Between the reviews

What are you doing between the reviews? Turned out that in many cases i forget the mnemonics when I just get started with ne Kanji. I wonder, how people actually can go through levels in just a few days… wouldn’t it mean they would recognize all the meanings, readings etc after the first time they have learned about it?

i was looking at the lesson charts and thought maybe people would look at these charts between the reviews, so they could learn recognize them. Maybe I should print them out?

Then I started to use the characters of Level 4 (which I am currently dealing with) to write up a small story. What do you think about such an approach? This is for Kanji only, not vocab.

Let me know… i would love to use Wanikani as efficiently as possibly, but think I miss something.


The story:

The 竹 (たけ) fields were beautiful. The 主 (しゅ), who had no 名(めい) was driving in his 車(しゃ) to the 村 (むら). He thought about going to the 町 (ちょう) instead, but it was 早(そう)in the 年 (ねん). A good time to see the 花 (はな), he loved so much. It would only grow in the 央 (おう)of that village.Nobody was every able to make a 写 (しゃ) of that flower. The 主 considered to 仕 (し) one. He scratched his 耳 (みみ). Would he have the 気(き)? Or would this project fall 平 (へい) again?

He must 申 (もう) about it. To many projects had failed, because of the constant pain in his 足 (そく). He did not recover well from the 百 (ひゃく) times the nasty little 虫 (むし) attacked him. It 打 (う) him really hard. The 打 was buried in 氷 (こおり) for long time, and was 不 (ふ) visible to anyone… but then it came out and attacked.

A previous 世 (せ) might haven taken it easier… but no him. Maybe he should write a 字 (じ) to the 男 (だん). 男 was his 去 (きょ) teacher, one of a 先 (せん) age. Later, another teacher代 (だい) him. But still… well, that guy had a lot on his 皿 (さら) too. He was dealing with the 号 (ごう) of the 他 (た) business. It was deep in the 赤 (あか).

Maybe 主 the should just go and 見(み)for himself.There is no 糸 (いと) about it. In the worst case, they would just peel of the 皮 (かわ)of a 貝 (かい).They would both say 礼 (れい) and could go back to take a long 休 (きゅう).

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Funny enough I am also level 4. Honestly, the mnemonics are useless for me so I just try to memorize everything, some Kanji are so weird that you just have to memorize it without questioning anything lol.

That being said, I recommend you use other sources to learn the basics (especially things related to grammmar) that way your Japanese improves along with your Kanji skills. For that, you can use Human Japanese, LingoDeer or Tae Kim’s guide. I don’t have too much time for Japanese so I try to do at least 10 minutes a day using one of these apps.

I’ve noticed that when I try to learn a Kanji that is completely new I struggle a bit especially if the meaning/reading combination isn’t obvious. Though, when I know the word without the Kanji, as soon as I see the Kanji I get it once and for all. Such an example would be like 母(haha) which means mother. I always knew the word but not the Kanji.

So if you already know the meaning you just have to memorize the Kanji which is easier than having to learn both. At least this is what happens to me :smiley:

The story approach is interesting but it doesn’t really allow you to practice Japanese as you use their(Kanji) English meanings. Also it’s time consuming, if you have time to do it everyday then why not but I would rather study some grammar instead. Of course this is only my opinion.

Good luck, level 4 fellow :wink:

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Actually I worked through HJ1 already and I am currently working on HJ2. I thought I could make my life easier by memorizing the Kanji more efficiently, so my WK studies could speed up too. Thanks for your opinion and good luck to you too!


I just remember what I was taught when it was first taught to me most of the time. Some people have better memories, sure, but spending more time on the lessons greatly helps. If that doesnt work, then this is outta my area of expertise.

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In the beginning of a level I used the self study quiz to repeat the kanji on the current level a few times in the first week. Ideally you learn the kanji well enough to last for a few days in the initial lesson, and just refresh the memory again in the reviews.

I like the story idea, it’s good to get creative with the content. You can extend it with switching more and more to Japanese, or write the story by hand (if you just do WK you will totally blank out on remembering a kanji without seeing it).

One thing is that maybe you should use the readings that are appropriate for standalone kanji, like 車 would be くるま, or 町 まち.


I squash leeches using Anki, I POLL, and I (re)read Tofugu articles.


Just make sure to really spend time on the lessons and mnemonics. If you’re spending all this time crafting a story, why not just focus on imagining the mnemonics. You don’t really want to be reviewing items in between reviews (unless they are particularly difficult/leeches). It kind of defeats the point of the SRS system because you’re supposed to review just before you forget.
It´s pretty normal for me to forget items when they´re new, especially if I rushed the lesson, but I get it after it comes around a few times, no big deal.

Also your stories might interfere with learning vocab, because しや is not actually the word for car etc.


I try to learn Japanese with daily lessons on Duolingo, LingoDeer and Mondly Japanese (all Android apps). It’s going to consume too much time now, so I think I’llI just keep Duolingo and skip the other two (but I just read something about Human Japanses, so I would like to try that too).
In October I start with lessons in a class, I’m afraid I don’t have time left for anything else then…

Man, I’ve heard from soooooooo many people now that the mnemonics are useless! I haven’t found that to be the case at all… Though perhaps I rely on them a bit differently. To me, the mnemonics don’t matter much, just so long as there’s some kind of different association I can make between the symbol and something else. Like 止 and the shi character… That’s Charlie Sheen! That particular mnemonic device is used several more times throughout WK so far and so when I see 止 it always flashes through my head a bit. Same with 少 the poor SHOgun. These little things just stick in my head after using them. All I need is just some kind of outside reference that I stick to.

Now the first couple of days after I go to a new level, my reviews hover around 20-40% correct. But within 3 days, I’m up in the high 80s as the mnemonics that stick stick well and the ones that I have trouble with get isolated and then memorized. Sometimes I have to add my own notes, but mostly it’s just learning the new “rules” of the new level. Once I have those rules down, the new vocabulary begins to make more sense and things become a lot easier.

Do nothing until the review time comes.
Mnemonics are useful for me. They help me to remember meaning. About the reading, I usually create my own ones by asking questions and answers.
That is what I do.


+1 for “Nothing” (at least where the current level of kanji/vocab is concerned)

I watch some anime, I read some manga, I’ll see if I can play a video game in Japanese. I check up on Bunpro every now and then. But where WK is concerned, I let the mnemonics and SRS do their thing. I miss some and that’s okay. It’s more time to review everything and let the repetition and spacing do their work.

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Yeah don’t worry, I was talking for myself not for everyone. For me the mnemonics are just kind of troll honestly. Don’t get me wrong, WK will always be the best Kanji app. Even though I don’t care about the radical names not being the “real” ones, I am not a big fan of the mnemonics.

As I said, I learn best when I’ve already seen the word (without Kanji). For example for your 少 I know しょうがっこう (Elementary School) so しょう for small. I discover that 少 is “shou” and I never forget it again because I can related to elementary school.

Each one has his own way to learn the Kanji but who cares about which one we use, the goal is that we reach the same destination, being Kanji masters! or not…:smiley:

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