A few questions about wanikani. Please help

I’m relatively new, only a couple months in, but I’ve been struggling with some things and I would appreciate it a lot if you guys could help me out.

  1. I can’t get used to WK’s mnemonics. Some of them are fine but some of them just don’t work for me. I practically always forget them even if I can recall kanji’s meanings correctly later on. They just don’t stick long-term. and I find many of them plain stupid. I really dislike huge wall of texts and no matter how hard I try to visualize whatever we are supposed to, it doesn’t help. I’ve recently finished Genki textbook, and I was learning words from there using the Memrise app and its mnemonics. Reading those made me realize just how much worse WK’s mnemonics are and how much easier it is for me to remember 1 sentence mnemonics instead of 3 paragraphs essays. I also realized how important good mnemonics are for me. Ok, so now my question is: where can I find the mnemonics for WK’s vocab items? I found Kanjidamage for WK’s kanjis that don’t stick but I can’t find anything for its vocab. Ideally, I’d like a website that I can just put a vocab item into the search bar and get a mnemonic for it, similar to Memrize.

  2. Are there any scrips to show the SRS lvls of items during the review? I’ve already installed some script that shows the level if items once I get it right or wrong, but I would really appreciate the script that could show me the level of items during the review, similar to bunpro. I am sometimes in a hurry or not paying enough attention, and it’s very upsetting when I get Master items wrong simply because of that. If I knew it was a Master item, I would have paid much more attention to get it to Enlighten.

  3. Do I have to remember all radicals? There are a lot of similar ones, and some of them have different meanings than the kanji they represent. A good recent example would be “Jet” Radical and “Not Yet” Kanji. There are also a lot of similar radicals that I have trouble differentiating. I know that I need to know radicals in order to understand complicated kanjis and I have no issues memorizing the vast majority of them, my main issues are only with very similar radicals or the radicals that have different meaning than the same kanji.

Thank you!


Well, you can use WK search

Then you can click on the item and view it, including the mnemonics

However, that’s probably not what you wanted - if I understand you correctly, you’d like to have the mnemonics right after you’ve entered the vocab. Well, I guess, it’s possible to achieve this using scripts, but I know none of such scripts.
Anyway, I usually create my own mnemonics, like

撃 - Car is a Weapon and in the right hand it can be used to Attack

There probably are, though I don’t know any.

No, but they are required for mnemonics and they also help a lot in memorizing kanji.

Sorry, this post is probably not much helpful, but as others haven’t replied yet, I decided to share what I know.
Anyway, welcome to WaniKani, I really hope you’d like it here!
In any case, best of luck with your studies!

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For your second point, the android app flaming durtles has an option to display them.
If I remember correctly the author reproduced available scripts so you may find it looking in the app thread.

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Thank you for your reply. I probably didn’t explain it properly. I don’t really like WK’s mnemonics, so I wanted to find another website that has different mnemonics. I could type WK’s vocab in there and get a mnemonic from there. For example, if WK’s kanji reading doesn’t stick, I go to Kanjidamage website and use their mnemonic. I couldn’t find anything similar for vocab.

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Thank you, I’ll try to find that script.

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Wouldn’t be easier (and cheaper?) to put stuff into a free SRS program if the content here is so bad?

There are even ways to make them look and feel like WaniKani if that’s all you want.

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I really like the progression system here. It’s just super convenient. I’ve tried Anki before but it never worked for me. Wanikani made me log in every single day and do reviews religiously. There is also a satisfaction factor when I get my reviews % up or when Ievel up. I generally like the website, my only issue is with its mnemonics.

I’m pretty sure that is normal. You’re not meant to rely on the mnemonics long-term, but only short-term as a stop-gap measure until the kanjis’ meanings become natural to you. I certainly don’t remember the mnemonics longer than I have to. (reading would be much to slow that way, it’s just unnatural longterm).

