Does Writing Help?

I’m considering learning stroke order when I’m doing lessons and I was wondering if that is a good idea or not. The reason I’m asking is because I have a seriously large amount of time available on my hands and I don’t actually really know what to spend that time on. I know that the reviews are going to pick up the farther I get in to WaniKani, but the amount of time I have is 4+ hours every day (except on very few days its 3 hours). So, I was wondering if learning how to write Kanji now as I go through my lessons would be beneficial for learning them, or if it would be a waste of time and I should learn how to write them after I reach level 60.

My schedule is this right now (along with grammar each day):

  • Do all radicals lessons at once, 1/3 available kanji, and 20 vocab on my first day in a new level
  • 1/3 kanji second day + 20 vocab
  • 1/3 remaining kanji third day + 20 vocab
  • 20 vocab and so on

What I was thinking because this still leaves me with a lot of time left after practicing grammar and reading, I would instead spend more time in my lessons going over the mnemonics and learning the stroke order. This in return would result in practicing writing Kanji every time it shows up in a review as well.

Just curious what people’s opinions are on this based on my situation. Would it be better to start now since I have the time to? Or wait until I know the Kanji. Either way I’m going to learn how to write it, I just thought since I have the time, and I also have a feeling it will help me learn the Kanji and not forget it.

Let me know if you think this will help me learn or just drag me down/ slow me down too much. Thanks.

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Short answer Yes. Long answer Yeeeeeeeees with an asterisks.

Writing is becoming more rare but I do find it to help me memorize certain kanji and it is also useful to learn as then you get a sense of the stroke order of Kanji that you don’t know and can pick up that way. Just pace yourself because writing a lot of different kanji can lead you to forget others in the short term. It is easy to recall a kanji with seeing the kanji but it is difficult to recall how to write it from memory if you jammed it in there with 20 other kanji in 1 session.

This will slow you down imo. It helped me when I started kanji but your millage may vary.


I still can write only a few simplest kanji, so cannot really speak about them, but writing massively helped me with remembering katakana. Therefore I guess it would be useful for knowing kanji better as well, even if you won’t need to handwrite anything in life.

Hey ! I think writing kanjis can be a great benefit because of muscle memory.
I believe you can remember them more if you write them down instead of just typing it on the screen.

also, how do you divide your kanjis ? Is there a script or you’re doing it just by looking at the kanji counter on reviews ?

Thank you for responding, I figured this as much. I think I can manage learning ~15 kanji in three days spending a good amount of time on it. I have the script that shows me the stroke order which will be nice. I don’t think it will slow me down too much because I mentioned that I have a large amount of time on my hands that I don’t know what to do with haha. If it does end up slowing me down I don’t think I’m going care that much because I’d rather have it down in my memory. We’ll see. I’m curious what other people think too based on their experiences as well.

Check this out:

Shows all the scripts that are helpful with WaniKani and learning!

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Thanks ! I’ll check it out !

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Yeah for sure, I’m not actually doing it so I learn how to write it honestly, I’m thinking about doing it because of that muscle memory. Whenever I think of the English alphabet I can picture what a letter looks like immediately and I seem to catch myself in the act of writing it out in my head. I know with the 100-200+ a day at the pace I’m planning on going may affect me writing, but I don’t think it should slow me down too much since I’m only going to do the Kanji.

If you’re going to learn how to write them either way, you might as well start now. Certainly it will help you memorize them better. Is it the most efficient way to memorize them? Maybe not, but you don’t have to be efficient. You should enjoy learning Japanese however you like.

If you write down every kanji during reviews I think you will eventually become overburdened, even with the amount of time you have available to you. I think later on you will also want to start focusing on grammar more. But you can always adjust your learning routine based on your priorities.


In the long run, yes. Writing is double the exposure.

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That was what I was planning. I’m definitely going to adjust based on how I feel. Also I am a speedster, I love to grind things out and this isn’t any different. With that said I still want it to be quality learning, and since I have a lot of time (and will for at least a year) I think I can keep it quality while still going fast (7-10 days each level). As for the grammar, I’m going to start spending at least an hour on that a day, whether it is learning or just going over it as I learn more vocab and such.

