Heisig Primitives List?

Hi, there everyone. I was wondering if anyone had a list of the primitives in a user- friendly format that they could share to use for easy reference. Im in the relatively early stages, but just so I could more easily and systematically differentiate between similar primitives. Such as the kanji for the word 'early', which has the image of a flower rising early and the flower primitive, and differentiating between needle and nail, cow and vermillion and so on. Also on a slightly different note, a number of kanji use primitives with the bottom stroke bent for instance, this happen frequently with the soil primitive, the ivy primitive, the craft primitive and so on. I find it easier to remember to write these primitives correctly if I imagine them as a distorted in the stories I create when they appear as distorted in the kanji. For example when the soil primitive has a straight bottom I imagine it as ordinary brown soil, but when the bottom stroke is crooked I imagine it as jagged clay soil, or when the cow primitive appears with the bottom stroke distorted I imagine it as a pixelated cow. This is my first topic post, so I'm not sure if I'm conveying myself exactly how I want to, but any responses to having a primitives list or to dealing with similarities or slight differences in primitives are welcomed!
Generally speaking the elements with the "bent" or "tilted" bottom stroke occur when they are to the left of another element in the kanji, whereas they are left straight when they appear on the right. This is pretty systematic, and I think Heisig addresses this in one of his little interludes. However, I certainly encourage you to incorporate the distorted characters into your stories if it is helpful!
oh really, Must have missed that interlude. Thanks.
Imagining the them as distorted does help though, 'cause a crooked looking cow is very memorable especially if its fighting a shoalin monk for kanji for 'special' Does anyone have a list of the primitives that they could share at all?
See this thread for Holiday Countdown Deals (until Dec 15th)
I've never come across one but frequently wished for one as I was going through book 1. I can imagine that most people feel that the 20 or so hours required to input the data into a computer is better spent on learning more kanji. Big Grin

If however 20 people wanted to get together and each put in an hour to enter the primatives for 100 or so kanji... and then compile it into a master list... I would be willing to contribute to the project.
I don't have the book with me at the moment, but doesn't one of the indexes list all of Heisig's primitives?

It may not be in an electronic format but it's a start...
aircawn Wrote:It may not be in an electronic format but it's a start...
There's an e-book version of RTK I, so it is in electronic format. The main problem is that the primitives aren't in any standard font (someone mentioned that there are certain fonts in which the primitives are present; lacking that, we could just use screen captures). In any case, the book doesn't list the meanings: just the stroke count and the page the primitives appear on, so a good deal of work would still be required, but nothing on the range of 20 hours.
Edited: 2007-06-21, 8:01 pm
Pangolin developed a font with all the primitives. There's a link to it somewhere in this forum, so you're welcome to use that, but not everybody necessarily has it installed.
JimmySeal Wrote:Pangolin developed a font with all the primitives.
Cool. If you could direct me to that link by telling me what thread it was in or what by please just copying and pasting the link that would be a good start

fragileshards Wrote:I would be willing to contribute to the project.
Thats good. Anyone else that is willing to help out please put yourself forward so we can allocate who does what.

6 of us have already messaged, if we all contributed we would each have to do the primitives and meaning for roughly 340 kanji each. JimmySeal if you could get Pangolin to help out that would lower the workload to the primitives for roughly 292 kanji each.

10 people= primitives and meanings for 240 kanji

If we could get anymore people then it would be even easier to compile.
Has anyone got any suggestions about what computer programme to use. Microsoft word?
If anyone is willing to help out, please put yourself forward and we could get something finished up pretty soon.
Oh, wait, you don't want a list of the Heisig want a list of all the Heisig primitives in each and every kanji?

The former would take one guy an afternoon; the latter much, much longer.
Since that list would almost exactly duplicate about 260 pages of the book (all but a handful of frames in Part III), I wouldn't suggest distributing such a list without being awfully sure you're on the right side of your local copyright laws.
yawfosu88 Wrote:Has anyone got any suggestions about what computer programme to use. Microsoft word?
Yes, see here: No, not word.
Edited: 2007-06-23, 10:58 pm
Glad this topic came up. I, not being computer literate, searched for every non-kanji primitive in the kanji character list on my pc. Many times! Some I could find, others I made little formulas or descriptions for. kanji-(minus)a part or kanji +(plus) a part @ top right, etc. Very troublesome and time consuming and I did them all!:mad:

Just downloaded Pangolin's font and excel chart. Brilliant! The hours and headache it could have saved me. :o Will have to edit my files now. Oops, more time and effort!!Wink

Thanks Pangolin, and Jimmy for the heads up!
cangy Wrote:Yes, see here:
Whatever is on that link is not showing up properly, I think its because I don't have a certain font installed.

JimmySeal Wrote:Pangolin developed a font with all the primitives, but not everybody necessarily has it installed.
Could someone please provide a link to that font.

Megaqwerty Wrote:Oh, wait, you don't want a list of the Heisig want a list of all the Heisig primitives in each and every kanji?.

The former would take one guy an afternoon; the latter much, much longer.
No, I want a list of all the Heisig primitives in electronic format. I started making a list yesterday by hand for the primitives used in the first 400 kanji, and I now realise it would not take me that long make a list of all the primitives, but the problem is I do not have a font with the primitives, nor do I know what keys relate to what primitives in the font and so on. Cangy just posted a link but I cannot read it so I do not know how helpful it is.
After making a significant portion of the list by hand I realise getting a lot of people involved in helping is not really necessary, but I do need help in terms of getting the font Pangolin developed and
being able to read the link cangy sent , please someone send a link to the font and if that enables me to read the preceding link I think everything will be fine. :-)
Hi yawfosu88,

I haven't used ziggr's file but I notice that it is a zipped file in UTF-8 format.

1) Do you have the tools to unzip the file? ... WinZip comes to mind.
2) Are you using a program that supports UTF-8? The easiest way to make UTF-8 files readable on my MS XP system is to copy and paste everything into Notepad (where I can read it, because Notepad supports UTF-8) and then copy and paste all of the data into a new word or excel file. (This was all new to me and I learned it on this site...I just had to dig around for the info as well as pay attention when this sort of stuff was being talked about.) Smile If you are using a mac you could probably query UTF-8 support to find out what mac utility supports it. (But if you've got a mac it probably has built-in support.)

As for Pangolin's font...

After you download Pangolin's font you have to install it first before you can read the excel file or use the font. Did you install the font?

If not, that is the reason you cannot read it. I didn't know how to install a font, so I went to microsoft help and queried "install font" and then just followed the instructions. It was quite easy once I found the info on how to do it. (You could probably do the same kind of search on how to install a font if you are using a mac.) Smile

Oops, just realised you haven't got the link yet. Here it is with a quote from Pangolin from the PRIMITIVE ELEMENTS thread...

Pangolin Wrote:Well, the "Pangolin" font of Heisig primitives has reached beta stage (I skipped alpha). That means all the primitives are in there, plus a few extra variants I threw in, a total of 236 characters.

I will repeat what I said earlier to save you looking for the post:

I have simply assigned the primitives in the order they appear in the RTK1 index to the printable codes of the standard Windows font map, starting with "!" (ASCII code 33).

Included in the zip package is a very simple Excel spreadsheet listing the characters in one column and the keyboard character you need to type to enter the character. I have put the Windows "Alt+numeric pad" code for characters outside of the scope of the directly keyable range, and beyond that I have put the hex unicode ("U+"). Install the font before opening the spreadsheet. [snip]
I hope this helps.
Edited: 2007-06-25, 5:06 pm
Sorry, I was confused as to what you wanted as well. Too bad Big Grin I would have like to see the kanji-prim list done up. Good luck getting Pangolin's font installed and making your list.
Sorry to revive at seemingly dead thread but this is one of the first results on google when searching for Heisig primitives for the 6th ed of vol 1. Seeing as I could not find a list of Heisig primitives any where online(and the state of the kindle version being unusable judging by the amazon reviews), I decided to make my own list, using my own copy of the 6th ed of Heisigs vol 1.
Here are the links to four files, two pairs of a word and pdf document showing the 6th ed Heisig primitive elements in both order of stroke count and appearance. I have not had the time to make a full list of kanji interspersed with primitive elements, but it should be simple enough using my primitive list combined with the 6th ed anki deck available online.

Links (delete if violating any forum rules, these are mainly for ease of review, not in any way as a replacement for the actual book, which I do own myself):
Docx stroke count ordered:
Pdf stroke count ordered:
Docx appearance ordered:
Pdf appearance ordered:
Edited: 2015-08-02, 5:42 am
Thanks Xaphan!
Hi, could someone please post Xaphan's documents again?
Perhaps on google drive, or somewhere else where they won't be removed.
Many already exist as RTK3 or unicode entries in

After a lapse of a few years, I've been going through the site again, and have been adding the primitives to my card set as I go. In many cases, they are mentioned others' stories, so I just cut/paste the character into the study search box to find them. A few I've looked up independently to get the unicode value.

This is what I have so far, cut from my exported-from-the-site rtk_flashcards.csv:

2201 此 this here
2234 或 a (a certain)
2236 也 est
2238 疋 critters
2240 曼 mandala
2241 云 quote
2667 妾 concubine
19991 丗 thirty
20907 冫 ice (primitive)
20960 几 wind (primitive)
21251 匃 beggar (primitive)
21378 厂 cliff (radical)
21430 厶 elbow (primitive)
21637 咅 muzzle (primitive)
21932 喬 heaven-high
21951 喿 chirping birds (primitive)
22231 囗 pent in (primitive)
22307 圣 spool (primitive)
22764 壬 porter (primitive)
22795 夋 streetwalker (primitive)
22829 夭 early death
23424 宀 house (primitive)
23575 尗 younger uncle (primitive)
24182 并 put together
24191 广 dotted cliff (radical)
24318 廾 two hands (prim under)
24320 开 two hands (prim side)
24331 弋 arrow primitive
24435 彳 go/line/column (primitive)
24541 忝 grateful (primitive)
25096 戈 fiesta primitive
25098 戊 parade primitive
25100 戌 march primitive
25120 戠 kazoo (primitive)
25164 扌 fingers (primitive)
26140 昜 piggy bank (primitive)
26359 曷 old siesta (primitive)
27513 歹 bone (primitive)
27571 殳 missile (primitive)
27701 氵 water (primitive)
29227 爫 vulture (primitive)
31035 礻 altar (primitive)
31455 竟 endpoint
32594 罒 cylon eye (primitive)
33307 舛 dancing legs (radical)
33390 艮 silver (primitive)
34916 衤 cloak (primitive)
34945 袁 long kimono / thermos
35925 豕 sow (primitive)
36790 辶 road radical
38585 隹 turkey (primitive)