Why radical and kanji not the same?

Sometimes I don’t understand the logic of some of the radicals. Using the latest I’ve come across as an example is the shop radical that appears in lesson 42 屋. Confusingly this character was already introduced as a kanji meaning roof with a kun reading of や and an ON reading of オク . There are lots of vocab with the kanji yet the radical is used in just one kanji (with ON reading オク) Why not just align the meaning of the radical and kanji to both mean roof? Or actually why bother having a radical at all as I don’t see the advantage at all if it is only used in one kanji, isn’t it more work to have to learn two things (especially if one already “means” roof in my head)? Seems odd to me. There are other similar cases I’ve come across but can’t bring them to mind.

They are aligned in the sense that they are both “shop” but they only list one name for a radical, not all possible meanings.

You’re welcome to email them a suggestion about it (or chat to them about if when chat is available) and see what they say, but I don’t think there’s a deep meaning to it.


Doesn’t the kanji also mean shop though? Since that’s what I usually enter for this kanji. There are also quite a number of vocab items using it as shop (e.g 肉屋, 魚屋, or just plain ~屋, and a few more).

I assume if it’s confusing you could just add a user synonym adding roof to the list. But since the primary use of the radicals is mnemonics, I think having multiple significantly different meanings would just make those harder.


There are a few words where I learned the kanji and/or radial elsewhere with my own mnemonic device, so I put them in as synonyms. There’s no point in learning a different mnemonic if you already have one in your head that sticks! I would suggest if you have to mess with one, pick the radical. And if you mess with the kanji, make sure you reference a kanji dictionary to make sure your additional synonym is okay.

In the case of 屋 as long as you can make the stretch between store and roof, you’re good. Sometimes the mnemonic stories they give you just don’t cut it; but something that you come up with yourself is going to be much more memorable.


Don’t forget yorozuya Gin-chan! ^>^

But yeah, I thought it also meant “shop” and that’s what I’m associating with that kanji (plus roof I guess ^^ ).


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