Radical suggestion: 帚 “Broom”

I think 帚 would be a good level 14 or 15 radical.

It is the right half of 帰 (15), 婦 (28) and 掃 (31). Currently, those all split that half of the character up into “Wolverine + Forehead + Towel”, and that’s kind of a convoluted image to use thrice.

“Broom” is the actual meaning of 帚, and a broom is a nicely pictoral thing to use in a mnemonic. Also, this radical assignment would make “掃 = Sweep = Fingers + Broom” really easy to remember. (“Sweeping is just using your fingers on a broom!”)

In fact, the character 帚 is really a pictograph of “a broom with bristles on top and tied handle on the bottom”, says Wiktionary. I can kinda see it if I squint :).

Right now level 14 only teaches six radicals. (Level 13 teaches seventeen of them.)

How would y’all feel about this?


I think it works, like 掃 is already about cleaning so fingers + broom is easier to remember. Thanks for point that out, gunna use it in my uni textbook haha


Great idea


Great idea!
In my personal notes I’ve been using “broom” radical for quite a while now:


I hope this radical would get added to WK radicals too.


Cool! Which note-taking program is this?

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Actually, this is a program I wrote myself for taking notes :sweat_smile:
But the same if not better result can be achieved with Microsoft OneNote.

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I think it’s a nice idea. It’s just a shame that the actual kanji for broom (箒) has an extra part at the top. (Not that WaniKani teaches 箒 right now anyway.)


Good idea in my opinion. Kanji mnemonics with more than 4~5 radicals never stick for me and I’d rather have more different radicals to learn than huge unwieldy mnemonics

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It is a little bit of a shame, but I would still infinitely rather learn “Broom = Bamboo + Broom” than “Broom = Bamboo + Wolverine + Forehead + Towel”. (Also, that kanji kind of reminds me of 筆 in a way that makes it easier to remember… I suppose a brush is just the head of a broom, in a bamboo-bristle-y kind of way.)


Some new mnemonic ideas:

帰 When it’s time to return home, you stick a knife on your broom. This knife-broom contraption keeps you safe out on the streets as you walk home. A かr えlephant rolls up in its car to harass you, but you swing your knife-broom in its direction to scare it off. (Picture it trumpeting and flooring the gas pedal in fear.)

婦 That woman holding a broom is your wife. She says, “What’s that, dear? You think I’m gonna do all the cleaning? You’re such a ふool.” Then she hands you the broom.

掃 Your fingers are holding on to a broom as you sweep the floor. You clean the whole house, and you’re so tired afterward, but you notice your そうoul feels cleansed, too.


Bamboo broom is still a broom :sweat_smile:


Y-you’re still a broom!

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Wiktionary is right about the original character. It probably represents a broom that looks like this:

The problem is that the current character is based on an inverted version of the original character. The current character is actually a hand (彐) holding a fibrous object (冖 and 巾). You know, it’s something like this sort of broom, with the fibres running in arches near where the handle attaches:

Apparently both 箒 and 帚 are acceptable, but I imagine the first is more common.

I think this is just an example of adding more information to the character while preserving the same meaning. Bamboo was probably the material used to make brooms at some point.

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I see it in our Content suggestions to-do list, so someone will take a look between cycles!


Thank you! (Out of curiosity, what are these “cycles”?)

We do project work in 6 week cycles with two weeks in-between for miscellaneous work, research, planning, and the like. So, usually these suggestions are looked at (and sometimes not looked at, depending on what they want to do) by the content team during these two-week cooldowns.


Yeah, so far I’ve been using the meaning notes to make corrections like these but it’s good to have them integrated as well.

Another pet peeve of mine is when there’s a kanji that is used in another kanji but it’s not a radical. Instead of just incorporating the full kanji into the mnemonic, it gets broken down into the component parts.


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