Lesson Notes

Unlock In-Depth Explanations & Exclusive Takeaways with Printable Lesson Notes

Unlock Lesson Notes and Transcripts for every single lesson. Sign Up for a Free Lifetime Account and Get 7 Days of Premium Access.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?

Lesson Transcript

Hi everyone.
Welcome to the Japanese Kanji video series.
In this lesson, you'll learn the "wood" radical.
Take a look at these kanji characters. Can you guess what they mean?
By the end of this lesson, you'll be able to grasp the meaning behind these kanji characters.
木, 机, 村, 林
First off, can you spot the radical in all of these kanji characters?
It's this part here.
This particular radical is called…
When it's used on the left side as in the other three examples, it's specifically called きへん, because へん means "left-position" radical.
The "wood" radical is used in some of the most common kanji characters. Let's take a look at it in more detail.
The meaning behind this particular kanji is "tree, wood."
When this radical appears as a part of another kanji, like in these examples, the appearance changes slightly. When it's a component like this, it adds the meaning of "tree, wood" to the entire kanji character.
木, 机, 村, 林
From left to right, the first kanji means "tree, wood," the second means "desk, table" the third character means "village, town" and fourth character means "grove, forest."
This radical is a kanji by itself, as seen in the first example.
2. 机
The second kanji has the "wood" radical, paired with this second character 几.
Here's an easy way to remember this: Think of this kanji character, 几, as a big board. So the "wood" radical and this character to the right 几, together, they mean "desk, or table."
3. 村
The third kanji means "village, town."
4. 林
The last kanji has two "wood" radicals next to each other and means "grove, forest."
You could think of this in this way: trees following one after another. It's exactly a "grove."
For more ways to remember these characters and many more kanji examples that include the "wood" radical, go to JapanesePod101.com and check the Lesson Notes PDF.
OK. Let's move on!
Common positions
The "wood" radical has more than one common positions. If it sits in the left-position it connects with another radical to the right of it.
As seen in the original examples for "desk, table," "village, town" and "grove, forest."
In this case the “wood” radical is squished vertically.
Sometimes, you may find it at the top-position, known as the "crown-position" as seen in this example.
In the previous original example we saw that two "wood" radicals following one after another meant "grove." Now adding one more "wood" radical in this kanji results the meaning "forest, woods." Here the "wood" radical shrinks in size.
Okay. Now let's learn how to write this radical.
Stroke Order
The "wood" radical is very simple, there are only four strokes.
When the radical is on its own, it looks like this:
The first stroke is a horizontal stroke from left to right.
The second is a long vertical stroke, beginning above our first stroke.
Our third stroke starts at the intersection of our first two strokes and goes diagonally down from right to left.
And our final stroke starts again at this intersection, but goes diagonally down from left to right.
When it sits in the left-position, the stroke order is the same as when the kanji is on its own. The big difference is that we make the horizontal and the diagonal strokes shorter. And when it's in the the "crown-position," it shrinks in size.
And that's it! You're done!
Common Readings
When the "wood" radical is on its own, the kanji can be read as...
And when the "wood" radical is a part of another kanji...
for the kanji meaning "desk, table."
for the "village, town" kanji. And...
for the "grove, forest" kanji.
Lesson Review
In this lesson, you learned about the "wood" radical.
You also learned the kanji characters for "desk, table," "village, town," and "grove, forest," in which this radical appears.
It's most commonly found in the left-position, making it appear like this 木.
And it's written with four strokes, starting with a horizontal line, a vertical line going through the first stroke, and then two diagonal lines starting from the intersection.
In the next lesson, you'll learn about another common radical used in some of the most common and basic kanji characters, the "water" radical.
See you in the next lesson. Bye!


Review & Remember All Kanji from this Lesson

Get complete breakdowns, review with quizzes and download printable practice sheets! Sign up for your Free Lifetime Account Now and get 7 Days of Premium Access including this feature.

Or sign up using Facebook
Already a Member?


Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

JapanesePod101.com Verified
August 25th, 2017 at 06:30 PM
Pinned Comment
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Do you know any other kanji with the Wood Radical 木?
Click here to download the FREE Kanji e-book
Click here to buy the Full Version Kanji e-book

JapanesePod101.com Verified
August 16th, 2020 at 05:33 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Yuqui,

Thank you for posting!

As you say, it would be helpful if you know the meanings of the other radicals of the example kanji.

Unfortunately, however, not all the radicals have certain meanings.

And not all the kanji have simple structure in their meanings.

The kanji 林, for example, made of 木 and 木 means grove. It's very simple and easy.

But 村, meaning village, is made of 木 and 寸, which means unit of length.

You won't understand why "wood" and "unit of length" make the meaning village.

This kanji originally came from the sound 寸, not from their radicals meanings.

That's why we don't tell all the radicals' meanings not to make you confused☺️

Let us know if you have any question:)



Team JapanesePod101.com

August 10th, 2020 at 01:53 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello! I really enjoy JapanesePod101, but i find it very unhelpful that Alisha and Risa don't tell us what the other radicals in the example kanji mean. My friend had a friend who was studying Chinese and he made up all of these pictures that the kanji look like and eventually he forgot them. But my friend remembered the kanji based on Chinese culture and meaning of the kanji and it stuck in her brain longer. So would you mind in the future telling us what they mean or posting the meaning in the comments please?

JapanesePod101.com Verified
November 24th, 2018 at 05:14 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi George,

Thanks for the comment.

木 > 林 > 森

Yes, three trees won't become a forest. This is just a visual aid for easy learning.😄


Miki H

Team JapanesePod101.com

November 22nd, 2018 at 01:50 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Two Trees and Three Trees can't both be Forest.

JapanesePod101.com Verified
September 4th, 2017 at 03:57 PM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello Yousuf,

Thank you for your comment.

We have a custom list option, but for now that is for words and phrases:


Please check the link above for more information.

We’ll consider your feedback for our future development.

Let us know if you have any question.



Team JapanesePod101.com

September 3rd, 2017 at 11:12 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

sorry my typing mistake ....

I meant Flash Cards...

September 3rd, 2017 at 11:10 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello Japanese pode 101 team,

in order to practice Kanji, please make Custom Kanji bank other than the standard one you have.

from this custom lists, we can practice with flash cards.

because the current Kanji bank as it is only list for our Kanji, it too long to practice with false cards.

we need to have custom lists so that we can practice 25 or 30 kanji everyday with custom list