, I never really paid much attention to them.

But after finishing WK, I spent some time actually drawing radicals, and found that it give me a lot better ability to write kanji. Before that, I could read, but was totally unable to write. And I find myself actually remembering kanji more by their radical components than by overall shape, which makes it harder to forget details (for when you want to write).

So, I would actually like to see more emphasis on radicals, though perhaps on a separate optional track that is focused on writing.


I think practicing writing radicals is a great idea, just piecing together kanji is a much easier way of writing than actually trying to remember the whole thing. I do this with the few kanji i know how to write, but not really by radical more by a few strokes at a time. I’m gonna try this when it comes time to focus on writing kanji (which is least of my priorities right now)

I agree with you, but I can see how wanikani could seem pointless if it’s the first thing someone tries.
If you don’t know about the similar looking kanjis and how often you will be seeing these radicals it might seem just time consuming.
I would like to know how many people leve wk for reasons like these and then end up coming back after a year or two. I think people don’t realise at first that learning kanji wiill be a lot of work no matter what method you choose, thus at the beginning, for lack of better understanding of kanji, it’s easier to blame it on the method (whatever it is).

That been said, I would prefer radicals that are the same as kanjis to have the same names and use those in mnemonics.


Why, I’m working towards maintaining my regular status, of course. This thing takes a lot of work.


Usually, the kanji stick pretty well for me with the SRS where I only need to use the mnemonics the first time or two, but just today I had one come up after a while that for the life of me I couldn’t remeber the reading of (直). The fact that I was able to back up and say “Okay, so if you stab a lion… tiger? … in the eye with a cross, you have to fix it because… why do you have to fix it… OH! Because it’s Mike Tyson’s tiger, and he’ll choke you if you don’t! ちょく、じき!” SO helpful. I’m so much better at kanji even at just level 10 than I ever have been before.


I can never remember those convoluted stories for more than a few weeks, and often not even for that long.