Similar looking kanji yab

I was just messing up 借 for 供. I knew they were similar looking but had to search by radical to find servant again as it wasnt under similar looking kanji.

Its not the first time for a kanji Ive known that there was a similar one that I mistook a norher for and then it wasnt there in the similar kanji tab (sometimes even the kanji for a radical wasnt).

Basically it just takes time to look it up and confirm the differences, and I was hoping more effort could be put into the similar kanji section. Or even an ability to add other kanji to it.

Anyways just wanted to meantion it as its a bit annoying to review easily when the really similar kanji aren’t there in the more info section.


Determining what exactly is a visually similar kanji is very difficult, and the wanikani implementation is manual and a bit bare-bones. I am using this userscript to expand the section of visually similar kanji. I just checked and with the right settings it does indeed add 借 and 供 to their respective visually similar kanji sections.


Echoing that determining similar looking kanji is not that straightforward and can be highly subjective. I don’t think those kanji look similar at all :man_shrugging:. I think [Userscript] ConfusionGuesser helped me with mixing up kanji.


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I keep a ‘lookalikes’ file on my desktop of kanji that were made to torment me I need to learn to distinguish…

矢 や arrow
失 しつ fault

札 さつ
礼 れい

役 やく- role
投 とう・なげる - throw

欠 けつ lack
次 じ next

堂 どう hall
常 じょう ordinary

苟 poem (radical)
苛 いじ frustration
荷 に luggage

喜 き rejoice
善 ぜん zen

輪 りん wheel
輸 ゆ transport

規 き standard
視 し look at

究 きゅう research
突 とつ stab

織 しき weave
識 しき discerning
職 しょく employment

怪 かい suspicious
経 けい passing time

喉 こう throat
候 こう climate

剣 けん sword
検 けん examine
険 けん risky

暇 ひま free time
服 ふくclothes

補 ほ supplement
捕 ほ catch
浦 ほ creek

況 きょう condition
沢 たく swamp

遠 えん far
違 ちが difference

完 かん perfect
売 ばい sell

連 れん take along
運 うん good luck

微 び delicate
徴 ちょう sign

考 こう think
老 ろう elderly

辛 しん spicy
幸 こう happiness

例 れい example
列 レツ row

完 かん perfect
売 ばい sell

際 さい when
祭 さい festival
察 さつ guess

熱 ねつ heat
然 ぜん natural


Yeah, I know they have similar components, but the proportions are so different, the overall “feeling” of the kanji is so unlike the other I would never mix them up. But these were only my own thoughts and to highlight how personal these things are.

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Same. It’s not like with the many variants of 義 or like me confusing yesterday 塊 (which I wrote) with 魂 (which was in the text I was analyzing) and my sensei being thoroughly confused.

@Dongaro what generally helps in cases like this, look at the bigger shape in the kanji and the whitespace surrounding the strokes.

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Yeah. Those kanji were the overall shape and whitespace are similar are most difficult for me, maybe because you start to read kanji “as a whole”. I also have to take a second with 塊 and 魂. Often the smaller radical has a hint to differentiate the meaning (like here), but they don’t always make much sense.


Yes, but 日 and ハ look very different.
Indeed for me too 昔 and 共 doesn’t look similar (I mean, there are a lot of other pairs much up on the similariy scale)

鳥 and 烏 for example, or 日 and 曰…
or 島 and 鳥

Can’t really comment on later level kanji, and i’m sure it’s going to get worse the more complex looking they get, but I have a bad habit of going into overconfident autopilot mode in reviews which has led to getting 手 and 毛 swapped. I now pay extra close attention to that little tail at the end.

Surprisingly haven’t gotten 土 and 士 mixed up yet though, but there’s still plenty of time and reviews left to make it happen.