What's the difference between bushu and traditional radicals?
  • I've started to use a DS game called The Dokodemo Kanji Quiz to learn the radicals and what they are called. It was all going good until I suddenly noticed that a site called Kiki's Kanji Dictionary had the wrong radicals listed.

    For example, the game (and jisho.org) say the radical of 句 is 口. Kiki's site however claims the radical of 句 is tsutsumigamae (勹). (I found other kanji on the site which had the "wrong" radicals compared to the game and jisho.org).

    So before writing in and complaining, I decided to check wwwjdic if they had different radicals as well and indeed, it turned out wwwjdic lists two radicals! One bushu and one traditional radical. Of course, the bushu for 句 is 勹 while the traditional radical is 口. So now I'm confused, not only are there two "correct" radicals, different dictionaries use different radicals! That would mean learning radicals is basically useless since you can only learn them for some dictionaries and it won't help you find the kanji in others.

    Basically what I want to know is what is the difference between bushu and traditional radicals and which "style" is worth learning?
  • I need to verify, but it might be that the traditional one refers to the Kang Xi radicals. I would be sooner inclined to call 勹 the radical since all dictionaries I have place emphasis on starting on the left or the outside before moving right and to the inside.
  • The reason why kuchi should be the radical of 句 IMO is that one of the on'yomi readings of 口 is ク, which is also an on'yomi of 句.

    Maybe that is one of the differences between Kang Xi and this "other one".
  • I'm curious about this as my gut reaction is 'learning radicals is basically useless'. I've got a basic idea of what the radical should be, and a whole lot of avoidance strategies. If I'm using a computer, as I do mainly these days, then learning one reading is the quickest way to be able to enter any kanji I want into this site. With an electronic dictionary there isn't a cut and paste option, but my old one (before it broke) had a superjump function so I could (for example) jump from the English side of the dictionary.

    I suppose it might be useful to know the radicals if I was forced to only use a paper dictionary, which I haven't for a long time (maybe in an exam). Even then, if I knew one reading I think that would get me there just as quickly (with the admittedly rather basic Nelson dictionary I remember using). Finally, in a worst case scenario, I could try one possible radical option, then another. If none of that worked I could give up and ask a teacher or someone suitable next time I saw them.

    This is basically how I've learnt kanji up to now, and I haven't spent very long bothering various teachers. For me radicals are like stroke order, something that you get a basic idea of, but something that seems (to me, again) like a waste of time to spend too much time memorising. Instead I've focussed on memorising readings. I'm not saying it's the only way, but depending on your circumstances, it might be an option.
  • Well, my main reason for studying radicals is for situations where several kanji are identical except for one part (which is usually the radical), knowing the radical makes writing those kanji much easier. For example 侍持待恃.

    Edit: And of course, knowing the radicals and especially their names is just cool for someone with academic interest in the japanese language ^^
  • In the example you give, I'd agree it's useful to focus on what's different (which just happens to be the radical). And I'm certainly not denying it's useful to know that they mean 'man', 'hand', 'heart' and so on (this kind of thing helped me a lot to learn kanji). It's just that when you get to examples where the radical is ambiguous that it got frustrating for me to use it as a look-up method.

    But everyone has different interests, so keep doing what you want to do.

    I should probably make more effort to learn the names of the common radicals... Quite a nice link here for anyone else who's interested:

    http://japanese.about.com/library/weekly/aa070101a.htm
  • Ok, so my Learner's Kanji gives 口 for 句.
    So does my New Nelson. My Canon Wordtank G55 as well.
    Looking at the Unihan database at Unicode.org I only see 口 for 句.

    I seriously am wondering where they are pulling this idea of 勹 from on kikki's site. Even the original kang xi zi dian has 口 (http://www.kangxizidian.com/ -> 原圖掃描版 -> select radical you want).
  • Posted By: asmodai
    [p]Ok, so my Learner's Kanji gives 口 for 句.
    So does my New Nelson. My Canon Wordtank G55 as well.
    Looking at the Unihan database at Unicode.org I only see 口 for 句.[/p][p]I seriously am wondering where they are pulling this idea of 勹 from on kikki's site. Even the original kang xi zi dian has 口 (http://www.kangxizidian.com/-> 原圖掃描版 -> select radical you want).[/p][span class=CommentSignature]Yes, I am a bluntly honest type.[/span]

    Well, like I said in the first post, Jim Breens wwwjdic has two fields for radicals, bushu and traditional, one says 20 the other says 30, and according to most radical lists, 20 is 勹 and 30 is 口.

    Now, like I said, I'm not certain what wwwjdic's "bushu" actually means (I'm thinking maybe Nelson since jisho.org also lists 20 and 30 on that kanji and 20 is listed as Nelson).

    You're saying your "New Nelson" says the radical for 句 is 口, maybe regular Nelson did not have the same radical categorization?
  • From http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/kanjidic2/kanjidic2_ov.html

    the radical.
    [li]classical - as recorded in the KangXi Zidian.[/li]
    [li]nelson - as used in the Nelson "Modern Japanese-English Character Dictionary" (i.e. the Classic, not the New Nelson). This will only be used where Nelson reclassified the kanji.[/li]
  • Posted By: asmodai
    [p]Fromhttp://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/kanjidic2/kanjidic2_ov.html[/p][p]the radical.[/p][ol][li]classical - as recorded in the KangXi Zidian.[/li][li]nelson - as used in the Nelson "Modern Japanese-English Character Dictionary" (i.e. the Classic, not the New Nelson). This will only be used where Nelson reclassified the kanji.[/li][/ol][span class=CommentSignature]Yes, I am a bluntly honest type.[/span]

    Oh, then that sort of explains it. I take it learning the KangXi is more useful then (at least at this point in time)?
  • Almost all dictionaries I've encountered, with exception to the 79 radical method in Learner's Kanji, use the 214 Kang Xi radical method.

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