Ateji and Vocab usually written in kana

Am I correct to say that I did not see Wanikani mentioning certain vocabs are ateji or usually written in kana?
I know if Wanikani mentions that way in the vocab details, it might discourage people to learn the vocab, but for now I need to check to see if the vocab is ateji or usually written in kana alone.

Not a random sample, but the first one that popped into my head to check, 有る, does have a note about it on the page.

The kanji isn’t used too often for this word, so when you’re writing just use the kana. But you’ll see the kanji used sometimes so it’s important to be able to recognize it!

So, if others exist without notes like that, it might help to let them know via email ( and they can add similar messages to other pages.

Just a note on those tags in Jisho though, there is a wild amount of variability.

If you see “usually written in kana” on something, it could mean

  1. It’s common to write this in kana, but it’s also not strange to see it in kanji and many Japanese know the kanji (for example, 可愛かわいい)
  2. It’s overwhelmingly common to write this in kana, and only dedicated people know the kanji (吃驚びっくり)
  3. This is effectively never written in kanji, and finding a person who even knows this kanji exists will be tough. (I’d have to hunt for an example, given the nature of the category)

So take it with a grain of salt. It would help if there were more tags than just the one. To be fair, vocab on WK will never be of the kind in #3, so you don’t need to worry about that. But some of it is in category 1, where it’s totally reasonable to study the kanji.

Ateji also doesn’t necessarily mean the kanji isn’t common, so be careful how you interpret that.


Thank you. Good to know about the number 1 to 3 about “usually written in kana”.
I will definitely will memorize the vocab in kanji, but I don’t want to feel like an a$$ in my beginner class writing vocab in kanji when the vocab is actually written in kana usually.
But because number 3 is very rare, I can be relax now. haha.
For ateji, thanks for the info too.

結局 (I just learned this vocab), I will still learn and memorize the vocab without hesitation. haha


If you mean having the teacher correct you and say “we usually write that in kana”, I wouldn’t fret about that at all. Knowing more kanji than you’re expected to isn’t going to make you look bad. Even Japanese people need teachers and adults to help them refine their kanji usage as they learn.

If you mean writing for all the students to look at, I would gauge things more on the level of the class than on specific words. A beginner class likely wouldn’t ask people to know more than a few hundred kanji, and so it’s a good idea to write something like 結局 with furigana or in just kana no matter how common the kanji is in native materials.


haha, thanks.
Not both actually. It is just me. The sensei will tell me if I made a mistake, but so far for vocab in kanji, no correction. She was glad that I actually tried to write the kanji.
Even during placement test, the tester knew about Wanikani, but of course my grammar is still lacking, my non-wanikani vocab, and also my writing.

Thanks again.