FACTS: Kanji (漢字) are the adopted logographic Chinese characters that are used in the Japanese writing system. They are used alongside hiragana and katakana. The Japanese term kanji for the Chinese characters literally means “Han characters”. It is written with the same term and characters in the Chinese language to refer to the character writing system, hànzì (漢字).
All kanji contain a classifying radical that is a component of the kanji. Often the radical imparts meaning to the kanji – for example the radical for hand 扌 appears in both of the kanji that combine to form the word “grasp” (把持) and the individual kanji for “throw” (投). Recognizing a kanji’s radical often helps in memorizing or deciphering the meaning of the kanji.
Most kanji dictionaries classify kanji according to their radicals. Therefore recognizing the radial of an unknown kanji helps with looking it up in a dictionary.
Japanese kanji has 214 different radicals (the Bushu index).
Radicals can appear almost anywhere in a kanji – at the top, on the left, on the right, at the bottom and surrounding (enclosing).