Can I skip kanji and still unlock al the radicals?

I know a decent amount of kanji already and learn from a textbook that teaches me the kanji alongside sentences so seeing the same content here is kind of redundant. Can I skip the kanji and only get radicals or will the app lock me out of things if I don’t “learn” them?

Since you only unlock new radicals by guru-ing 90% of the kanji on a stage, then no, it’s not possible to simply progress through all the levels and only learn radicals.

Why would you want to though? If all you want to do is learn radicals and presumably roll your own mnemonics, you can just use this list or something. A lot of what wanikani calls “radicals” are specifically designed for its own system of mnemonics and won’t do you any good outside of the app.


I was told this app was good for learning radicals. I guess I’ll find an alternative since this doesn’t seem to suit me.

I wonder if you might have some kind of mistaken idea about how radicals work? It’s not like you can suss out the meaning of the kanji just based on its constituent parts. Some people like to just learn the canonical list of radicals so they can break up kanji into manageable chunks, but even so you still need to learn the kanji too.

As an example of what I mean, with the traditional list of radicals only, the kanji 今 is made up of 𠆢 (a variant of the “person” kanji), ⼀ (which is just called “one”) and ⼁(“vertical stroke”).

Knowing these three components doesn’t help you figure out the meaning nor the pronunciation (leaving aside that Japanese has multiple ways to pronounce almost every single kanji), and it’s especially not obvious that the bottom half is actually derived from this weird old kanji 个 that nobody uses anymore.

What wanikani and similar systems do is throw out all the “true” radicals that aren’t going to help you, and come up with their own components that are designed to make it easier for people to learn without getting into the historical baggage.


I got that. I guess I didn’t explain myself well. I already know about 400 kanji yet it looks like this app spends quite a bit of time going over beginner kanji which feels like a waste of time when I could just learn the radicals at my own pace.

It’s definitely true that wanikani is basically only useful for total beginners or people who have the free time to redo a bunch of work :sweat_smile:

Unfortunately there’s currently no way to “test out” or skip to a higher level, so it’s very possible that it’s not a good fit for you.

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That’s not entirely correct, especially as wanikani uses custom radicals and definitely custom names for radicals, so it would be terrible for learning radicals, it’s great for kanji.


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