Bushu - Radicals - Structures of Kanji and their variants

Announcement

Kanji are classified in dictionaries according to their main components. These components are called Radical (roots) in English and 部首 (bushu) in Japanese. Its original name in Japanese is composed with the Kanji meaning division, section, group and with kanji meaning head or neck.

Radicals are kanji or elements that are found in the structure of an ideogram. Many think that a kanji is made up of several radicals, to some extent, yes. However, each kanji has only one radical that is its head. This radical may or may not be related to the final meaning of the kanji word. Radicals are not named and not all have their own meaning, currently there are about 214 radicals.

How is a Kanji formed using Radicals? See below radicals being applied and forming different Kanji:

  • 時 - The root of this kanji is "sun" 日 - The meaning of Kanji is "time";
  • 詩 - The root of this kanji is “word” 言 - The meaning of kanji is “poetry, poem”;
  • 持 - The root of this kanji is "hand" 扌 - The meaning of the kanji is "to hold",

He noted that the hand stem 扌 is not the same as 手. This is because not all radicals are being used in the Japanese language, most are used only to form kanji. You should also know that Japanese is full of ideograms that have the same meaning.

Announcement

Classification of Radicals - Position

Radicals are usually classified by the position they are in kanji, knowing this position will facilitate their use.

Japanese Position
へん (hen) left side
つくり (tsukuri) right side
かんむり (kanmuri) on
あし (ashi) down
かまえ (kamae) surround the kanji from the outside in
たれ (tare) covers the kanji from top to bottom.
にょう (nyou) left side also encompassing the bottom part of the kanji.

The image below will show examples of kanji and the positions of their radicals.

Bushu - radicals - structures of kanji and their variants

What are the benefits of knowing the Japanese Radicals?

It is important to have knowledge of these elements that make up kanji, so that it is easier to find a particular kanji in a dictionary and even understand the essence of its meaning.

Another advantage is that over time, you will be able to identify meaning in the ideograms and will stop seeing only traces. Knowing these elements helps you remember kanji and its meaning.

Announcement

We know that several words in the Japanese language are kanji junction, for example: 手紙 (carta) it is the combination of the hand (手) and paper (紙) ideograms. The same thing happens with radicals. Here are some examples:

  • Kanji and Radical 木 (tree) can become 林 (forest) and 森 (forest);
  • Kanji and Radical 木 together with 几 (table) forms kanji 机 (desk / work table)

Imagine that you have found a kanji and do not know its meaning or how to search for it. You can use the radical search site jisho or from windows itself in a resource that calls IME Pad, which can be accessed by right clicking on the Japanese language keyboard icon in the windows bar.

Japanese Radical Table

Below is a table with the main radicals, the number of strokes, a meaning and their position in Japanese. Remembering that the meanings of the radicals are quite varied, do not get attached to it, it is only informative meaning.

