Ding! Level 60 cakepost

Hey, I just reached lv60 two days ago and wanted to thank the WK team and share some of my personal experiences! I suck at writing so sorry if it’s all a jumbled train of thought, gonna try to keep it manageably concise :sweat_smile:

Since I haven’t been too active on the forums, this will be a somewhat late introductory post as well x)

Some background info about me:

  • mid-20s, born and living in Central Europe
  • studying and working in STEM fields (but I’ve always been somewhat fond of linguistics)
  • lived in Japan for about 1 year during my time in secondary school (with no prior Japanese knowledge)

The stay in Japan gave me a solid foundation with kana, and since I’d listen to a LOT of real-life conversations during that time, I acquired some intuition about the spoken language – I learned a bunch of common words and phrases, could take part in basic everyday conversations, and got used to rendaku and some other language quirks.

I didn’t put any major effort into studying kanji back then, so there were only a few dozen kanji I could recognize out of context; there were also some words (like locations, people’s names, or some school-related terms) that I could also technically read (as a jukugo), but I’d have no idea about the meanings of the constituent kanji.

A few years after I came back to Europe I decided to work on my reading skills, but I felt like I bumped into a massive roadblock related to kanji and wasn’t getting anywhere…
Learning through the ‘traditional’ method would’ve taken a huge time investment before I’d be able to read anything remotely interesting; and I didn’t have enough existing kanji groundwork to learn the new ones organically… so I put it off again for a few more years.

Fast-forward to 2019 winter break, I remembered there was this stuff called SRS and thought that maybe I could apply it to Japanese. I grabbed the RTK Anki deck and (being an extremely impatient person when it comes to learning) burnt out in a week :sweat_smile:

There were also some other issues I had with RTK, namely:

  • the keywords were often too far off
  • no reading mnemonics whatsoever (I know there’s a separate RTK for that, but it didn’t make much sense considering I was already more used to speaking/listening than reading)
  • it just felt too chaotic (but that might’ve been the deck I used)

After some snooping around on the net I found WK, made a trial account… and haven’t looked back x)
It took me about 30 levels to get used to the pacing and I had two small burn-outs during that time – but these issues came mostly from my irregular schedule, since I was trying to plow through WK, university classes, and a few part-time jobs at the same time.

My stats (still working on the lv60 items):

And the 3 things I loved the most about WK:

  • probably my first such voluntary long-term commitment that I’ve actually gone through till the end (and hopefully not the last)
  • now I can look up words in a dictionary without resorting to handwriting or stroke-counting IME (sounds minor, but holy **** it’s such a great quality of life change)
  • the sheer ratio of knowledge gained to time spent learning

So yeah, never imagined that learning the kanji would actually be an easy part of the journey :grin: And I’ll definitely be checking out new Tofugu products and advocating WK to anyone who asks me about learning Japanese!

Thank you! xo



This is an interesting story. Not everyone is blessed with living in Japan as a teenager. I tried RTK but it didn’t work for me.


Congratulations! :smiley:


Congratulations :crabigator:


Well done! Congratulations!


Welcome to the land of Level 60, the most exciting place on WaniKani until they add more levels!


Congratulations! Now go get you some cake! You’ve earned it!


congratulation! :tada: :tada: :confetti_ball: :tada:


Congratulations! Now if only I could get to level 60 as quick as you haha


Congratulation - I always feel weirdly proud of people who reach lvl60, and love reading the posts.

I feel a good thing about Wanikani is it saved me from myself - I have a habit of getting super motivated about doing something, then ‘burning’ all my motivation in a short space of time. So I found Wanikani to act as a regulator, only allowing me spend a little of my motivation at a time, and also a constant reminder that I COULD NEVER STOP . :rofl:

How the heck is your accuracy so high ? :flushed: :flushed: :flushed: mega impressive. Any tips ? or have you just got a knack of remembering things?


Congratulations! It’s so inspiring to read your story!


bow haikyu
Congratulations on this milestone @bshd-先輩!


Yep, I can totally relate – when I get really absorbed in something I can stay in the flow for hours and hours, and can’t get my mind off the task at hand… :sweat_smile:
I kinda got used to working like this – helped me pass numerous exams, fix lots of emergencies at work…
But it’s not sustainable, and it’s only recently that I’m slowly finding some healthy-ish work-life balance.
Many goals need a long-term sustained work, and can’t really be accomplished with a few days of (no matter how concentrated) effort :smile:

Thanks! I’ll admit I kinda incorporated the “ignore answer” button into my routine – on each level there usually was 1 or 2 kanji that I couldn’t get right at the Apprentice 1 review. I’d mark them as correct and then roll up some new custom story after I was done with the other reviews. It was usually enough for me to remember them 8 hours later, and it helped me maintain a steady level-up pace.

With that out of the way, though… I already knew a good portion of the radicals when I started (I mean their shapes, not the “meanings”). And I had some prior experience with mnemonic techniques, so that was definitely helpful while visualizing the stories. Aaaand there’s a lot of kanji where you can straight up guess the reading by a certain radical, so recognizing that helps as well.
What else is there… chunking the lessons? I usually tried to learn 5 new kanji in one sitting, and 10 was definitely my upper limit. Of course it depends on how abstract they were or how weird the mnemonic was, but more than that and I’d lose focus and my accuracy would later drop.
Oh, and IMO doing the reviews as soon as they become available is a huge factor for accuracy and retention, for a number of reasons – I even made a habit of hauling my laptop around just for that purpose :smile:

Thats all I’ve got off the top of my head, but I’m sure there were some other small things that had an impact here. I’d say try to take a few different approaches to lessons (both with batch sizing and how you handle mnemonics) and see what works for you!


Congratulations!! :tada: :tada: :partying_face: :confetti_ball:


Yeah - I kinda think this makes sense. I have done this in the past - I guess if you didn’t properly remember the kanji, it would soon get knocked back down to apprentice level. During the ‘reality’ levels, i have increasingly used ‘ignore’ when I get the meaning of vocab wrong. I see / use Wanikani as a tool or leaning the Kanji meanings and readings - the amount of vocab on here is mind boggling, and don’t want it to bog me down during this last push !

This is really good advice.

Thanks for taking the time to reply - and hopefully I will seeing you on lvl 60 soon ! (although the closest I get, the more of a grind it feels !!!)


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Congrats!! That level-up graph is beautiful! Even with the two bumps, but who’s noticing?

Also, I 1000% feel you on the joys of looking things up because I can at least guess at the reading. The hours we’re saving!


Well done!!

I noticed that everyone seems to bomb out at lvl 10 before continuing :smiley: I recognize this phase myself being almost at lvl10 as I am right now (with two kids currently being homeschooled like everyone else’s kids T_T and keeping up on my research and grant writing, but that’s life eh?). I took a few days break in lessons and my reviews have backed up to around 140 (and counting lol).
I doubt I will be able to reach lvl 60 as quickly as you did though!

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Wait, when we get to level 60, we have to get our own cake? I thought you guys will buy me cake :sob:


Tbh I’m kinda unsure myself. I’ll have to refer you to cake lawyer @MissMisc for the exact details.


It depends how many connections on the forums you have