Do you recommend a full reset after a 5 year hiatus?

It’s been almost 5 years since I stopped using Wanikani (and studying Japanese as well). Before quitting I reached level 21, and I have to say that it did wonders for my comprehension. Now I’m determined to start learning Japanese again.

Obviously continuing wanikani right where I left it wouldn’t make sense so I’m planning to reset to a lower level.

Now, I believe that going back completely to level 1 would feel excruciatingly boring, so I think it could be better if I go back to an intermediate level instead, like 8, 9 or 10 (I already checked and I can easily recognize and read the kanji and vocab found in levels lower than 8).

However, I am not completely sure if that’s a good idea especially since wanikani changed all the mnemonics since I left. I would need to independently study radicals from lower levels, sure. But as i see it, that would be way better that months of boring reviews.

So then, does anyone of you have experience with a long hiatus like this? What was your experience and would you recommend doing a half reset over a full level 1 reset?


If you remember most of the kanji and words from before level 8, there’s no reason to reset to a level lower than that. It’s easy enough to review the new radicals on your own using [Userscript] Self-Study Quiz or similar if you think that would be helpful. Keep in mind that it’s always possible to reset to an even lower level again later if you decide level 8 is still too tough, but once you reset to level 1 you can’t undo that.


I reset from 17 to 1 after a 3 or 4 year hiatus. No regrets. The extra practice doesn’t hurt and you get back into the groove with a slower start.


5 years is a long time. You gotta reset to 1 unfortunately.


Why does OP “gotta” reset to level 1 when they said “I already checked and I can easily recognize and read the kanji and vocab found in levels lower than 8”?


Start with resetting to 8, if you still struggle you can reset lower. Resetting below 5 is a waste of time however, since the levels are so slow and you’re already familiar with some kanji.


I’m with the voices in the ‘don’t reset any lower than you need to’ camp, especially because if you’re wrong about it and level 8 is too hard, then you can always go back a bit more, but you can’t undo a reset once it’s done. One other thing to note is that I’m pretty sure that the names of the radicals you learned are whitelisted for the new radicals, so you have a choice about relearning them with new names or mentally adjusting the mnemonics of kanji that feature them, to tell stories with the names you know. Either should work fine.

Above all, welcome back!


Thank you all for your quick replies!
I’m basically going to do is what many of you have said: reset to level 8 and then try for a couple of months. If I feel it’s too frustrating I can always reset to level 1 and start again.

What I feared most was the new radical names and mnemonics, but it seems that after such a long time I can’t barely remember the mnemonics anymore, I just remember the kanji. So basically I don’t mind learning the new radical names. I already made a custom anki deck with radicals from levels 1 and 2, but I could try using the Self-Study quiz script as seanblue sugested.

And again, thank you. At least I now know this idea is not that crazy!


another consideration…

you can always reset to some level say 10 for example and then unburn any handful of items below that you want to relearn w/o doing everything all over again. The unburn option may not have been there 5 years ago (don’t know)…but it’s there now at the bottom for each item.


I think whatever you choose you’ll have to take some time to get back. Was once in the same position and just figured if I was stuck on that level staying a few more weeks wouldn’t hurt much anyway.

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Get the Ultimate Reorder script, and start working the review pile from the lowest levels to the highest. Once you reach a level where you aren’t comfortable with your percentage correct, reset to that level.

Also, get the lifetime subscription now while it’s on sale.


Because my voice is final and true.

Reset! Reset! Reeeeeeeeeeeeeset!

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5 years is a long time, and you will have probably forgotten alot more than you would expect in that time. I reset to level one a while ago after a long break and honestly speaking, i totally recommend it. It might take a while but it’s worth it if it’s been that long, besides I know alot of the radical names changed a while back on here so it wont be entirely old content.

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