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It feels like most answers could be paraphrased as “Writing is more studying so you’ll know them better”, which is kind of obvious.

Imo the question should be:
Do you want to be able to read x amount of Kanji, or do you want to be able to write y amount of Kanji?
I dare say x is always going to be bigger than y.
If you dont want to learn handwriting, why bother? Spend the extra time on exposure and you should be able to read them just fine.
It seems the “quantity over quality”-mindset in terms of reading is the very core of WaniKani.

I guess what I’m thinking is that handwriting is going to help me store the Kanji in my memory. If I can keep up the same pace that I’m going at and not lose the quantity then I’m getting better quality learning. It’s another way for me to recall what the Kanji means (as I was writing it I’m thinking about what it means and I can recall back to the meaning and how it is said). Anyways that’s why I’m asking because I want other people’s opinions. Although I know my situation a little bit better and kind of like the idea adding writing to help learn it, it’s nice to see what other people think so I can adjust my options.

I wanted to ask you, do you find that separating kanjis on three days is a benefit ? I have the script for it but I don’t really know if it’ll help me or not.

Basically I’m doing 1/3 of the Kanji a day that way I level up every 7 days since it takes 3 and a half days to guru something - so after 7 days I guru all of my Kanji and the next level unlocks (since you don’t need to have vocab guru’d to advance to the next level). Vocab is also important so to stay caught up I’m doing 20 vocab lessons every single day. If there is no vocab then you’re caught up so you’re fine, but since we’re low level that is only going to be common for a short amount of time because reviews will start racking up.

You’re obviously reinforcing your knowledge, but it’s also going to take you longer. If you could simply add the writing portion without adding a significant amount of time, pretty much everyone would be doing it :b

If it’s only about being able to read Kanji, spend your time actually reading them. Get to a higher level so you’re comfortable with beginner material and start reading. You’ll not only enforce your Kanji knowledge but are also practicing Japanese.

If you dont want to be able to handwrite, practicing writing is never going to be the most efficient way of study.

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I see, do you think it’s inefficient to do every vocab reviews each day ? (also I’m currently doing WaniKani 2/3 times a day, has it an impact ?)

I feel obliged to reinforce the answer of other people around here by adding my own experience:
I started learning japanese from the book, not from wanikani. So I was doing what book asked me to do- I was practicing the stroke order and writing of every new kanji I met in the book.
As a result even if I learned a particular kanji on wanikani, it feels foreign and incomprehensible if I am not familiar with its writing (or at least its parts, radicals)

That’s very true. I’m just trying to get a better “picture” in my head of what the Kanji looks like, which is what writing will do. I feel like knowing how something is written gives me that mental picture of what something is, and reinforces how it is read and it’s meaning. But, I see where you are coming from and how actually reading it will benefit me more than writing it - I just don’t exactly know how I can implement that at the level I am at right now since I barely know any Kanji. Ideally, I see my time being spent every day as 1 hour on WaniKani (unless reviews rack up and I end up spending 2 hours), an hour on grammar, and then I have 1/2 hours or more, depending on the day, spent studying whatever. This would either be put towards writing the Kanji or reading… or I could actually do both. It all really depends on how things play out later on down the road when I get more reviews and lessons starting to rack up.

No not at all, but I don’t know what pace you are trying to go out at. In my opinion from what I’ve learned from the community, doing vocab every day along with the other lessons is a good way to go. First, I don’t think cramming a ton of lessons down your throat is going to help with learning what something is, that is why going out at 5, 10, 15, 20 lessons a day would be a lot better because you’re only learning a set amount rather then going all out on the first day, and then having all this time off and wait for the reviews to come in… and then you get 20% of the review correct because you forgot most of what you learned. But once again, I don’t know what pace you are trying to go at so I can’t help you out too much there.