Skip Codes

The Skip Code is a method of identifying kanji by its pattern.  The Skip Code consists of three numbers separated by hyphens, such as 4-3-1.

There are four basic Skip patterns.  The first number of the Skip Code identifies which of the four basic patterns it belongs to.  These patterns are as follows:

1 Characters that can be divided into left and right parts.
2 Characters that can be divided into top and bottom parts.
3 Characters that can be divided by an enclosure element.
4 Characters that cannot be classified under patterns 1, 2, or 3.

The second number in the Skip Code is the number of strokes in the shaded part of the pattern.  Since pattern 4 cannot be divided, this will be the total stroke count.

For patterns 1, 2, and 3, the last number in the Skip Code is the number of strokes in the blank part of the pattern.  Thus the total stroke count will be the sum of the second and third numbers.  For pattern 4, the third number indicates which subpattern the character belongs to.  These are as follows:

1 Characters that contain a top line.
2 Characters that contain a bottom line.
3 Characters that contain a through line.
4 Characters that do not contain a top line, bottom line, or through line.
Before a word is on my tongue,
You know it completely, O Lord.
— Psalm 139:4