Anki based writing practice

I’ve found a few threads about this topic and this Kanken anki deck. I would like to prompt with the readings on the front and the Kanji with stroke order on the back. My goal is to better visualize the Kanji and their differences, especially with rarer ones.

I am not sure if having the readings on the front would be sufficient to distinguish uniqueness though. This deck has a meaning field, but the Kanji is in it and I wouldn’t want that on the front of the card. I definitely want to keep English out of it all.

There is also this deck for the Jouyou Kanji only. It seems more contextual with sentences and all.

Can anyone here who has attempted this provide any tips?


What I do for my kanji recall cards is use a word (usually a name, because I often encounter new kanji in names) containing the kanji for the prompt, except with the kanji replaced with kana instead.

Here’s my card for the rabbit kanji 兎, which I first encountered in 兎津叉帝国, the evil rabbit empire in 大海原と大海原. I have 叉 in this same deck as well, using the same prompt word for both, but with different kanji swapped out for kana depending on which kanji that card is testing.

If you want to have all of the readings, you could include prompt words for all of them? But if your primary goal is to test your ability to write the kanji from memory, I’ve found that just including one is enough for me to understand which kanji I need to write.


Okay, so you are learning from a vocabulary prompt then. Maybe I could augment the first Kanken deck I linked with an additional field like what you have.

Right, the main goal here is to be able to write and visualize. Even though I can read 兎 in your post, the mental image of the Kanji disappears quickly.


My Kanken 書き取り cards look like this:

I didn’t check if this would be possible with your deck, but I built mine from scratch and basically put the first half of the example sentences in one field, the reading in another field and the second half in a separate field. The back of the card replaces the katakana with kanji, and the kanji are displayed in the same stroke order font as above, as well.
This way I have exactly as much context as the Kanken gives me.


I prompt from one or more vocab words, usually with an example sentence to remind me of the meaning of the vocab word and distinguish it from homonyms. I made these cards as Japanese-word-prompt versions of Heisig RTK keyword-to-kanji cards, not as generic “how do you write this word” cards, so generally the vocab word is one that matches Heisig’s keyword if possible, and I only test one kanji even if the word is a two-character compound. My original motivation was that I did Heisig with English keywords, and found that although I could write out kanji given the English keyword this didn’t help so much with writing in Japanese because when I wanted to write a word I usually didn’t remember the associated English keywords.

That said, I dunno if I’m satisfied enough with the format to recommend it to others. I only put about a thousand characters into it before stalling out, though I have kept up with the anki reps since then. I think partly my problem is that I don’t currently hand-write anything, and so there’s no practical application for the work with anki to be aiming towards and which could in turn reinforce the memory by actual use – and that’s not something I can fix by fiddling with the card format.

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I really recommend writing kanji from context sentences, where the kanji is converted to kana. I’ve been using the latter deck you linked and almost finished with Kanken 3; it’s been really great.

Here’s what they look like; there’s even native audio on each card:

I tried doing single kanji with English keywords or Japanese words, but it quickly just became frustrating and is not as applicable to real life. As the author writes in the notes of the deck: “Remembering how to write a kanji through a keyword does not lead to the ability to consistently write it inside words later. You will also simply forget the keywords as they are never reinforced while interacting with the language.”


That makes sense. If the second deck is already good to go, I might as well use that. That is essentially the same thing that @Myria is doing.

Is there actually a writing mode for AnkiMobile? I was going to do it all on paper, but it would be convenient to have my phone as an option too.


You can display a notepad when reviewing and write the kanji on there. Just click on the settings icon and there should be an option called notepad or something similar.

The android AnkiDroid app lets you just draw on the screen when you’re reviewing, which makes write-the-kanji answers fairly convenient.

Ah yes you’re right, it is in the options.

I was worried that it was AnkiDroid only because I have iPhone, but it does appear to be there. Maybe a good option if I’m on the go.


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