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Lesson Transcript

Hi everyone.
Welcome to the Japanese Kanji video series.
In this lesson, you'll learn the woman radical.
Kanji Series
Lesson 03:
The Woman Radical
Take a look at these kanji characters. Can you guess what they mean?
(pause for 4 seconds)
By the end of this lesson, you'll be able to grasp the meaning behind these kanji characters.
First off, can you spot the radical in all of these kanji characters?
(pause for 4 seconds)
It's this part here.
This particular radical is called...
おんなへん
It's otherwise known as the "woman radical" and it's used in some of the most common of all kanji. Let's take a look at it in more detail.
Meaning
In the previous lesson, you learned that some radicals can be a kanji character all on their own.
This radical is one such example.
The meaning behind this particular kanji, means "woman" or "feminine."
In the previous lesson, you learned that we can deduce the meaning of kanji characters by identifying the radicals in them. These characters all have the "woman" radical, so we know that the meaning of each kanji character here, must relate to "woman" or "feminine" in some way.
From left to right, the second kanji means "like," the third means "older sister," and the fourth means "younger sister."
The second kanji has the "woman" radical paired with this second character meaning "child."
Traditionally, it's *desirable* that a woman bears a child, as it's an extra pair of hands to help the community.
This desirability is expressed in this kanji, and so the meaning of this character is "like."
The third example has the "woman" radical paired with the character for "small city."
A woman going to the city, where most markets are, is traditionally the job of the older sister, and so the meaning of this kanji means "older sister."
The last kanji has the woman radical paired with another radical which means "not yet."
Someone who is "not yet a woman" alludes to a young woman, hence the meaning of "younger sister."
Can you see how the meaning all of these kanji characters, which use the "woman" radical, relate to "woman" or "feminine" in some way? By identifying the radicals in kanji, we can figure out the meaning of the character itself.
Common positions
The woman radical most commonly appears in the left position, as can be seen in the original examples. Of all the kanji that use the woman radical, this is where you'll most likely encounter them. So keep your eyes peeled!
Sometimes, you may find it at the bottom position, known as the "foot" position, as seen in *these* examples, though this is far less common.
Just remember the left and foot positions, and you'll be able to identify the "woman" radical.
Okay. Now let's learn how to write this radical.
Stroke Order
Writing the "woman" radical is very simple, there are only three strokes.
The first stroke, starts from the upper center and then curves down to the left where it bends and goes all the way to the right.
The second stroke, is a horizontal line going from the top left to the top right.
The third and final stroke, starts under the horizontal line and curves from right to left.
The same thing happens when it's in the "foot" position -- except that it's squished vertically.
And that's it! You're done!
Common Readings
In the previous lesson, you learned that there are multiple readings for a kanji character, and which reading you use is mainly based on context.
The different types of readings can be broken down into two categories: on and kun readings. The on reading mimics the Chinese pronunciation, while the kun reading is the revised Japanese version.
The on reading is usually used in compound kanji words.
Whereas the kun reading is more commonly used in stand-alone kanji, or kanji that has dangling hiragana characters.
When the woman radical is on its own, it can be read as...
ジョ for the on reading
and おんな for the kun reading
In the case of the original examples, common readings are...
コウ、この、す
For the kanji meaning "like"
シ、あね、ねえ
For the kanji meaning "older sister." And...
マイ、いもうと
for the kanji meaning "younger sister."
Lesson Review
In this lesson, you learned about the "woman" radical.
The idea behind this radical is "woman" or "feminine."
You also learned the kanji characters for "woman," "like," "older sister," and "younger sister," in which this radical appears.
It’s most commonly found in the left position, making it appear like *this*.
And it's written with three strokes — one bent stroke, one horizontal stroke, and one final curved stroke.
In the next lesson, you'll learn about another common radical used in some of the most common and basic kanji characters, the "legs" radical.
See you in the next lesson. Bye!
Bye~!

Kanji

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8 Comments

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JapanesePod101.com
Friday at 6:30 pm
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Do you know any other kanji with the Woman Radical 女?

Samuel C
March 29th, 2017 at 11:48 pm
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こんにちわ!

does the furigana used to describe (On) Kanji always use Katakana? and the (kun) kanji always use hiragana?

thank you :laughing:

March 26th, 2017 at 11:53 am
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Askaさん、
Konnichiwa.
Thank you for you comment. 😄
Yuki 由紀
Team JapanesePod101.com

Aska
March 23rd, 2017 at 4:22 pm
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Risa’s English is so cute!!! :heart: I keep hearing ‘the woman Let it go’ instead of ‘the woman radical’ :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

August 5th, 2016 at 4:29 pm
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Hi Mafalda,

Thank you for askiong. If you haven’t checked this page, I’d like to recommend you to check our Japanese resources - Learn Kanji page https://www.japanesepod101.com/japanese-kanji/

It will show you how to write some of the basic Kanji and their strokes, therefore, you can get the idea of making strokes correctly to other Kanji as well.

The very basic rule is to make it from left to right, and top to bottom.

Thank you,
Jae
Team JapanesePod101.com

July 25th, 2016 at 8:42 am
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Nadyaさん、
こんにちは。 :smile:
Yes, that is good.
Yuki  由紀
Team JapanesePod101.com

Mafalda
July 19th, 2016 at 1:38 am
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こんばんわ

Would it be possible to add the stroke order for the compounded kanjis as well or maybe i missed a resource? It is not very clear what the stroke order for the “child”, “market” and “not yet” kanji are. I think only the “child” kanji is found in the “learn kanji” section of the site right now.

ありがとう ございます。

マファルダ

Nadya
July 13th, 2016 at 12:32 am
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what about 彼女 (she) :grin: