cloth, towel; width; "cloth" radical
Kanji 1989

Thank you for visiting this Character Home Page. Below you'll find a synopsis of the essay. If you wish to read the full text, the PDF of the essay is available for purchase to the right.


This versatile character helps you discuss anything from dishrags to the width of a waterfall. It's in 巾着 (pouch), which has influenced both fashion and food (having lent its pyramidal shape to two dishes that are considered lucky). As a radical, 巾 pops up in scads of kanji, including some of the first ones you learned.

Revision history:

Oct. 31, 2023: p. 11: Removed a broken link.

June 12, 2021:

  • pp. 9 and 10: All the displayed kanji containing 巾 now have updated definitions.
  • p. 10: Added a link to the Kanshudo games.

Sept. 13, 2019: 

  • p. 2: Provided the new Henshall etymology and updated the Sears link.
  • p. 2: Provided a missing definition in the sample sentence about tatami mats.
  • p. 2: Moved a sample sentence to this page from p. 3 and slightly enhanced the translation and the vocabulary explanation.
  • p. 3: Fixed a link.
  • p. 10: Added a link back to this page so you can more easily access the game below.

May 15, 2015: 

  • p. 1: Added "'cloth' radical" to the definitions in the Character Profile.
  • p. 12: Adjusted the photo caption to reflect that the shop is in Kawasaki (not Kamakura) and that the third dessert is named after the city of Bremen because of a story that is quite famous in Japan.
  • p. 13: Added a photo.

Feb. 7, 2014: Made slight improvements to the first photo caption on p. 7.

Oct. 19, 2012: The photo on p. 6 had become blurry. I reinserted it. I also revised an option in Quick Quiz 2 to reflect that it's an adjective, not a noun.


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RADICAL巾 (50: cloth)