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About On-Yomi Reading Groups


Don't worry about On-Yomi Reading Groups if you are just starting out. It is better to focus on the more common Kanji.

On-Yomi Reading Groups are good for Intermediate/Advanced students of Kanji. By learning certain "Kanji Elements" that indicate the On-Yomi you can save yourself considerable effort. It is important to understand however that this "Kanji Element" is often different from the "Kanji Radical". As you learned earlier the location of a radical often determines which radical a Kanji is classified under (Ex: Left-hand element is given priority over a right-hand element). Here are some examples.

On-Yomi Kanji Element is the radical
One of the Kanji elements you will learn is:


Which has a reading of こう. In these next two examples the 工 radical is on the left:




So these two Kanji are classified under the 工 radical and also get the On-Yomi of こう from this element.

On-Yomi Kanji Element is not the radical
In these next two examples the 工 element is on the right and so these Kanji are instead classified using the Water and Thread radicals which are on the left:




However these two Kanji still get the On-Yomi of こう from this element.

On-Yomi Kanji Element is not an official radical
Sometimes the "Kanji Element" will not be one of the 214 officially recognized Kanji elements. For example one of the elements is:


Which has a reading of しょう. 召 itself is not a radical (It is composed of two radicals) but Kanji containing it will have the reading of しょう: