A Question Concerning Vocab Written Only in Hiragana

Hi guys and gals! I’m relatively new here, but I’ve decided to take the Wanikani plunge after being impressed by how much I learned in the first three levels. Now, I know that Wanikani is a great resource to learn Japanese vocabulary, but it’s kinda limited to words that utilize kanji. Despite the fact that I’m a beginner, I am aware that many Japanese words are written in hiragana only. Does anyone have any kind of resource(s) that details hiragana-only vocabulary words? Thanks!


There’s the Torii app which has a kana-only mode, it’s free and available on desktop and android


I hope you find something useful! I’ve been searching for a resource like that too, although from my (limited) understanding, there are very few words that are only written in hiragana. Most words that are like that actually have kanji, but the kanji is rare/difficult/archaic so it is more often written in hiragana.

Many adverbs (particularly onomatopoeic and mimetic words) have no kanji. In some cases, they may have etymology that is based on a kanji word in the past, but others have no such etymology.

Another area of words that often have no kanji are conjunctions, though the proportion that do have kanji is higher than with adverbs.

Loanwords and wasei-eigo are typically written in katakana, and have no kanji.

This is, I think, an underappreciated area of study. Many people think that they get all these loanwords for free because they speak English, but using them properly does take study.

For instance, メリット and 長所 have almost the same definition if you look them up in a dictionary.

But メリット cannot be used to describe the personalities of people. You won’t glean that from a dictionary entry.

プラス on the other hand, can be used for people’s personalities.


Ive been using https://kitsun.io for my genki study, it works alot like wanikani but there are user made decks.
Im not sure if there is anything yet for kana only words but you can make your own deck with the words you want to learn.

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Somebody took the Hiragana and Katakana only vocab from Core 6K and uploaded it to Memrise here

If you don’t want to use Memrise you could download the Core 6k deck for Anki and just suspend/delete any words with Kanji.

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If you like the way Wanikani works, it’s worth plugging iKnow again, as it has a similar setup and includes hiragana-only words (including many adverbial onomatopoeia from the core 3,000 onward).

I’ve found they work very well together, provided you’re comfortable paying for two apps.


I could never get the iknow or core deck ones. They seem to just throw kanji at you, unlike wanikani that breaks stuff down with radicals and has memronics.

I often see many people who love the core decks though so maybe I don’t get it lol.

I can’t stand the core decks either so you’re definitely not alone. A lot of Japanese learners for some reason seem to swear by Anki and the core decks not realizing there are plenty of other perfectly viable alternatives.


For sure I would not do the Core by itself. I started when I was pretty low level on WK and it was rough for that reason. But now I expect I can breeze through when I finally get new vocabulary (almost through my 1,500 word backlog lol) even if the kanji’s not on WK. It is a good supplement IMO, and I’m glad to hear about the adverbial onomatopoeia.

I might have just hit the right level of iKnow at the right point in my Wanikani-ing, since there tend not to be a ton of unknown kanji, and when there is one, it often winds up in the next level or two of WK for me anyway.

But I would also just say: The point isn’t learning the kanji. It’s learning vocab (structured in a way that prioritizes usefulness, whereas WK’s vocab has to stick to known kanji regardless of how common or niche the word is). It’s okay to remember some words by their general shapes in the meantime. Building up a vocabulary is more important. There are absolutely words I’ve learned on the site I can identify generally even if I haven’t really learned the kanji, just because it appears often enough or I’m able to make a temporary visual association with the word itself.

More vocab also eases reading and listening, which eases reinforcing everything else.

If you have your own general Japanese study material (like a relevant textbook) and are just starting Wanikani, I wouldn’t worry about it. But definitely keep it in mind for down the line.

I am working on an anki/memrise deck that will have a lot of commonly used hiragana only words (as well as many other things). It’ll be “themed” to something that I think will greatly interest the community and as far as I know, there’s not a deck like this out there. I just have to get off my butt and actually finish making it.

Yeah I’m aware of the onomatopoeic and mimetic words, but I believe those are usually written in katakana, not hiragana, plus there are heaps of online resources for them. I was meaning specifically words only written in hiragana, but I can’t think of any. Obviously they’re missing from my knowledge! Now to look for resources.

Edit: oh wait, I guess words like はい、いいえ、あの don’t have kanji. Hmmm…

Lots of onomatopoeic and mimetic words are written in hiragana.

Also adverbs such as ゆっくり, やっと, すっきり and すっかり.

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:scream: omg that’s so interesting! I never knew! Mind = :exploding_head:. ありがとう。

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Many are written either way. But hiragana is not unusual. ふわふわ definitely looks “fluffier” than フワフワ, so maybe that influences people sometimes.

PS, いいえ and あの do have kanji. 否 and 彼の, but you won’t see them much.


あの does have a kanji though, although you won’t see anyone use it.

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Wait is it seriously 彼の? What if we have been misreading it as かれの all along when it was really あの! Its a grand conspiracy.

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It is seriously 彼の. And yes, it is a conspiracy by the kanken people to trip you up. You, personally.
And they would have gotten away with it too, if it wasn’t for 彼の meddling kids.

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What about the あの used as an interjection, like “um” or something. Does it use the same kanji in that case?