Cleaning up leeches/items and I'm frustrated that its taking so long

That’s the way I need to do it. OK, new project. :smiley:


You are totally right! I think it depends on the leech/leech pair. I’ve noticed that on a few once I get them wrong I know the correct answer without looking at the correct answer first. For these I probably just need to slow down a bit first and make sure I’ve typed the correct thing in.

My absolute worst leech is 内 The mnemonic is “ooh, cheese” I can never remember if its つち or うち.

or like 全て(すべて) and 全く(まったく) I just can’t remember which one is “all” and which one is “complete”

I’m hoping that by stopping lessons for a bit and just focusing on figuring out what the real leeches are will help long term. Thanks!

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Thanks for sharing! The new lesson stuff doesn’t seem to be that big of an issue for me it seems to be the stuff that I learned when I was doing WK more sporadically. If I can tidy up those things I’m hoping I’ll be able to find a more consistent routine that will work for me.

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Cleaning up leeches and levelling up to 13 are two contradictory goals. If you’re drowning in the pool, is it a good idea to pour more water?


I’ve already leveled up to 13. I just haven’t touched any of the lessons for 13 yet. I’m not planning to until I have all the sneaky leeches sorted. Once I feel like they have been dealt with then I’ll start the level 13 stuff.

I agree with you trying to deal with the current leeches and adding more to the review pile isn’t a good idea right now. I want to focus on just the stuff I’m having difficulty first, then jump into level 13.


I want to use this thread as a way to also monitor my progress. So I’m going to periodically post what’s going on with my items! Thanks everyone


If you are interested in joining the Absolute Beginner Book Club, the current pick is still free on amazon (maybe Bookwalker too?) and since the chapters don’t really built up on one another you could jump right in with the chapters for this week!

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Thanks! I’ll get it from Amazon! I’ll try to go to the store tomorrow and see if I can find a hardcopy too. Thanks!

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There’s only one cheese inside, not two (つ)cheeses.

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An admirable goal, but personally I don’t think doing this is sustainable. I don’t remember the exact timing beyond apprentice, but I think you’re looking at at least 2 weeks per item, given you answer them correctly each time.
I usually just keep apprentice items below 100 and clear out all the previous levels vocab from the lessons before moving on to the next levels kanji. I think its unavoidable that you’ll have items from many levels previous that keep popping up in your review queue.
As for leaches, I probably should be reading this thread instead of giving advice lol. I have some leaches from like 20-30 levels prior that have been in my apprentice/guru queue for a year plus and are pushing 60 reviews each on meaning, reading, or both (curse 続々 and 追い付く!)
Keep up the good work though!


I don’t know what others think, but dragging crap along from previous levels seems to strengthen everything. Believe in your brain. (More: the more conflicting kanji, the better because you get to learn how to differentiate everything. Sure your accuracy slips, but I don’t feel like that’s a bad thing – it reflects a more contextual reality that the kanji you “know” are kanji that you still get confused over when seen in a larger sea of kanji.)

That said, the advice to slow down on new lessons is also solid!! As is the guidance on destroying leeches and using scripts…I haven’t done these things yet but if I had maybe I’d be at level 30 right now… :sweat_smile:

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I periodically do what you’re doing. Partly to just get the Apprentice count down to zero for the satisfaction it gives me, and partly as a self-imposed break from lessons. I upped from 100 max Apprentice to 150, with a hard cap on 100 items app3 and below. This seems to work well for me and I’d recommend trying that if you want to lighten the load a bit.

To reinforce leeches, writing is great. If you want a good app for that, I’ve made the files for import into Kanji Study (Play Store) and I’d be happy to help you set it up over Discord (the app costs 13 bucks - one time payment).

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I think there is something to what you are saying! That’s what I’ve been doing just like let me get through what I can get through my brain will do what it can!

I’m wondering though it by not focusing on the things that are giving me trouble I’m “skipping leg day” so to speak. If just focusing on what I have in my review queue atm doesn’t have any long term effect then I know not to do it again! Thanks!

I understand the logic behind just keep pushing through, I think my thought process here is to spend a week or two focusing a bit on the stuff that I’m struggling with (leeches or otherwise) then return to the onslaught. I feel like if you have 60 leeches and are keeping your apprentice items to 100 it means that you have a window of like 40 things to learn.

Idk I’m going to try to stick with this little experiment of mine and see what happens, maybe its not useful and I wasted a week, or maybe it helps only one way to see what works for me!


@VegasVed Hello! I’ve been using old fashion pen and paper to practice my writing, I think the handwriting is good. If I decide to go digital I’ll be sure to message you Thanks!

Once I’ve gotten my apprentice count to near zero I’ll give your method a try and see how that goes. Thanks!

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Here are today’s stats after a big batch of reviews. All of the items at apprentice levels 1,2,3 are leeches and 53 at level 4 are leeches.

I’m was curious about what items are in the SRS stage so I’m going to add images of that too. Some people suggested I reset back a few levels, I’m curious what level people think I should reset to based on what you see here.

Apprentice 1:
Screen Shot 2021-07-27 at 5.59.41 PM
Apprentice 2:
Screen Shot 2021-07-27 at 5.59.48 PM
Apprentice 3:

Apprentice 4:

Guru 1:

Guru 2:




I agree with toanenadiz. Having the time to handle 200 apprentice items doesn’t mean you won’t suffer from cognitive fatigue. Keep your apprentice items below 100, especially since you’re only 13, because you know, it’s going to be hell soon enough when you get to higher levels.
About your leeches, try using them outside of wanikani. Write sentences with them, sing a madeup song about 出所 or 転ぶ, read sentences examples that have your leeches in it (, tatoeba, etc will help you with this). Contextualize them, that’s how you’ll remember them.

Also: don’t reset

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Strangely, you have so many leeches at such a level. Are you using any scripts to modify the order? If so, then that’s the first thing you should tackle. Disable all the scripts, follow the default order WK. Don’t reset, and use personal mnemonics. A self-study quiz might help but don’t overuse it on other things. Just use it for leeches.

Definitely go with under 100 apprentices. Too much filling your brain with short-term kanji to handle will mentally fatigue you.

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Today’s update of items:
Almost all of my apprentice items are leeches right now, which is what I was trying to do. Let’s see what I can do about them!

I don’t use scripts for anything other than just looking at my data, I use self-study quiz occasionally but never mess with the order WK has. Here’s what I’m using.

I think I’m going to try and clear up

Thanks! I think there can be a reason to reset, but resetting for leeches doesn’t make sense to me. I’d just have to redo the stuff that isn’t leechy on top of the leeches.

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OP, how is your accuracy on wkstats?

I just let SRS do its thing as some people here say and I enjoy it everyday just doing exatly what you do keeping apprentice below 100, etc.

Here’s a screenshot! I think ultimately I’ll go back to just letting SRS do its thing as that is easiest!

my humble opinion, you are thinking too much about strategies and etc to retain as much as possible on each srs level, many many things and variables.

I dont do any of what you did past posts above and here is my wkstats

Just let srs do its thing.

Meanwhile every 2 days I check shirimono for grammar points, I am doing N2 now, I have finished N5 to N3 so far.

For leeches, I have this Shin WaniKani Leech Trainer script, it shows on top of main page and I do it every other time. That’s it.