The 'spirit' radical ネ

I am learning to write kanji as I learn to recognize them on Wanikani. One thing that really causes me trouble is radicals that are a little different in different kanji. Especially the radical ネ (“spirit”).

In some kanji this radical appears like this (4 strokes):

But in others it looks like this (5 strokes):

Does anyone have any tips for remembering which form goes with which kanji? Is there a pattern here? Or should I think of it as two different radicals?

福:⺭is the so-called “spirit” radical, which in fact the left-compressed version of the altar radical (altar=“jackhammer” in WK radical naming convention).
被: this is the “cloth” radical, with the additional stroke. In reality, ⻂is the left-compression variation of ⾐. WK chose to skip the distinction.

cf, any resource about sinogram radicals, such as:⽰


Yeah, the 4 stroke version is seen in things related to religion, spirituality, etc. The 5 stroke version is in things related to cloth, clothing, etc.


That makes much more sense! It’s great to have names for them at least so I can make my own mnemonics. Strange for WaniKani not to distinguish them, but I guess if you only need to recognize the kanji and not write them it’s not a big deal.


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