Tent Radical in Festival?

I was wondering why 癶 is listed as a radical for 祭?

The top portion of 祭 looked different to me, and the internet seems to confirm that they are completely unrelated to each other. The top portion of 祭 being derived from the Chinese glyphs for meat and hand, and bottom part being the Chinese glyph for “alter,” this carrying the meaning of a festival where meat is sacrificed at the alter.


So, it’s actually 3 existing “WaniKani radicals”: Evening, Stool, and Jackhammer.

癶 seems to be something totally different, I don’t see it even mentioned here: 祭 - ウィクショナリー日本語版

I understand that WaniKani frequently makes up meanings for the radicals, but I wasn’t aware that the radicals are also being creatively applied to random kanji that have somewhat similar appearances. Is this common and something I should be aware of going forward, or is there something else that I’m missing?



Yes, I’ve seen it a few times here and there, though not as extreme as this example. Usually it’s a little dot or small line here and there. I’m pretty sure this is the worst it’s going to get.
I think it’s ok as there is no kanji that has the 癶 used in the same way anyway. Therefore, confusing the two is not too much of an issue. Furthermore, using the tent radical in the festival kanji just kind of makes sense from a teaching point of view.
I understand though that this can make it quite confusing if you want to produce kanji in writing, instead of reading kanji and translating it to English.


I don’t have any specific examples, but I’ve definitely seen these things discussed on the forums before. I think the point, especially from a kanji recognition perspective, is just to get you to remember the general shape of the kanji using something that’s already familiar instead of creating a whole new radical for just one or two kanji in the WK system.

I can think of one other kanji that has a similar arrangement of components and which might have been thrown into the same category if it were on WK, but I think it’s really rare in Japanese, and so it hasn’t been included. It’s common in Chinese though:
If you look closely, you can see that the bits are the top are different from everything else we’ve mentioned in this thread, but from afar, they seem very similar too what’s on top on 祭.

In any case, @vol2, don’t worry too much about all these things. It doesn’t happen that often on WK, I believe. I also don’t know of any minimal pairs of kanji that get differentiated based on whether 癶 or 月+又 are used anyway, so it won’t cause you any trouble unless you actually want to be able to write kanji by hand.

PS: Wiktionary claims that the upper components of 祭 may be ‘corrupted’ into 癶 in calligraphy or handwriting. I personally have never seen that happen as a Chinese speaker, but perhaps I’m just ignorant and it’s actually common. Anyhow, if that’s true, then that’s another reason not to worry too much about this technically incorrect overlap. I’m very hard on myself when it comes to writing kanji correctly because I’m a Chinese speaker, but I don’t think anyone who doesn’t want or need to write kanji has to follow the same standards, so how much priority you attribute to this is up to you.


I mostly meant with the same radical at the bottom

So… other kanji with 示 at the bottom and something on top? (Sorry, I’m a little confused. :sweat_smile:)

I meant there is no kanji with 癶 at the top and 示 at the bottom that could be confused with 祭


Ah, OK. I get it now. Yes, very true.

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If you type in Festival on Jisho.org it shows the kanji, go to links, show kanji details and there it show the kanji parts (radicals) the radical shown is different to the actual part of the Kanji . I may not have explained this very well, just take a look you will see what I mean.

Thanks the the replies. Okay, I’ll watch out for things that look different from now on, but it’s good to hear that it isn’t very common. Not that I’m looking to become some kind of Japanese etymology expert or something, but I think it’s easier to recall the radicals when they actually use the radicals they already introduced.

Just FYI, these radicals are all already on WaniKani.

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Yeah, I understand.

Not quite, though I saw the breakdown in Japanese you quoted: 夕 and 月 are related, but in this case, there’s an extra stroke which makes it look more like 月 on its side, meaning it’s not exactly ‘Evening’. However, it might have been easier to attempt a breakdown using those WK radicals since the current WK breakdown doesn’t match existing WK radicals exactly either, so I understand if that’s what you’re getting at.

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I’m not expecting them to change anything, this was really more about clarification on what I can expect.

However, to be fair, there are plenty of situations where the radicals are altered from their original appearance. Like, almost all of them are a little different in some way, and when they are very different, they say “this one is altered a little bit so watch out for it” or something like that.

This is the first time I’ve encountered it where they just used a totally different radical than what is there in the kanji, and I wanted to know if that was going to be commonplace from here on out. I’m new to learning kanji, and only on level 9, so I’m taking this all as it comes.

Thanks for the explanation

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WaniKani: Teaches 口 and 止 as radicals

Also WaniKani日本?: Uses 足 radical for 路

(╯‵□′)╯︵┻━┻ (⊙_⊙)?


Sort of makes sense to have foot in the mnemonic for road instead of making something from mouth stop winter mouth. You could always make your own mnemonic with those radicals tho.

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That’s what it is though…?

People complain about the “fake” radicals and people complain about the “real” radicals.


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