Sunflower - - 里

To those saying the radical names on WK dont correlate with actual radical names nor the kanji versions of them, thats just incorrect. They match most of the time, actually. And afaik, although WK claims to use mnemonics for learning they dont say they change radical names for the sake of mnemonic learning.

To be fair, some radicals dont have official names, only numbers. And i can understand changing some since their awkward to write and conceptualize (like using alligator instead of “to be”). Its their platfor!m, their choice. I dont have to agree with; to me learning the true radical names is way more useful, even when weird or a num, cause them i can at least use that knowledge outside of WK and you can always make up synonyms to help you remember.

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There are like twice as many WK radicals as kangxi radicals in the first place, so I think it’s fine to say they “generally don’t correspond to one another” or something to that effect. Many do, many don’t.

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This bothers me too. But usually the real kanji is taught in the same level as the identical radical, so it’s not a big deal, I just add it as a synonym.

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I don’t check for kanji. :joy:
If the radical is on the last page of the lesson as a stand alone kanji or vocab then I cross check the meaning, just to not be confused, but I learn the suggested radical name anyway and learn the “real” meaning when WaniKani brings me there. This is usually in the same level the radical was introduced in anyway, so it doesn’t bother me.

But yes, as long as you keep in mind that the radical names are not kanji meanings, you’ll be fine and you can trust WaniKani. :blush:


You can trust WK, and you can trust me. That’s why you should vote for me, Gsai, for congress.




I’ve never assumed that learning a radical meant learning a kanji.

Even learning a kanji does not mean learning a word. Take , for instance. The kanji means “promise”, but the word means “about”.

Don’t forget that a kanji carries an idea but has no meaning by itself. Same goes for radicals, especially WK radicals. They aren’t words, they’re merely graphemes.


You can start here and here. You can also take a look at the WaniKani / API and Third-Party Apps category of the forums.

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I totally forgot about the radicals WK straight up makes up, like the one for “hick”. Now that i just dont understand.

For most radicals, the window where you might be confused is pretty small, since you’ll learn the kanji a few days later, assuming you’re doing your lessons regularly. There’s a couple exceptions, where the kanji comes many levels later…

After the mid-teens, a lot of the radicals are from kanji you’ve already learned, rather than vice versa.

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I’m too lazy to look for it (I just know @Leebo seemed frustrated to say the least), but in one of the endless complain-about-radicals threads Koichi explicitly states that they don’t go with the “official” radical names because it’s pointless and easy mnemonics are more important.

There aren’t enough kangxi radicals to make complete mnemonics out of them… So what else can you do if you want to make mnemonics?

Isn’t there also the issue that each kanji is traditionally only associated with one radical? I think I remember seeing you say something to that effect before anyway, @Leebo. If WK tried to tie them to other traditional radicals, that would possibly cause future confusion when trying to use a Japanese-only dictionary.

Yeah, that’s true but it’s not necessarily what prevents an “only kangxi radicals” list. Take 休
for example. In that, the radical is the left hand “ninben”, but " ki" can be a radical as well of course (when it appears in other kanji). But some of the parts aren’t ever kangxi radicals. Or kanji on their own.

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I think you actually want the Keisei script, @jprspereira always mixes up those two :wink:

It will show up on radical pages as well so you can directly see if it is also a kanji in WK. The main purpose of the script is however to show which kanji give you hints how to read them, so it is still possible that the script will just show “This radical is not considered a phonetic mark!” even if there is a kanji in WK (I don’t know if that actually happens).

Using the script is not so hard, you have to install the Tampermonkey browser extension/addon, and then click on the download link.

I don’t know if this was covered in the help pages, but also be careful when using Tampermonkey. It is not only useful for WK, you can find scripts for any webpage on sites like, but you don’t want to just use any random script you find on the internet :smile:.

When you install scripts, you are shown the script for a reason. At the very least look in the beginning that only @includes (places where the script is used) of the sites you expect are there, and not something like @include *:*.

Should be // @include or similar.


Damn… Sorry xD

Never noticed any problems with it since you’ve made it.

It may be a problem in the very beginning, the radicals get more like “you already know the kanji” on higher levels. But for example and kanji 入 are not linked by Keisei.

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There’s another reason to add the real meaning as a synonym to radicals. Because once you’ve learned the meaning of a kanji that looks exactly the same as a radical, you (or at least I) tend to forget the WK name of the radical.

Just today, I was given a review for the radical 文 which is from level 2 (9 levels ago for me). So I answered “writing”, since I had long since internalized the meaning of 文 as “writing”, and furthermore, I’ve long since learned the word for “doll” which is nothing like 文 (it’s 人形). So of course I got the big red WRONG sign, and I went back and added “writing” as a synonym.

I think Wanikani could benefit from a bit more consistency in regards to how radicals are named, because right now, some radicals-that-are-also-kanji share the meaning of the kanji (say 山 as an easy example) and others like 里 and 文 do not.


I also have found this practice annoying in several ways. After I learn the kanji, I forget about the mnemonic “meaning” (as pointed out above), and then always get it wrong when it comes up in my queue. It also means we have to learn two things when we could have just learned one. In some cases where the radical really looks distinctively like something I can understand the utility, but 里 hardly looks more like a sunflower than a home village.


Don’t think of a brain like a backpack. You don’t have limited “brain space”.

Having to learn two things is not a problem at all. It’s the contrary, in fact. It gives you more hooks to pull it up from your memory when you need it.