On this website of mine you can search Kanji by entering their Wanikani (or RTK) radical names:
There are currently ~3100 Kanji searchable by radicals, and i’m continually adding more.
Try it for yourself:
The website is free and open source, hosted on github pages:
Enter Wanikani radicals, separated by spaces to search. No need to press enter or click Search.
If the radical occurs multiple times, add the number to its name.
Press the clipboard () button to copy a Kanji to the clipboard
Press the WK button to see the kanji on Wanikani (if it’s not on WK, it will be greyed out)
If there are no search results, first check for typos and the exact Wanikani radical name.
Then try using other or simpler radicals.
If the radicals were correct, either the kanji is missing info on my end or it doesn’t exist at all in my data (yet!).
You can use traditional methods to find your kanji, like by handwriting (jisho.org), then tell me and i’ll try to fix/add it.
You can also write me a mail: a link with a mail template will appear on unsuccessful queries.
Enter the kanji in the search box to see if it’s findable:
If you want to use this offline, go to the offline branch or releases page and download it. The offline branch is usually slightly outdated, see the Current State section to see which version it is synced with, or this github issue. Will be updated periodically.
- To download the (offline) branch version, Press Code → Download ZIP, extract the ZIP file you downloaded to a folder, go to that folder, open the index.html
- To download the release, click on Assets and download the zip with the version number. The release may be outdated compared to the branch though.
- Add more Kanji - feel free to suggest in this thread
- Integrated Dictionary - if only as an embedded Jisho.org window (can configure search site in settings)
- Settings window - Change all kinds of settings like number of search results shown, used dictionary page, etc. - Open in a new window, so that the main page isn’t cluttered. (a few checkboxes like RTK mode on main page are fine)
Automatically check if a Kanji is on WK, cross WK out if not
Add RTK search mode (so you can use RTK names, like rice field instead of rice paddy)
Replace RTK kanji names with WK kanji names (in WK mode)
- Add visual radical selection which filters on the results, like here (visual multiradical search)
- Improve layout, add dark mode (semi-low priority)
- Import function for radical/kanji synonyms, so you can use your own synonyms
- Add most-requested and most useful improvements suggested in this thread
The implementation is based on rtk-search by Học hành / Mạnh Tài, which did the same thing for RTK “radicals” (which are called primitives or elements there):
It only had element info for the ~2200 RTK1 kanji though. The RTK3 kanji were there but without elements, thus unsearchable.
Unfortunately the original repository isn’t available anymore because of issues with copyright from the RTK book. I’ve removed the original RTK texts from the book in my version.
My Readme has more technical details. The main search engine is lunr, a search indexer.
- WTK can translate WK radical names to RTK element names. Sometimes there are two possibilities, e.g. the WK radical “spirit” can be “cloak” or “altar” in RTK, because RTK makes finer differences in what exact shape and strokes the ‘radical’ is. WTK searches for all RTK equivalents. (most are 1:1, but some radicals like spirit have 2 or 3 possibilities)
To see the replacements, open the browser console. This is what is sent to rtk-search, mostly.
- WTK adds the WK and clipboard buttons
- WTK tries to have a more compact layout maximizing the space for search results.
- WTK is constantly getting more kanji, features and fixes, rtk-search seems abandoned.
- The rest (round about) is all rtk-search (original 3030 kanji, 2200 of which with radical/element data, search engine), i.e. code and data written by my predecessor Học hành, which i’m gratefully and humbly adapting and expanding for WK
First of all, Wanikani itself can search by radical, but you can only enter one radical at a time. Also, Wanikani only has 2055 kanji, this has 3000+.
Try searching for a kanji with the rice paddy radical on WK. Good luck!
I originally proposed this tool here, where i also explain what i want to improve about other multi-radical search tools.
Of course you don’t need kanji search when you’re reading plain text (e.g. websites), you could just copy the character.
But if you only have a picture or video (e.g. physical books, films or games), and you need to look up a kanji from it, you need to go from visuals alone.
You can also search a kanji by handwriting of course and have it optically detected by whatever software, but even if it weren’t unreliable, it’s still much more effort and annoyance to me than typing.
Personally, i like to watch videos and play video games for practice (i do read as well), and especially in video games, you constantly encounter kanji that you can’t copy by text.
There are optical recognition tools like Textractor (complicated to set up, mostly for visual novels) and recently game2text (which i’ve yet to try), but they can be unreliable and tiresome to use.
For me, the fastest way to look up a kanji visually is this website. At least if the kanji is in the data. All you need is to have the WK (or RTK) radicals memorized.
I admit that makes this less useful for WK users on early levels, but you can always use more primitive radicals, e.g. ‘evening cow’ instead of ‘dance’.
Once again thanks to Học hành for the original RTK version and the code I could base this on.
Tell me in this thread if there’s kanji you can’t find or radicals not recognized, i’ll try to add or fix them. Feedback appreciated!