A walk down textbook memory lane

Hey there, fellow Wanikanians! So I moved house last weekend, and in packing and unpacking I came across a few old Japanese textbooks that I bought when I was in Japan some 15 years ago OMG 15 years ago srsly?? I’m OLD. I haven’t used them in forever, but clearly I thought I would since I’ve been lugging them around since I moved out of my parents’ house.

Anyhoo, I thought I’d share some pictures with you - I bet we all have some old textbooks we don’t use much but keep for sentimental reasons or “just in case”. Could be fun to share them, no?

So here they are. Kanji Master! (hidden the rest of the images for easier reading)

Does anyone know them? I used these when I stayed in Japan to study for a few months. I had every book in the series (there were four, if I remember correctly) but only have these two at hand. You can see I was a dork, too, writing my name and nationality on them for some reason:


I worked hard at Vol. 3, most of the exercises have been done and its covered in notes and comments:


As for volume 4, it’s pristine. Never got there.



It’s funny to note that at my WaniKani level I know most of the volume 3 book and a fair bit of volume 4. I’ll post a photo of the table of contents later, if people are interested… it’s also worth noting that these were produced back when the 能力試験 had only four levels, so it’s likely that the content organisation in these is a bit outdated!


Very interesting, I keep a lot of textbooks for sentimental reasons too.

How does WK compare to the textbooks you used? Do you think it works better/faster? Since you studied so much in the past, it currently more of a refresher for you.

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Honestly, WaniKani is much faster to learn to read the kanji and recognise it. I studied loads, and when I came to WaniKani first I already knew most of the kanji from level 1 to level 20 or so.

But my reading ability has grown exponentially through WaniKani. I’m now reading manga with almost no trouble at all and can even read some light novels (with time, dedication, and dictionaries). The downside, though, is that I used to be able to write all of the kanji I could read… and WaniKani is not meant for that!


Yes! I could, if I wanted to… but I have to confess I’m too lazy… :joy:

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