Am I the only one not reading the stories anymore?

Recently I have noticed I have stopped reading the mnemonic stories while going through my kanji lessons. Instead I check the radicals and a story pops automatically in my head and I stick with that both for the reading and meaning part.

As for the vocabulary, since most words are jukugo, I rarely care reading the stories (most feel pretty obvious).

Am I the only one?


I used mnemonics for like 2 levels. So far, I’ve been doing just fine. I still try to make some story up for those words with totally weird readings (not taught with the kanji lessons). The thing we need to understand here is that mnemonics aren’t needed to be able to memorize every single item. We’re smarter than that. WK offers mnemonics for every single item because the hardest items for me might be different than the hardest for you. In case we need a story for x item, we have one.

As long as you’re being successful with your lessons and reviews, you don’t need to worry :v: In case you start getting more leeches that you can handle, maybe having a mnemonic for those specific items might be a smart choice.


Exactly my thoughts. Feels good to not be alone :wink:


I only read the kanji mnemonics when I have a hard time remembering it, but otherwise I don’t use them whatsoever.


Same. I do make up my own mnemonic stories for kanji, and for vocabulary only if it’s a word I don’t know with a reading I don’t know. But mine are always much shorter than the stories provided.

I also make lots of mnemonics for KaniWani when I can’t remember the word the first time.

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I don’t use the mnemonics unless I’m really stuck on a specific reading! And even then, I usually make up my own, so you’re definitely not the only one!


I’ve so far used the mnemonics for radicals. I was expecting to need them for the higher levels but if that hasn’t been @jprspereira’s experience, I’m not sure anymore. So far, I have only come across a few kanji that I didn’t already recognized so I haven’t really needed the mnemonics. The radicals, on the other hand, without the mnemonics, I’d probably be still on level 10.

A rarely do, only if I’m having a issue learning it. I tend just to brute force learning by repetition. Idk how well this works though, my level up times are nowhere ideal.

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I only don’t use mnemonics if the kanji has a radical with a common reading among other kanji using the same radical, but I often make my own mnemonics too. I remember things better if I can cram all the radicals and meaning and reading into one short sentence.


I always read them for new kanji, and I try to use them to help me past the first two lessons or so, after which I no longer need to think of the story to recall the meaning and reading. Although I’m not a big fan of mnemonics in general, it’s starting to grow on me.


nope your not the only one. The stories are too childish imo.

better than reading those nonsense stories i think.

I’ve slowly stopped paying attention to them but I use the key words to help me.
Its pretty tedious though, trying to remember that 内 is a person inside your head who brandishes a nai when you try ti take him out, etc, etc.
Recognizing the radicals helps a lot.

Eh one thing i don’t like about mnemonics is when they are forced and they makeup something that does sound like a silly story or does not make sense. Some do work well such as one I just learned 足 which is foot and you wear a sock そく on your foot. That mnemonic makes sense and works well, but many times its not that simple or makes sense.

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I’m actually surprised at how many people don’t use the mnemonics, especially for the kanji!

I always use the mnemonics for kanji, unless I know it already.

For vocabulary, I use the mnemonics if it’s a new reading. Usually jukugo words do not require this, so learning vocab is easier on average because I already did the work when learning the kanji.

With that said, I don’t like many of the mnemonics on this site, so about half the time I either tweak the story they have or completely make my own mnemonic up.

Still, it surprises me that some people, especially those that are high level and/or going quickly through the program, don’t use mnemonics! I think my accuracy would drop significantly without them.


I’ll add to my above post that I particularly like the mnemonics that are extremely silly, gutwrenching, or offensive. Like the one for the kanji 掛 - pretty disgusting to think about. It makes me feel uncomfortable, but that’s what makes it so memorable!


Honestly speaking and hopefully no one will get defensive with me on this one: if I wasn’t going to use none of the site’s mnemonics, I would use other SRS methods such as Anki or HouHou instead of WaniKani. The whole point of WaniKani is to learn kanji reading stories using the comedy style Koichi and Tofugu is known for. At least it’s the same vibe from the time I used to check them out years ago on YouTube. Silly, nonsense, sure, but it does help remember the reading/meaning. And just like crutches, after a while, you won’t need them anymore.

I understand each individual has their own way of learning. Carry on if it works for you.

This reminds me of someone I knew using Koohii for RTK and not using the site’s stories. Why use Koohii in the first place? :upside_down_face:


I see WaniKani as a customized Anki deck that keeps track of all my Kanji learning progress, plus the leveling system keeps me motivated.

I tried using other SRS methods and they just didn´t work for me.


Honestly the stories normally make me laugh and keep my motivation high. I don’t need them probably, but I enjoy them.

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I default to using their mnemonics because I find it exhausting coming up with that many all on my own, and I do like the way lots of them connect up with each other. I’m going to struggle to come up with my own set of mnemonics that interlink in that way spontaneously.

You say that you rarely care about the stories for vocabulary because most words are jukugo, but they don’t provide mnemonics in those cases anyway…?

The radicals usually look like the thing they’re supposed to be, or are just a kanji you already know; in the former case the ‘mnemonic’ usually just describes the picture for you.

For kanji, I always read the mnemonics, but if something pops into my head instantly I’ll use that instead, and I can usually tell if a particular mnemonic isn’t going to work for me. Often it’s when they use five radicals and I don’t care about most of them or when they can be combined into larger components, but that usually involves tweaking the mnemonic rather than coming up with something entirely new. I see their mnemonics as more of a source of inspiration than the be all and end all :sweat_smile:

I often find myself using different mnemonics for certain readings. I’m not sure whether it’s a British vs American accent thing, but sometimes the word they pick sounds closer to another reading, and I know I’ll get confused so I use my own. Like ‘cock’ is gonna make me think こく, not かく.