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 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...
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.
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, starts under the horizontal line and curves from right to left.
The third and final stroke, is a horizontal line going from the top left to the top right.
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...
For the kanji meaning "like"
For the kanji meaning "older sister." And...
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!


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.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍
Sorry, please keep your comment under 800 characters. Got a complicated question? Try asking your teacher using My Teacher Messenger.
Sorry, please keep your comment under 800 characters.

user profile picture
Friday at 6:30 pm
Pinned Comment
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

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

user profile picture
June 19th, 2019 at 11:30 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi - ミア ❤️️,

Thank you for your comment and I'm really sorry for my late reply.

That's a good question.

Basically there's no space between word and word or phrase and phrase in Japanese writing.

Then it would be very hard to read in a long sentence...

So punctuation marks "、" and "。" are inserted at a break of a phrase or sentence, so that we can pause and read easier.

And proper using hiragana, katakana and kanji also helps you to read easily.

We are so happy to know that you, your family and your friends like our site!!

Thank you for studying with us.



Team JapanesePod101.com

user profile picture
- ミア ❤️️
March 24th, 2019 at 2:26 pm
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

こにちは! ❤️️❤️️

I just wanted express my gratitude towards Risa, Alisha, and all the instructors on this website, as well as the developers! I'm learning so much so fast, it's crazy! I learned kana in less than 2 weeks!! 😆 My family and friends are so impressed that they're signing up as well 😅👍

Even my fellow students are super helpful by asking the right questions! You all are amazing!

でも、I do have one question: does Japanese grammar involve spaces at all? Example of my question below

ありがとうございます vs ありがとう ございます

no space vs. single space barely have a difference, but I want to make sure I'm learning to write correctly😄


user profile picture
December 31st, 2018 at 12:52 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Konnichiwa Pad,

Thank you for asking here.

You can check this video to see difference of Kun and On readings.


Keep up the good study with us!


Team JapanesePod101.com

user profile picture
December 26th, 2018 at 7:39 pm
Your comment is awaiting moderation.


How do you know when to use the ON or the KUN readings?

ありがとう ございます。

user profile picture
November 12th, 2018 at 8:25 pm
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hi Santiago,

Thank you for posting.

You can add entries from the Kanji Dictionary:


Please search for the entry in the box corresponding to “Enter search query” and after it is shown, please click on [Add Selected Kanji to My Kanji Bank].

We hope this helps!

In case of any questions, please feel free to contact us.


Cristiane (クリスチアネ)

Team JapanesePod101.com

user profile picture
November 6th, 2018 at 4:45 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.


How can I add kanji characters to my kanji bank?

user profile picture
Jaap Jan Hoolsema
March 28th, 2018 at 2:29 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello. I have a question.

I don't reall get the 'on' and 'kun' readings, because what makes it different when you speak the on or kun reading? And what is it good for?

user profile picture
November 9th, 2017 at 11:53 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Hello Phil,

Thank you for your question.

We need more information in order to answer this.

Ebooks can be run on personal computers and devices based on different OS and using dedicated software.



Team JapanesePod101.com

user profile picture
September 21st, 2017 at 10:33 am
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Is there any way to read the free ebook without OS products?

user profile picture
May 19th, 2017 at 3:39 pm
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Samuel さん、


Interesting question! Actually, furigana has nothing to do with the reading is ON or Kun.

By the way, please know that こんにちは is written with は which is read as [wa]. :wink:

Natsuko (奈津子),

Team JapanesePod101.com