Traces Radical Position Meaning Grades
1 a horizontal stroke
1 vertical stroke
1 Score
1 diagonal scan stroke
1 the second
1 the second variant of ⼄ (おつ)
1 vertical stroke with a hook
2 two
2 かんむり cover, top
2 person
2 person variant of ⼈ (ひ)) important
2 ? かんむり person variant of ⼈ (ひと)
2 human legs important
2 log in
2 eight
2 けいがまえ include
2 かんむり cover crown important
2 へん ice
2 table
2 かんむり wind variant of ⼏ (きにょう)
2 container, open box
2 knife and sword
2 つくり knife and sword variant of ⼑ (かた)) important
2 power
2 wrap up
2 つくり Spoon
2 box
2 はこがまえ hide, hide
2 ten
2 oracle
2 つくり stamp, a seal
2 cliff important
2 private, Katakana Mu
2 again, the right hand
3 mouth
3 くにがまえ border, territorial borders important
3 Earth
3 man scholar samurai
3 Next
3 あし Go slow
3 night
3 big big
3 woman
3 child, son
3 かんむり roof house important
3 inch (2.25 cm)
3 little
3 かんむり little variant of ⼩ (しょう)
3 つくり limping leg
3 たれ corpse awning
3 bud
3 Mountain
3 winding river
3 River variant of ⼮ (まがりがわ)
3 carpenter work skill
3 ego
3 cloth
3 drying shield
3 young, light
3 たれ sloping roof important
3 にょう to move, stretch
3 あし hands folded
3 dart
3 bow (in archery)
3 Pig's head
3 Pig's head variant of ⼹ (けいがしら)
3 Pig's head variant of ⼹ (けいがしら)
3 つくり hair-style, the rays of light
3 へん step, step, street, go important
3 かんむり grass variant of ⾋ (く)) important
3 にょう road, walk, forward variant of ⾡ (しんにょ iante) important
3 つくり village, country, town variant of ⾢ (む)) important
3 へん hill, mound variant of ⾩ (こざ)) important
3 かんむり Tsu katakana
3 へん heart, mind, spirit variant of ⼼ (ここ)) important
3 へん hand variant of ⼿ ()) important
3 へん Water variant of ⽔ (み)) important
3 へん beast variant of ⽝ (い)) important
4 heart, mind, spirit
4 あし heart, mind, spirit variant of ⼼ (こころ)
4 spear, weapon
4 door
4 ⼿ hand
4 branch
4 つくり activity, strike, hit
4 つくり activity, strike, hit variant of ⽁ (ぼくづく iante) important
4 literature, letters
4 つくり Big bear, shell, 18 liters
4 つくり Axe
4 direction flag
4 not
4 sun, day, hour
4 tell
4 moon, month, period
4 へん moon, month, period variant of ⽉ (つき)
4 tree wood
4 missing, yawn
4 to stop
4 death and dying, decompose
4 つくり boom shaft, action
4 no mother
4 to compare
4 hair
4 family clan
4 steam, air
4 Water
4 fire
4 あし fire variant of ⽕ ()) important
4 claw, nail
4 かんむり claw, nail variant of ⽖ (つめ)
4 かんむり claw, nail variant of ⽖ (つめ)
4 dad
4 mix
4 へん split wood
4 split wood
4 cow
4 dog
4 へん altar, festival, religious service variant of ⽰ (しめす)
4 liquid variant of ⽹ (あみ)
4 かんむり age, old age variant of ⽼ (おいかんむり)
5 darkness
5 jewels
5 roof tile
5 candy
5 birth, born, live
5 use
5 rice field
5 piece of fabric
5 へん piece of fabric variant of ⽦ (ひき)
5 たれ disease important
5 かんむり legs open, departure
5 White
5 hide
5 plate, bowl
5 eye
5 halberd
5 arrow
5 stone
5 altar, festival, religious service
5 footprint
5 へん grain important
5 hole cave
5 rest
5 Water variant of ⽔ (みず)
5 かんむり liquid variant of ⽹ (あみ)
5 ? liquid variant of ⽹ (あみ)
5 へん clothing variant of ⾐ (ころ)) important
5 not variant of ⽆ (むにょう)
6 bamboo
6 かんむり bamboo variant of ⽵ (た)) important
6 rice
6 thread
6 clay flask
6 liquid
6 sheep
6 sheep variant of ⽺ (ひつじ)
6 feather wing
6 feather wing variant of 羽 (はね)
6 age, old age
6 and also
6 へん plow
6 ⽿ ear
6 writing brush
6 meat, meats
6 retainer, minister
6 ego
6 to arrive
6 mortar, which
6 language
6 otherwise, make a mistake
6 ship, boat
6 limit
6 color
6 grass plant
6 かんむり tiger
6 worm, insect
6 blood
6 ぎょうがまえ go important
6 clothing
6 Tampa, west
6 Tampa, west variant of ⾑ (にし)
6 melon variant of ⽠ (うり)
7 to see
7 horn, corner
7 words, say, say
7 Valley
7 bean
7 pig
7 へん badger
7 shell, property, wealth
7 red
7 run
7 foot, leg
7 へん foot, leg variant of ⾜ (あ)) important
7 body
7 vehicle, wheel, car
7 bitter
7 zodiac sign Thursday, 7-9 AM
7 to move forward, move forward
7 community
7 Bird
7 to separate
7 villa, (km 3.93)
7 retainer, minister variant of ⾂ (しん)
7 wheat variant of ⿆ (む)) important
8 metal, gold, mineral
8 long
8 もんがまえ gate, door
8 hill
8 つくり capture
8 little bird
8 rain
8 かんむり rain variant of ⾬ (あ)) important
8 blue green
8 blue green variant of ⾭ (あお)
8 wrong, no
8 へん food, eat variant of ⾷ (しょく)
8 like variant of ⿑ (せい)
9 face surface
9 leather
9 leek
9 sound, noise
9 つくり head page important
9 wind
9 fly
9 food, eat
9 head
9 perfume
10 horse
10 bone
10 high
10 かんむり long hair
10 もんがまえ fight
10 ⾿ herbs
10 tripod
10 demon
10 leather variant of  (なめしがわ)
11 fish
11 Bird
11 salt
11 deer
11 wheat
11 hemp
11 yellow variant of ⿈ (き)
11 black variant of ⿊ (くろ)
11 turtle variant of ⿔ (かめ)
12 yellow
12 millet
12 black
12 embroider
12 tooth variant of ⿒ (は)
13 frog
13 tripod
13 drum
13 mouse mouse
14 nose
14 like
15 tooth
16 Dragon
16 turtle
17 flute