Some characters not returning from API

Not sure if this is a bug, but I just realized that my request to get a subject
is returning a null character, even if I change the revision date. I’m seeing most of the characters for other radicals though, and could have sworn that I was getting it just a few days ago for this very same radical.

Thanks in advance!


I’ve never messed with the API but I recall reading that some characters aren’t actually part of a font and are actually displayed as images on wanikani so there is no character to return… or something like that. :slight_smile:

Looks like you’re calling for a radical, and I found this in the API Documentation:

Unlike kanji and vocabulary, radicals can have a null value for characters . Not all radicals have a UTF entry, so the radical must be visually represented with an image instead.

I guess it makes sense, as a radical like big has a character since it is also a kanji. Stick, on the other hand, is a part of many characters but isn’t actually a character itself.


oh wow, I didn’t know that, but that makes sense! I might have misread it earlier then when I thought I had seen characters.

1 Like

I might be wrong in saying that ‘Stick’ isn’t a character… I’m still new. :sweat_smile: I don’t think I’ve ever seen it alone though. Regardless, it doesn’t have a UTF entry, so even if it IS a character, they’d still need an image.

There are a ton of entries, so I’m sure it’s easy to overlook it and mistake it for something else, especially if a majority of the radicals have a UTF entry.

You can type many radicals with an IME, like 艹, 氵, if you know the official radical names. So those are not images either. But there are some WK radicals, like stick, for example, that aren’t official radicals like you can use for lookups in a kanji dictionary, so those are images.


Definitely a better explanation for the images! Looks like Wanikani has 483 radicals, while the official list is only 214. I’m sure some of those are kanji that aren’t official radicals, but that’s beyond the scope of my knowledge. Interesting to read about though. :slight_smile:


Regarding the ‘made up’ radicals…

As you know, Wanikani uses the radicals in their mnemonics. But many of the larger, i.e. more complex kanji are made up of 5 or more radicals. Since they didn’t want to make complicated mnemonics with more than 5 radicals, they decided to break up the large kanji into smaller kanji (instead of even-smaller radicals), and they just refer to those smaller kanji as radicals. That way, they can write simpler mnemonics of 2 or 3 made-up ‘radicals’ rather than 5 or more ‘official’ radicals.