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Kanji Stroke Order
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DancingHorses



Joined: 02 Jun 2006
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2008 11:03 pm    Post subject: Kanji Stroke Order Reply with quote

This isn't exactly a bug per se, and for all I know doesn't even have anything to do with Wakan directly, but I noticed a couple of apparent stroke order errors that I thought people might like to be made aware of.

For the kanji hakobu (Halpern index 3140), stroke number 8 and stroke number 9 are reversed.

The stroke order for the kanji mare (Halpern index 2049) also contradicts my other sources. In this case the third stroke and fourth stroke are reversed.

Here are my sources:

http://kakijun.main.jp/ (There are four navigation buttons near the top of the page under the scrolling text. Click on the button in the second line, on the left. Here, the kanji are organized by stroke count. Animated GIF's show the stroke order.)

A Guide to Reading & Writing Japanese, by Florence Sakade, revised Second Edition, 1961.

EDIT:
Found another one. The kanji for kokoro (Halpern index 11). What's labeled as the fourth stroke is really the second stroke, the stroke labeled 2 is really 3, and the stroke labeled 3 is really 4.
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tony
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Joined: 27 Nov 2003
Posts: 750

PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DancingHorses,

The stroke orders given in WaKan are taken directly from a file made by Gabriel SanRoman. I agree that the stroke orders are incorrect for these three kanji, and I would not be surprised if there are other errors. For the moment, there is no easy way of correcting these errors.

Filip, is the stroke order information incorporated directly into the WaKan executable, requiring a rebuild to correct these errors? Or does it live in some auxiliary file which could be replaced easily?

--Tony

P.S.: DancingHorses, you may be interested to know that the "correct" stroke orders for Chinese characters are sometimes different from the "correct" stroke orders for identical characters used in Japanese. So people using the program for Chinese can't trust the given stroke orders at all. But the stroke order currently given in WaKan for kokoro is clearly wrong in both languages, and for hakobu I have never seen any stroke order given for a character containing the wheel/cart radical in which the center stroke is not last.
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DancingHorses



Joined: 02 Jun 2006
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you tony,

I hadn't really considered that the stroke order for the same character in Chinese and Japanese may be different. For the most part I would expect it to be the same, since stroke order is supposed to have a logical flow, and the kanji are taken directly from the Chinese writing system, but certainly there must be more than one way for the hand to comfortably move through the writing of certain characters.
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tony
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Joined: 27 Nov 2003
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The differences aren't very great, but they do occur in some of the simplest characters. One difference is that when a character has one vertical stroke crossed by several horizontal strokes, the Japanese order is to make all the horizontal strokes first (except the bottom stroke if the bottom stroke is at the end of the vertical stroke), then the vertical stroke, then the bottom stroke (if it is at the end of the vertical stroke). The Chinese stroke order is to make one horizontal stroke, then the vertical stroke, then all the remaining horizontal strokes. So the characters 王 and 生 have different stroke orders for the two languages, for example.

I picked up this trivia while correcting the endless errors in Declan Software's programs. I kind of regret all the time I spent for them, because they were quite nasty to a number of users, including myself, when we asked for technical support. Personally, I think selling educational software which is riddled with errors is unconscionable-- think of all of the students working hard at mastering incorrect information.

P.S.: Sorry, I got that backwards. Embarassed It's the Chinese way to make all the horizontal strokes first except the base stroke if there is one, and the Japanese way to make the vertical stroke after the first horizontal stroke. It was a while ago that I learned the difference.
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wakan
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Joined: 18 Oct 2003
Posts: 923
Location: Prague, Czech Republic

PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello,

there are indeed errors in the file. The "hakobu" one is very apparent.

I've added fixing them to my to-do list. If someone would be able to fix the source though and send me the result, it could speed up the process...

The compilation procedure is built into Wakan and is not really easy to invoke.

Filip
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Eyedunno



Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The best examples of differences in stroke order I can think of are 必 and 右.

必 is written a lot like 心 in Chinese, whereas in Japanese, it's [top dot], [slash going down to the left], [slash going down to the right], [left dot], [right dot]. The first two strokes of 右 are the same as those of 左 in Chinese, whereas in Japanese, they're reversed.

In both cases, the Japanese stroke order is more faithful to tradition. 必 depicts not a heart, but something like a tied-down stake. And 右 and 左 both illustrate hands. In their earliest forms, they were two strokes each. The "hand" part of 右 evolved into the diagonal part, and the "arm" part evolved into the horizontal part. The reverse was true for 左. If a good calligrapher writes both (in Japan, at least), this is still evident in the characters - 左 has a shorter horizontal stroke, and 右 has a shorter diagonal stroke.

