10 years of WanKani

I rarely log in here anymore but I saw I had some new reviews today and was on my computer when I got the notification. I usually do them on my phone but decided to use the website. It’s been really long since I used the website to do reviews. Items are added infrequently now and I don’t really have any goals left here since I burned everything aside from the new stuff added last year.

I forgot how much I enjoyed doing WaniKani when I first started learning 10 years ago. It was one of the first things I used to study when I started learning Japanese and it made me really interested in kanji. An interest I still have today and which led me to studying for kanken. Really wish I could go back to the beginning and experience learning everything for the first time since most of the magic is gone now, but I still try to remember and look for that sense of wonder in my studying now.

Thanks for everything WaniKani, but I really don’t think I will be here for the next 10 years. After these current items are burned I’m going to call it quits. (Unless WaniKani adds significantly more levels geared to the few people studying for kanken).


I’ve been in the weeds of the late 50s for the past couple of weeks.

I can barely remember how excited I used to be, but I remember just being excited to be learning things. The last levels are a real slog for me honestly. I hope to get to more than 90% burned by august, but this is probably my last year visiting and burning things on WaniKani. I’ve mostly transitioned to native content learning 100%.


I really like history and old buildings. When I first moved to Japan I would stop at every temple or historical place I found. Last year I was riding my bike one day and noticed I rode by a temple every single day but never stopped to go inside. I remembered how I used to feel seeing these places for the first time and decided as long as I have the time to always stop. It’s been about a year since then and I’m still stopping and checking these places out. The feeling is not the same as when I first moved here, but it is pretty close and it made me a lot happier doing it.


I tried googling “kanken” but according to google it’s a backpack…
Would you mind explaining it to me please?

I also love studying kanji :blue_heart:

EDIT : never mind I found the info :smiley:

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I guess that’s like life in general. In childhood everything is new and exciting. Some of the reason that we probably want to go to Japan in the first place is to recapture some of that youthful excitement, but then eventually things can become mundane or everyday even in Japan.

I’m glad you took the time to rekindle that feeling of exploration.


So what is Kanken? I’ve heard something about it being hardcore from others and someone said a native would be surprised if you said you were learning it?


About Kanken:

怖い祖 と 思う.

It looks scary to me.


I see where you’re coming from with that but also I never want to go through this again…

As @DaraM18 mentions above it’s an aptitude test meant specifically to test kanji aptitude. More info here:

There are many levels, from 10 to 1. Level 10 is trivial, Level 1 is very hard even for natives:

Levels 10 through 4 are primarily taken by kindergarten to elementary school age (up to 12 years old) children. Levels 3 and above are typically taken by high-school students and adults.

Level 2 is as high as many Japanese, even those with higher education degrees, tend to go. Passing level 2 can be used as leverage when applying for jobs, etc. Passing levels pre-1 and 1 is especially rare even among native speakers.

Here are the details for Level 1:

  • Pass rate for this level: 10.4% (in 2016-17)
  • Tests the ability to read and write all kanji that have their dedicated entries in the Kanken Kanji Jiten (about 6300), with their on readings and kun readings
  • Requires the ability to use the kanji in sentences and to choose the most appropriate kanji for a given context
  • Tests special or unusual kanji readings
  • Tests ateji
  • Tests knowledge of synonyms and antonyms
  • Tests ability to differentiate between homonyms
  • Tests special compound words
  • Tests complex radicals
  • Tests kanji unique to the Japanese language
  • Tests classical Japanese proverbs and idiomatic expressions
  • Tests place and country names
  • Tests the ability to recognize the relationship between modern and ancient or old character forms

In other words to pass level 1 you need more than 3 times the number of kanji taught on WK, including many archaic forms and variants and including all sorts of uncommon readings for them.

So clearly we need a WaniKani: Kanji Kentei edition with about 200 levels to get us through this.


I know it would never happen but I would gladly pay for this. Going through obscure kanji and creating anki kanji/vocab cards is time consuming and tedious.

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What is KanKen? :open_mouth:

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Wow this sounds incredibly hard!

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