KanjiVG contains information on the radical used by each kanji. Since different authors use different radicals for the same kanji, it provides several different choices of radical, such as general for generally-accepted radicals, or nelson for the radicals used by the Nelson kanji dictionary. See the SVG Format page for a complete list of possible values.

This page details the choices made for the values of kvg:element, the visual representation of a kanji radical.

For all of the non-variant radical forms, there are two equivalent Unicode code points with the same visual form. One is in the Kangxi Radicals block, and the other is in the CJK Unified Ideograph block, where the same radicals are scattered throughout. The equivalence between these two sets of identical radicals is given in the Unicode Character Database (UCD) in the file CJKRadicals.txt, which maps between the pairs.

KanjiVG uses only the CJK Unified Ideograph versions of these equivalent entries. KanjiVG does not use the Kangxi Radicals block at all. Where a variant radical is used, KanjiVG also specifies the the kvg:original field on the group. This also does not use the Kangxi Radicals block at all.

However, KanjiVG does use some parts of the CJK Radicals Supplement block. For example U+2E97 ⺗ is used for the shitagokoro variant of Kangxi radical 61, rather than the CJK Unified Ideographs equivalent form U+38FA 㣺. The following section details the choices made by the KanjiVG authors.

Radicals used


The radical used for Kangxi radical 162, "walk", known as shin-nyō in Japanese, is either U+8FB6 辶 for groups of four strokes, or U+2ECC ⻌ for groups of three strokes. (Depending on the font, U+8FB6 may appear to contain only three strokes.)

The visually highly similar U+2ECD, from CJK Radicals Supplement, and U+FA66, from CJK Compatibility Ideographs, are not used by KanjiVG.


For Kangxi radical 184, "eat", known as shoku-hen in Japanese, 飠 U+98E0 from CJK Unified Ideographs is used for the eight-stroke variant, but ⻞ U+2EDE from CJK Radicals Supplement is used for the nine-stroke variant, since there does not seem to be a visually-close equivalent in the CJK Unified Ideographs.

Other radicals

In the following table, the pink colour shows which variant was used for various radicals. The number field gives the Kangxi radical number, and the name is the romanised Japanese name of the radical.

Number Name CJK Uni. Rad. Sup. Notes
42 Naogashira 小 U+5C0F ⺌ U+2E8C Largely a Nelson radical.
58 Kei-gashira 彐 U+5F50 ⺕ U+2E95 Largely a Nelson radical.
61 Risshinben 忄 U+5FC4 ⺖ U+2E96
61 Shita-gokoro 㣺 U+38FA ⺗ U+2E97
85 Sanzui 氵 U+6C35 ⺡ U+2EA1 As an exception, U+2EA1 is used as the element for the special case of U+2EA1 itself.
85 Shitamizu 氺 U+6C3A ⺢ U+2EA2
87 Tsume-kanmuri 爫 U+722B ⺤ U+2EA4 U+722B does not form part of the JIS Level one and two kanji standards, so it was never an element of KanjiVG, hence unlike sanzui and kemono-hen there is no "self-exception" for this character.
90 Shō-hen 丬 U+4E2C ⺦ U+2EA6 Largely a Nelson radical.
94 Kemono-hen 犭 U+72AD ⺨ U+2EA8 As an exception, U+72AD is used as the element for the special case of U+72AD itself.
122 Yokome 罒 U+7f52 ⺫ U+2EAB
146 Nishi 覀 U+8980 ⻃ U+2EC3 As an exception, U+2EC3 is used as the element for the special case of U+2EC3 itself.
163 Ōzato 阝 U+961D ⻏ U+2ECF The character U+961D is actually radical 170 rather than 163, but it may be substituted for radical 163 as well as for 170. KanjiVG clearly distinguishes the two using U+2ECF for this radical.
170 Kozato-hen 阝 U+961D ⻖ U+2ED6 As an exception, U+961D is used as the element for the special case of U+961D itself.

In all cases not documented above, the version from the CJK Unified Ideographs rather than from the CJK Radicals Supplement is used.

Special cases for Nelson radicals


In some cases, such as kanji/06716.svg, Nelson changes the number of the radical from 74 (Moon) to 130 (Meat), with the radical element remaining the same. KanjiVG deals with this case by creating a doubled grouping, with the Nelson radical group and the tradit radical group around the same paths.

See also

This Unicode CJK Radicals Supplement page gives information on correspondances between the CJK Radicals Supplement and the CJK Unified ideographs.