Heck, here's an image that should make all of the above stuff clearer:

My friend, a calligraphy teacher, wrote it on a bar napkin for me years ago, and I took it home, scanned it, and cleaned it up some. Razz

Oh man, but Wakan has the wrong stroke order for 左 (and since 左 is the same for both Japan and China, this is a completely lame screwup - it's much more obvious to mess up the stroke order for 右). Smile
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tony
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Joined: 27 Nov 2003
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the great pictures!

Any conjecture as to why the Japanese stroke orders conform more faithfully to tradition? Is this true in other cases where there are differences (e.g. 生 and 王) or is it less clear in the history of those characters what the original stroke order must have been?

Again, apologies for the errors in information, but these are built into the data sources WaKan uses. It would be a huge job to go through all of the characters, find errors, and correct them.

P.S.: I assume that 工 and 口 were added early in the history of the hanzi for phonetic reasons? This is a little mysterious, since the current onyomi for these two characters are similar. If it wasn't for sound, why 工 for left? I've heard the explanation of 口 that it is because one uses one's right hand for eating, but I don't know if this is historically correct.
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Eyedunno



Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tony wrote:
Thanks for the great pictures!

Any conjecture as to why the Japanese stroke orders conform more faithfully to tradition?

I think it has to do with Japan being a more rule-based culture, and China perhaps being more practical.

tony wrote:
Is this true in other cases where there are differences (e.g. 生 and 王) or is it less clear in the history of those characters what the original stroke order must have been?

It feels more natural and easier to get good balance when writing the vertical stroke after the first horizontal stroke, at least for me.

But aside from that, I just looked at Kanjigen. Apparently, 生 originally depicted a budding plant, that looks like "V" with a line through it, and a horizontal line at the bottom symbolizing the ground. The middle line was added later, originally as a round dot on the vertical line. Presumably drawing a dot on a line was easier and more natural than drawing a line through a dot.

王 is harder to make sense of. It originally looked like 天 with 一 below it, representing a man with arms and legs outstretched, heaven above, and the earth below. Given that origin, it would seem to make more sense to draw the top two horizontal strokes, then the vertical stroke, and finally the bottom horizontal stroke. This may be a character that got its stroke order fixed strangely in Japan in recent times (often there were multiple "correct" stroke orders before the Japanese government fixed them for educational purposes), but that's strictly a guess.

Edit:
tony wrote:
P.S.: I assume that 工 and 口 were added early in the history of the hanzi for phonetic reasons? This is a little mysterious, since the current onyomi for these two characters are similar. If it wasn't for sound, why 工 for left? I've heard the explanation of 口 that it is because one uses one's right hand for eating, but I don't know if this is historically correct.

I just caught your P.S. The story I was told is that, yes, the thing that now looks like 口 was originally a bowl-like container, and yeah, I think you're right that it's because the right hand was used for eating. As for why they added anything, it was probably to make it easier to read, since it's easy to confuse left and right. As for left, 工 represents a measuring device, like a ruler. That was presumably added for the same reason - to make the two characters even more distinct. They're clearly not phonetic elements in this case.
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wakan
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Joined: 18 Oct 2003
Posts: 923
Location: Prague, Czech Republic

PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Eyedunno for the breath-taking explanation! I was puzzled by the difference in stroke order of 右 and 左 and you've managed to clear that up.

As for the stroke order bugs in the datafile, could please anyone create a simple list of characters that have wrong stroke order? (possible with indicating which stroke should be exchange with which). It would be then possible for me to make the fixes.

Thanks a lot.
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tony
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Joined: 27 Nov 2003
Posts: 750

PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a pretty big job. I'll volunteeer to check through the kanji in joyou grades 1 to 6, and see how that goes.

It might be possible to bribe me to do more with an announcement of the imminent release of a new version of WaKan. Wink

--Tony
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tony
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's what I found for grades 1 and 2. I will add more to this list as I go through the higher grades. Any volunteer for grade 8? Wink


Joyou grade 1

十 Strokes 1 and 2 reversed
左 Strokes 1 and 2 reversed

Joyou grade 2

午 Strokes 3 and 4 reversed
友 Strokes 1 and 2 reversed
後 Stroke order correct, but 7 poorly located
心 4 should be 2, 2 should be 3, 3 should be 4, as in bottom strokes of 思
曜 Stroke order correct, but 15 poorly located
番 Stroke order correct, but 10 poorly located
矢 Strokes 3 and 4 reversed
雲、電 Stroke order correct, but 4 poorly located
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tony
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Joined: 27 Nov 2003
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 12:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's grade 3. I need a break.