For any mnemonics you don’t like, you can, like @trunklayer already mentioned, simply create your own. Putting the effort into creating your own way to remember the meaning and reading of a kanji, helps a lot to remember them long-term. (it doesn’t even have to be a mnemonic, just something to help you remember)

Even when I do all those things, I find WK really helpful. But, if one doesn’t like it, there’s always other ways of studying kanji. It’s just a matter of personal preference and choice really.


True, that is the intended purpose of mnemonics. If the mnemonic gets you to the point where you know the meaning… that’s all you want. Why would it be concerning to forget the mnemonic at that point?


I understand that and I’ve read about it before, so if I keep failing an item over and over, I usually put some extra effort towards remembering it by creating a mnemonic myself, but doing it for thousands of items would be kind of exhausting. And I could remember some words from genki even with another user’s mnemonics from Memrise, but they were always super short. Fish=Sea Kana(SAKANA), Wallet=wallet in the safe(SAIFU), birthday- the day when you get a tan as a birthday present(TANjoubi). You know what I mean? These are some of the many words that I’ve encountered once or twice throughout the whole book several months ago, and I still can remember them simply because its mnemonics are so simple and easy. I always remember mnemonics, and then the words even if I didn’t come up with those mnemonics myself. I can’t do the same with WK’s mnemonics because the vast majority of them are long multiple sentences-stories and they never stick.

If there is no other way but to make up my own mnemonics, I’d have to do it, but I was really hoping that I could find another website purely for mnemonics, cause otherwise, it would be much harder for me.

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Thank you! That’s exactly what I was looking for!


I mean, what works for someone works for someone… but we do also get plenty of messages that people have success with the ones that are used here as well, so I don’t think they’re inherently bad. There are a few threads dedicated to people sharing their favorites.

If those were on WaniKani, I can also anticipate other complaints, such as “safe” sounds like せいふ, and not さいふ.

But I guess if you’re still satisfied with the rest of the site, you’ll be able to make it work.


Yeah, I’ve never said that WK’s mnemonics are bad, they just don’t work for me.


about this, WK already has sooo many of those. A good example would be "To get the angle right you find that you have to cock (かく) your head to the side a lot. " for the corner/angle kanji. The number of times I wrote こく instead of かく was beyond infuriating.


Where are you from? In an American accent, ”cock" and かく sound pretty similar (ignoring the multiple syllables)

こく makes me think of coke

WaniKani does get criticism for American-centric mnemonics, but the creators are American so it happens sometimes.

I guess I misread it then.

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I’m from Russia but this was just one of many examples that I had issues with. Maybe that’s also partly a reason why I am struggling with WK’s mnemonics. A lot of culture-related mnemonics just go past me. I still remember TAIRA as in Taira Banks who is supposedly “flat” for the vocab word. I was like who?

I was generally hoping that somebody had similar issues and used some 3rd-party website to get mnemonics from.

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Well, America’s Next Top Model has been an ongoing show broadcasted all over Europe for the past 10+ years or so, so yeah, I’d say most people do know her, or just as her supermodel self. Not that I don’t agree with there being mnemonics that go over my head - there are some that do. It doesn’t matter much, because you can always find your own way to remember kanji or vocab if so.

For me, the mnemonics is just a starting point. My goal is to be fluent in the radicals so that I (like actual Japanese people) can figure out the meaning of unknown kanji when I encounter them or at least the gist of it. That’s my goal, and I think WK does a fine job so far at it. WK has helped me immensely these past months and the improvement in my reading capabilities has really surprised me.

Still, like I said, it’s a matter of preference. I’m sure you’ll find something that works for you as you continue on your journey to learn Japanese. :slight_smile:

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I kinda can relate i didn’t know who was taira banks either (back then). I also wrote cock mnemonics as (こく) multiple times. What i did is just push through. No mnemonics or anything.

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In many countries (at least in Europe) you learn British English and not American English. And in British english it is pronounced kɒk.


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