Vines radical stroke order (収 and 叫 + others)

So since the stroke order for vines is different depending on the kanji it’s in (収 being the long one first and taking either two or three strokes while the other 叫 starts with the short one and takes three) are they actually the same radical? Perhaps if it appears on the left side of the kanji it starts with the long stroke and it if appears on the right it starts with the short stroke? In the end like with cases of 心 必 and 右 左 I’ll probably just continue ignoring the official stroke order and do what makes sense to me but this time I thought it might be worth asking why.

If you’re going to talk about “are they actually the same” then I assume you’re imagining stepping out of the world of WaniKani’s “fake radicals” and into actually how the kanji are composed?

Once you do that, you have the fact that the part you’re talking about isn’t actually a radical in either of those kanji, in a strict sense. The radical in 収 is 又 and the radical in 叫 is 口, so they can’t be “the same radical”, because it’s not a radical in either case.

But they are the same… component, or whatever you want to call it, if you trace them back to the roots of the kanji.

This is 収 in small seal script


And this is 叫 in small seal script


So you can see the left side of 収 and the right side of 叫 are the same component.

However, it’s actually quite common for a radical or a component to change shape or stroke order depending on its placement in a kanji, so they could be “different” and “the same” at the same time, in some sense.


Yeah I was wondering what you call it if it’s not a radical.

1 Like

Someone (the writer of Remembering the Kanji, James Heisig, I believe) said ‘primitives’ is the general word. However, when I check the translations of the two Chinese terms I know, they’re both translated as ‘radicals’. The Japanese terms are a little more specific about position, but they’re still translated as different types of ‘radicals’. Here’s what I found:

  • The kind of radical we usually think about, the one used to classify kanji in dictionaries, is called 部首(ぶしゅ). Kinda logical if you think about it as 部の首(ぶのしゅ) i.e. the first of the parts.
  • 偏旁(へんぼう) is the general term for the most common types of radicals: the ones that appear on the left side or the right side of the character. They’re split into 偏(へん), the left-hand radicals and 旁(つくり), the right-hand radicals. There are other types of radicals like 冠(かむり・かんむり), which are the sort that go on top, like 宀.

In summary, in English, everything is a ‘radical’, unless you want to use James Heisig’s term, ‘primitive’. In Japanese, 部首 is the ‘classifying radical’, while 偏旁 is probably the most general common term possible referring to radicals regardless of whether they’re used for classification or not. In Chinese, the general term for all radicals is 偏旁部首, with the other types of radicals being included by default even if they’re not listed. In Japanese, 偏旁 can be expanded into 偏旁冠脚(へんぼうかんきゃく). Both are considered to include all radical types in common usage, although 偏旁 technically only includes certain types.

I don’t know much about Japanese stroke order (I learnt kanji as a Chinese speaker), but I believe the answer to this lies in calligraphy. In Chinese, in their standard forms(楷書=かいしょ in Japanese), these two kanji are written as 收 and 叫, and in both cases, 丩is written from left to right, with the short vertical stroke first. (I understand that in Japanese, for 叫, there are three strokes in丩because the horizontal one is extended, but in Chinese, both are written, if you will, as ‘L I’, in that order.) However, in the semi-cursive form (行書=ぎょうしょ in Japanese), 收 becomes 収: in order to go faster, the horizontal stroke on the left is connected to the horizontal stroke on the right. It looks like this:
Optionally, the two crossed diagonal strokes can be connected by forming a loop, like this:
In essence, the stroke order for 叫 is based on the traditional 楷書 form, whereas the stroke order for 収 is based on the 行書 form.

Some stroke order differences can’t be easily explained using calligraphy: I’m still not sure why traditional Chinese and Japanese use different orders for 飛, and the Japanese stroke order doesn’t match their stroke order for 升, but perhaps Japanese calligraphers found it easier to maintain the correct proportions by writing the vertical stroke before the the second 飞.

1 Like

That just looks like ね :joy:

1 Like

Hahaha. 又 isn’t the only thing that gets abbreviated as a loop, and the hiragana are all based on 草書(そうしょ), the kanji cursive form (one level up in messiness from 行書). I had to go look up the original kanji for ね because it had been so long I’d forgotten: it’s 祢 (and it doesn’t have the little hook in the top right in Japanese). You can take a look at this (from Wikipedia):
Some of the hiragana are standard cursive shorthand in Chinese. Others are simplified forms of already simplified cursive forms. Either way, I think they were pretty inventive to come up with the kana system. For ね, 礻becomes a vertical stroke plus a warped Z. The 小 becomes a vertical stroke with a loop (because it’s centre, then left, then right), and that vertical stroke leans over so it can be connected directly to the 𠂉, which is simplified into a 一. So the stroke order is ‘I Z – I loop’=ね. That’s calligraphy. :stuck_out_tongue:

1 Like

Oh my god, they got ya yi yu ye yo. wa wi we wo too! Wu is missing though, was it never needed?

Not sure. Probably just sounded too much like う, so no one ever used it. It apparently didn’t exist in Old Japanese either, whereas yi and ye just vanished or merged with other sounds. I don’t know the specifics though. I’m no Old Japanese (古文) expert. I was stuck on a 20-30 character quote from a Japanese poet the other day. If you know a lot of Chinese, including rare/literary words, you probably can read a decent amount of Classical Chinese. 古文 though… the grammar is different, and some sentence structure is too. I admire Japanese students who take it and master it. I wonder whether or not it’s a compulsory subject…

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