The radicals for 万


I’m getting better at kanji and vocab but radicals are still mysterious to me.

How come 万 use sword & leaf instead of power and ground?

1 Like

Wanikani has created their own set of radicals, excluding some traditional ones and including some new ones they created.
Their goal is to create memorable mnemonics to make sure you keep remembering the meaning and reading of a kanji.
Therefore, the radicals representing that kanji are sometimes mostly chosen to support the story.
I can assure you that this becomes no issue after the first few levels :wink:


If you’re expecting some kind of official explanation outside of “that’s what they decided to use for the mnemonic” there isn’t one. It’s not standardized like that. The indexing radical for 万 is 一, that is, if you used a Japanese paper dictionary to look up the kanji that’s the heading you’d find it under, but the other component is not 力, so that would be an equally arbitrary combination.


Ah so I could say that 万 is a combination of either sword & leaf, or power & ground.
And it doesn’t make any difference at so all.

If your purpose is to make mnemonics to remember the kanji by, then sure. As you learn more about Japanese and actually want to communicate ideas about kanji verbally in Japanese, then you would need to look into the ways that Japanese people discuss kanji. But for our purposes here, you shouldn’t feel restricted if a particular way of breaking a shape down makes sense to you.


This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.