Joyou grade 3

医 Stroke order correct, but 1 and 7 poorly located (1 is top horizontal stroke)
坂 Stroke order correct, but 6 poorly located
客 Stroke order correct, but 4 poorly located
対 Strokes 1 and 2 reversed
庫 Strokes 9 and 10 reversed
族 Strokes 3 and 4 reversed
暑 Stroke order correct, but 6 poorly located
業 Stroke order correct, but 11 poorly located
温 Stroke order correct, but 11 poorly located
湯 Stroke order correct, but 10 and 12 poorly located
物 Stroke order correct, but 8 poorly located
着 Stroke order correct, but 4 poorly located
短 Stroke order correct, but 2 poorly located
福 Stroke order correct, but 11 poorly located
薬 Strokes 8 through 12 should be made before strokes 4 and 5
転 Strokes 6 and 7 reversed
軽 Strokes 6 and 7 reversed
送 Stroke 5 should be numbered 4, strokes 4 and 6 are really one stroke, which should
be numbered 5, strokes 7 through 9 should be numbered 6 through 8, and the
bottom horizontal stroke should be numbered 9 (it currently has no label at all)
遊 Strokes 1 and 2 reversed, 8 and 9 should come before 7
運 Strokes 8 and 9 reversed
部 Strokes 10 and 11 should come before 9
都 Strokes 10 and 11 should come before 9
銀 Stroke order is correct, but stroke 13 is mislabeled 1 (the 3 is probably too far over)
院 Strokes 2 and 3 should come before 1
陽 Stroke order correct, but 10 and 12 poorly located (note that 1, 2, and 3 are correct)
集 Stroke order correct, but 5 poorly located
駅 Stroke order correct, but 12 poorly located
鼻 Stroke order correct, but 9, 13 and 14 poorly located
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tony
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Joined: 27 Nov 2003
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 4:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joyou grade 4

働 Strokes 9 and 10 reversed
努 Stroke order correct, but 4 poorly located
塩 Stroke order correct, but 10 and 12 poorly located
察 Stroke order unclear because 9 is very poorly located (it is the downward left to right stroke)
愛 Stroke order correct, but 11, 12 and 13 poorly located-- especially 11
昨 Stroke order correct, but 6 poorly located
最 Strokes 8, 9 and 10 should be before 7
案 Strokes 5 and 6 reversed
梅 Stroke order correct, but 7 and 8 poorly located
標 Stroke order correct, but 6, 7, 8 and 9 poorly located
毒 Stroke order correct, but 7 poorly located
満 Stroke order correct, but 10 poorly located
漁 Stroke order correct, but 8 poorly located
種 Strokes 12 and 13 reversed
競 Strokes 11 and 12 reversed, 8 and 18 poorly placed
胃 Stroke order correct, but 3 poorly located
腸 Stroke order correct, but 11 and 13 poorly located
覚 Stroke order correct, but 10 poorly located
観 Stroke order correct, but 2, 4 and 8 poorly located
試 Stroke order correct, but 12 poorly located
説 Stroke order correct, but 12 poorly located
課 Stroke order correct, but 13 poorly located
儀 Stroke order correct, but many strokes poorly located, especially 14, 16 and 18
費 Stroke order correct, but 10 poorly located
輪 Stroke order correct, but 11, 12 and 15 poorly located
達 Stroke order correct, but 9 poorly located
郡 Stroke order correct, but 4 poorly located
隊 Stroke order correct, but 11 is labeled 1 (second 1 probably too far over)
静 Stroke order correct, but 14 poorly located
飯 Stroke order correct, but 11 poorly located
養 Stroke order correct, but 4 and 13 poorly located
験 Stroke order correct, but many strokes poorly located, especially 2, 3, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17
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Eyedunno



Joined: 07 Mar 2008
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, we've both been working hard, huh?

I often write in the wrong stroke order myself, so I don't trust myself to go through the list. :/ I could use a dictionary, but...

In any case, grades 1-6 being right is pretty good. After all, they form the basis for most other kanji, so if you can write those "correctly", few other things should give you trouble. 凸 and 凹 come to mind as difficult kanji, though. Wakan has 凹 correct, but stroke #1 and stroke #2 of 凸 should be reversed.
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tony
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Joined: 27 Nov 2003
Posts: 750

PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2008 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eyedunno,

To tell the truth, I used a dictionary for most of the first three grades, but by the fourth grade, I only looked up the stroke orders when they looked wrong to me, so I may have missed a couple. Most of them are fairly obvious either because they're made up of simpler components, or because they follow pretty consistent general rules, though. For example, unlike Chinese stroke order, when there's a vertical middle stroke, a horizontal stroke at the base and a smaller stroke above it which crosses the vertical middle stroke, that smaller stroke and the base stroke are the last two strokes. (For example, 重、里). If there's no base stroke, however, the vertical stroke is made after all crossing strokes. (車、筆、拝-- note that the rule doesn't apply to a vertical stroke with a hook).

トーにー

追伸: 書 is an exception. The vertical stroke comes after the base stroke, presumably because it is an abbreviation of the longer stroke in 筆. So much for general rules!
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