In Chinese, characters with a single dot on top stay separated from the rest of the character. (Eg. Chinese 宝)

In kanji, this is frequently not the case - virtually all 宀 characters I see have dots stuck to the 冖 part (宝, 字, etc.). On the other hand, there are a few kanji I've seen that don't involve 宀 and so the dots are separated: eg. 主.

Do all 宀 kanji have the dots stuck to the top? Perhaps there are kanji with both 丶 and 冖 but the two don't form a connected 宀. Do all other single dot kanji have the dots separated (like 主)?

Edit. Just found that the dots are stuck in kanji with 广 radicals. Would still like to know when the dots are stuck and when they are not stuck. Is there a rule?

1 Answer 1


Japanese elementary school children are generally taught to write kanji like this (教科書体):


I don't know how these are different from how Chinese kids are taught to write these characters.

However, this largely depends on the font, and adults actually handwrite these dots in many ways according to their preference. Practically, there is no strict rule here, and whether or not the dot touches the bar below is not very important. That said, I feel the dot in written by young people are usually connected to the part.


These samples are from モリサワ, one of the largest domestic font developers in Japan.

EDIT: 文化審議会国語分科会 published 常用漢字表の字体・字形に関する指針(報告)(案), which can be downloaded here.

http://www.bunka.go.jp/seisaku/kokugo_nihongo/kokugo_shisaku/joyokanjihyo_sakuin/index.html (see the PDF file)

Although this article caused some controversy, it extensively discusses typical differences between 明朝体 (≒common "serif" font) versus handwritten kanji, and the wide range of variations of handwritten kanji. Specifically, this article says "dots" in 安, 言, etc. are written by hand in many ways, and the subtle variations don't matter. (well, at least in the everyday life of adults)

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  • thanks for your detailed reply. Judging from your answer, I take it that this kind of flexibility is allowed in examinations that they take? Or the Kanji Kentei, for example?
    – rhyaeris
    Apr 21, 2016 at 6:08
  • In kanji kentei glyphs seems to graded rather strictly, so perhaps it's safe to follow the 教科書体 style.
    – naruto
    Apr 21, 2016 at 6:44
  • In some case, the dot may even becomes a horizontal line. Examples are 音、変、編、度、戸 (the line may be written as a dot or the dot as a line, it is a bit confusing sometimes). A famous example of this is 祇園 which is font dependent. Apr 21, 2016 at 8:36

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