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Lesson Transcript

Hi everyone.
Welcome to the Japanese Kanji video series.
In this lesson, you'll learn the "human legs" 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 that's common in all of these kanji characters?
(pause for 4 seconds)
It's this part here. It looks like a pair of legs.
This particular radical is called...
にんにょう or ひとあし
It's the "human legs" 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 some of the previous lessons, you learned that some radicals are kanji characters on their own.
This is the first radical we've encountered that *isn't* a kanji character in itself. This basically means that you'll only encounter it as a component in *other* kanji characters.
The meaning behind *this* particular radical, is "legs," particularly those of a person.
Unlike the previous radicals that we've learned, the meaning of the "human legs" radical is less literal. It generally alludes *more* to the sense of structural support that our legs provide us with.
From left to right, the first kanji means "origin" or "foundation," the second means "light" or "to shine," and the third character means "to see."
If you think of these kanji characters from the viewpoint of "support," the meaning of each character makes much more sense.
The first kanji has the "human legs" radical at the bottom, which is connected to a wide horizontal line, with a smaller, parallel horizontal line on top. The wide horizontal line represents the body, and the smaller horizontal line represents the head. Notice how the legs are connected and are *supporting* the body.
The legs that are supporting the body and head, represent the "foundation" or "basis," which is the meaning of this kanji character.
The second kanji has the legs on the bottom once again, with what appears to be a fire burning on top. Fire evokes "light," so the meaning of this kanji is "light." And the *foundation* or *origin* of the emitting rays, refers to the point source. Light emanating from a source means that it's "shining," so this kanji can also mean "to shine."
The final kanji has "human legs" on the bottom, supporting the character for "eye." An eye that is *mobile* is one that can see. So this kanji character means "to see."
Common positions
The "human legs" radical will *always* be at the bottom position where it's supporting something.
Just remember where your legs are on your body and you won't forget it!
*Where* are your legs?
On the bottom!
Okay. Now let's learn how to write this radical.
Stroke Order
The "human legs" radical only has two strokes.
The first stroke, starts near the center and curves from right to the bottom left.
The second stroke, also starts near the center, but it goes straight down, and then flattens out at the floor, only to flick upwards slightly.
The beginning of each stroke usually connects to another radical, so keep that in mind.
And that's it! You're done!
Common Readings
The "human legs" radical isn't a kanji on its own, so you'll only see it as a *part* of another kanji.
In the case of the original examples, common readings are...
for the "origin" or "foundation" kanji 元.
for the kanji meaning "to shine" 光. And...
for the kanji meaning "to see" 見.
Lesson Review
In this lesson, you learned about the "human legs" radical.
The idea behind the "human legs" radical, is "support."
This radical isn't a kanji character on its own, so you'll only see it in other kanji characters, such as the "foundation," "shine," and "see" kanji characters that you learned in this lesson.
You'll always find this radical in the bottom position.
And it's written with two vertical strokes, one curved stroke, and one that flattens out and flicks upwards slightly.
In the next lesson, you'll learn about another common radical used in some of the most common and basic kanji characters, the "ten" radical.
See you in the next lesson. Bye!


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

JapanesePod101.com Verified
June 3rd, 2016 at 06:30 PM
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Do you know any other kanji with the Human Legs Radical 儿?
Click here to download the FREE Kanji e-book
Click here to buy the Full Version Kanji e-book

JapanesePod101.com Verified
June 3rd, 2021 at 06:35 PM
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Hi Vishnu,

Thank you for posting!

We appreciate your frank opinion.

It's really helpful for us☺️

Thank you for learning Japanese with us:)



Team JapanesePod101.com

May 7th, 2021 at 06:54 PM
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Dear JapanesePod101.com Team,

Suppose if I don't know what the Kanji character means? Then how do I ask "What does this Kanji mean?" in Japanese? Please put the romanisation also. 😄


Vishnunarayana Kurup

JapanesePod101.com Verified
December 30th, 2020 at 07:42 PM
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Thank you so much for your comment😄

Well, it's just that the radical has 2 names: にんにょう and ひとあし. You can use either one to call it👍

Please let us know if you have any questions :)



Team JapanesePod101.com

December 28th, 2020 at 05:16 AM
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Why this radical has 2 readings if we only use it with another kanji?

JapanesePod101.com Verified
November 2nd, 2020 at 06:09 PM
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As we mention in Lesson 2, there's no such thing like which reading is more commonly used since they change depending on the words. For 元 though, もと is the word "origin."


Please let us know if you have any questions :)



Team JapanesePod101.com

November 1st, 2020 at 06:05 AM
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Hi. Tui desu!



So does "ゲン" and "もと" have the same meaning? It's both "origin" but just written in hiragana and xxx?

Which is more common to use?

Sorry. Very new at this :)


JapanesePod101.com Verified
October 27th, 2020 at 05:18 PM
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Thank you so much for your comment😄

I'm so sorry to hear that. Are you using a free lifetime account? With the free lifetime account, you have access to the first 3 lessons in every pathway. For more information, you can check out this page😉


Please let us know if you have any questions :)



Team JapanesePod101.com

October 26th, 2020 at 11:30 PM
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Hello!! I was learning the radicals and when I tried to go to the 4th lesson it didn't load please if u can help me with that.

JapanesePod101.com Verified
November 9th, 2019 at 02:39 AM
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Konnichiwa Htetpainghmu,

Thank you for asking. You can download it here: https://www.japanesepod101.com/kanji

Kind regards,


Team JapanesePod101.com

November 1st, 2019 at 10:18 PM
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I want to read all kanji radical and understand all kanji. Where can I download all kanji radical pdf. Please... お願いします。