105. The "Dotted Tent" Radical: 癶

The five-stroke 癶 shape looks incomplete—so much so that it's astonishing to learn that it's actually an autonomous, non-Joyo character:

癶 (to open one’s legs to right and left; thrash one’s legs about)

This kanji carries the on-yomi ハツ, a pronunciation that may seem to have inspired the radical name はつがしら. But that name refers to the reading of the following kanji:

発 (370: to emit, put forth; start; publicize; develop)

That is, 発 has the Joyo on-yomi ハツ. The position name -がしら (-頭: head) means "crown" of a kanji. (For more on this terminology, see Radical Terms and check the "Radical Positions" section, looking at position 3 in particular.) So はつがしら refers to 癶 as the radical atop 発.

As for "dotted tent" as the English name of the radical, the shape suggests a tent decorated with four dots.

The 癶 radical is on duty in just two Joyo kanji—both 発 and this character:

登 (360: to ascend; attend; appear; register)

The 癶 shape remains consistent from kanji to kanji; radical 105 has no variants.

What Does the Radical Mean?

Although the 癶 kanji means "to oppose; open; go," it does not lend that sense to either 登 or 発, at least according to the etymologies in Henshall's newer edition:

登 (360: to ascend; attend; appear; register)

The radical is typically interpreted as "tread or step heavily." The 豆 phonetic means "food vessel" and has the associated sense "climb."

発 (370: to emit, put forth; start; publicize; develop)

The radical means "two feet treading." The bottom part (which once looked quite different) is a phonetic representing the "sound of a bow when released." Henshall calls "go out, leave, begin" (some of his definitions of 発) extended usages.  

Although our radical crowns characters, it has to do with treading in these two cases—as if it lay at the bottom of kanji!

Photo Credit: Eve Kushner

I like what they've done with our radical here, turning one dot into a "bullet" and playfully varying the other three dots, as well.

In this part of a flier, 東京 (とうきょう: Tokyo) and 新発見 (しんはっけん: new discovery) are quite understandable. As for ぶらり, that adverb can mean several things; "casually" applies here. 

The flier is for ぶらり東京新発見! or "Casually hanging around in Tokyo for new discoveries!" Tokyo Metro hosted this event in which people took a flier from a Tokyo Metro subway station, visited various locations designated on the flier, and collected stamps at each one. Collecting all the stamps entitled participants to apply for a lottery to win certain goods from Tokyo Metro. 

Differentiating 癶 from Other Radicals

On spotting 学 (10: study) and 券 (661: ticket), I wondered if I were seeing our radical. No, not only does 癶 not grace those kanji but the dots atop 学 and 券 don't constitute any radical. In each character, the bottom part is the on-duty radical—respectively 子 (radical 39: "child") and 刀 (radical 18: "sword").

Some radicals do look slightly similar to 癶, though not so much that you would confuse our radical with them:

radical 9: the "person" radical variant at the top of 食

radical 11: the "enter" radical 入

radical 12: the "eight" radical 八

radical 40: the "katakana u" radical 宀 

radical 87: the "claw" radical variant 爫

radical 104: the "sickness" radical 疒

radical 116: the "hole" radical 穴

Photo Credit: Eve Kushner

On the island of Shodoshima, where they re-created an old village as a set for the movie 24 Eyes, this antiquated ad for detergent hangs outside a shop. Reading from right to left, we find this in the topmost line: 田舎娘印 (いなかむすめじるし: Country Girl Brand). We then see this term written top to bottom, right to left:

登録商標 (とうろくしょうひょう: registered trademark)

The 録 doesn't look right; that’s because it’s written in an electronically unsupported shape. As for 登 (360), which means "to register" in this word, it appears here in an old style, one that does away with our radical and replaces it with something like 北.

For more on this sign see essay 1846 on 娘 (daughter; young woman; girl).