Tools to learn to distinguish multiple radical patterns

First time using this community forum, so i apologize for any mistakes, etc. (How i got to level 47 without doing it is another story.)

As i have progressed in Wanikani, i have become aware that my discrimination of certain kanji is still weak, particularly when there are 3 or more radical involved. When it is only two radicals, i can put the similar kanji side by side and work on distinguishing the different meanings, phonetics, etc. However, when the patterns involve two or more radicals in the same position, only differentiated by a third radical, it is more difficult in Wanikani (or any other tool i’ve investigated) to isolate them and put them side by side. Sometimes, it’s possible, of course, as in the attachment, but in other cases, the similar kanji are lost in a maze of many others that i can collect using Wanikani to list by a single radical. (I’ve tried a couple user scripts i’ve seen but none seem to fit the bill. Multiple web searches have also not indicated any approaches like this.)

So, my question is, Has anyone (either in Wanikani or elsewhere — though WK seems the best bet) come up with a tool to do this?

thanks in advance


Have you tried writing them down and brute forcing them into your head? That’s pretty much what I’ve done for kanji which have resembled each other. (Currently a second year Japanese language student at University)

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Thanks, Shhutainzu. Yes, i also study calligraphy and use that approach, too. However, the beauty of Wanikani is its learning automation and it would be nice to have a script that fits the discrimination right into the online WK learning process. However, if i need to keep doing that, it will be fine. …

You could use the self study script and the filter for visually similar kanji. That would let you review the similar kanji. There is no SRS though.

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There’s a large portion of kanji that fall in the Semantic-Phonetic Component kind of kanji (one kanji in charge of the meaning of the compound and the other part accounts for the reading).
For those the Keisei Phonetic-Semantic component script is one of the best tools. You’ll see kanji sharing the same phonetic component, and that can really make wonders as to classify them into something more digestable.


Thanks. I have incorporated this user script and although it doesn’t quite do what i was looking for, it is certainly helpful in other respects, and it does fulfill the ‘user requirement’ of fitting into WK’s overall process.

Thanks. I’ll try it.

Mmm… I use the Keisei script because it’s easier to put some logic to the similar kanji, but in any case you can go to one of the main resources for the script:

There you can do an specific search:
lets say you want the Kanji using these three radicals: 白阝氵

Then you get a super narrow result: 𣾂 ; 𣶊

Maybe this gets you closer to what you’re looking for :slightly_smiling_face:

Since you find it easier to distinguish different kanji that only share one radical, you could think of the 卆 part as a single radical instead of two. Maybe call it “ninety”. Maybe that doesn’t help at all in this case but I wanted to share that point of view.

Thanks. Of course, in my mind, i do routines like this to help me remember, but the automation with side-by-side result, including kanji, meaning, kunyomi and onyomi, is what i was hoping to find.

I did a little experimenting on and found that it does do one part of what i’m looking for, i.e., it allows one to put together two or more radicals into a similarly structured set and this set can be used to list many cases of the use of this set in various kanji. The ‘only’ issue is that it doesn’t have the convenience of 1) being integrated with and restricted to WK’s kanji set; and 2) providing meaning (in english), kunyomi and onyomi. It does, however, leave me feeling more optimistic that programming is available and also that my idea is completely crazy! Thanks for the lead, which i’m sure will be even more useful as i learn more kanji.

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“NOT completely crazy” ; -)

:sweat_smile: … actually that’s the part that lead me to use it in the first place; I started to search something to replace the Keisei script to keep consulting phonetic-semantic compound kanji after I’m done with WK, since you loose all functionality (scripts included) if you stop your suscription (a bit of a cold shoulder reward for reaching level 60 imho :man_shrugging: )

Thanks for the warning ; -)

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