Fallynleaf's study log

Oh yeah, I absolutely understand this fondness! That’s part of why I’m considering playing the 大海原と大海原 game, too, since it was an RPG maker game! I actually own RPG maker (got it heavily discounted on Humble Bundle years ago), but I haven’t touched it, haha! It feels like a rabbit hole for sure. I’d love to see what games you come up with, if you ever reach a point with Japanese where you’re able to devote time to a different hobby!

I have not! But I looked it up just now, and it looks cool! Thanks for sharing it!

And aww that crochet Mr. Saturn is adorable! I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned that I’m a fiber artist (I actually coordinated fiber arts club in undergrad, haha), but crochet is one skill that has always eluded me. I can knit, quilt, spin yarn, and cross stitch, but every time I’ve tried to learn crochet, it hasn’t managed to stick. One of my friends in my old D&D group made little crocheted dolls of the entire party, and I tried to get him to teach me, but alas, I never managed to get very far.


Made it to level 29!

I spent just under fourteen days on the last level. I’m very close to the halfway point in WK, as well as the halfway point in the Minna no Nihongo beginner’s textbook series!

The biggest news for me over the past couple weeks is that it looks like DDT actually has official translation going forward! Their official English account (which may or may not be run by Ash, who had been doing unofficial translation for them) started live translating the shows as well as translating all of the backstage comments, like Mr. Haku used to do! I’m so thrilled to see it!

Since we have actual translation again, I’m probably going to stop trying to translate the DDT show recaps. However, we still don’t have translation for TJPW, and it’s unclear if the person taking over for DDT will be covering TJPW in the future. I have a friend who was translating TJPW for us, but she has gotten really swamped with other stuff and hasn’t had the time lately to keep up, so I offered to take over for her.

So, going forward, I’m going to be switching gears to TJPW! Maybe they’ll improve their official English coverage, too, and I’ll be rendered obsolete, but until then, I will try my best! As hard and occasionally frustrating as this can get, I’ve actually massively improved my vocabulary from translating the DDT recaps, so I want to keep doing this as long as I can.

My burned item count as of the beginning of this level: 1934 (and 1305 in KW!)

Fun encounters with Japanese outside of WaniKani:

Something I realized I forgot to mention last entry is that I found a great way to learn which songs Japanese wrestlers are using for their entrance theme, haha! I was trying to find the song that Minoru Fujita entered to in DDT, but was having trouble because it wasn’t listed on any of the English language sites. Then it occurred to me to try searching in Japanese. Sure enough, searching for 藤田 ミノル 入場曲 gave me the answer I wanted. As it turns out, Japanese wikipedia has a section for a wrestler’s entrance music on their page!

I added Fujita’s entrance music to my playlist of wrestling themes. Click on that link if you want to listen to an extremely eclectic mix of music in English, Japanese, and Spanish used in 8+ different companies in three countries.

I saw this tweet from an account that translates a lot of English language wrestling content into Japanese. The tweet was for the hashtag #あなたがときめく4文字教えてください, asking twitter users to share 4文字 that make their heart beat faster. For this person, those four 文字 were 禁断の扉. I learned 禁断 from DDT, but 扉 was new to me (it’s a level 47 WK kanji). This translates, of course, into Forbidden Door, which is the term widely used by wrestling fans to refer to collaborations between companies, especially between AEW and NJPW.

I’m sure I’ve already talked about this, but the term “Forbidden Door” is commonly credited to Hiroshi Tanahashi, but he never actually said it. He said something else (in a shupro interview, I believe) that machine translation mistranslated into essentially “it will open the forbidden door.” Someone published an article about this, and naturally it went viral because that’s an incredibly evocative phrase for the seemingly (at the time) immutable barrier between AEW and NJPW. Chris Charlton tried to do damage control on twitter, clarifying with proper translation what Tana had actually said in order to temper expectations, but it was too late; the wrestling world had already run away with it.

Not long after that, Chris Jericho canonized the term (in English) in a promo leading up to his match with Tana. But before anything else could happen, the global pandemic hit. Over a year later, though, they did indeed open the Forbidden Door, and Kenta was the first person to walk through it, coming to AEW from NJPW. At this point, the Forbidden Door is real (which is fitting, as wrestling is all about fake things becoming real). If you google the phrase, most of the results are about wrestling now, haha. But I’ve always been really curious what the original phrase was that Tana had said. Maybe when I’m more advanced, I’ll try to go in search of the original interview to see if I can find out. I just find it delightful that the 禁断の扉 ended up becoming real in Japanese, too.

On another note, I really enjoyed learning this fact about why 烏, the kanji for crow (a level 57 kanji), has one less stroke than 鳥, the kanji for bird. It makes a lot of sense!

A friend of mine pointed out this hilarious incongruity between NJPW wrestler Clark Connors’ comment to El Desperado in Japanese, and his English translation of what he was trying to say. Clark’s Japanese is still at a beginning level, so he’s using very polite language, which is probably all that he has learned so far, haha! They don’t generally teach beginners how to be deliberately coarse and rude in your target language, even though this is actually very important for some professions, if your job is being a pro wrestler! I love interactions like this, though, because they show that even as a beginner, you can still communicate and get your point across, even if it’s in a way that is perhaps more endearing than you intended.

Something that’s really rewarding to me is that I’ve finally started to reach a point with Japanese where I can see something that I want to read on twitter, like a screenshot of text, and I can actually translate it. DDT shared this comment from Hyper Misao regarding the 37Kamiina produce show, and I wanted to read it without waiting for someone else’s translation that may or may not be coming, so I typed the whole thing out and translated it, and it only took like 20 minutes! In this comment, Misao basically announced that she wanted to crash the show with Mecha Mummy and get Shunma’s SeaSaunaShack so that she could heat up Mecha Mummy in their sauna room with an ocean view and make him mega evolve. (She and Mecha Mummy did in fact go on to win their tag gauntlet match, earning themselves a one day pass to the sauna…)

The title for the 37Kamiina produce show was 花より熱波, which was officially translated as “Sauna Over Flowers”. It taught me a very important word, though, which is 熱波(ねっぱ)! The37Kamiina always likes to say “NEPPOWER” but I never knew exactly where that came from. Things made a lot more sense to me when I read “熱波WAR” in the tweets made by the official DDT account, haha! As far as I can tell, 熱波 just (rather straightforwardly) means heat wave, but the sauna connotations are pretty obvious.

Also, Kota Ibushi got an instagram account! His Japanese is still frequently beyond me, but it’s still really nice to see. I was hoping that maybe this would lead to another avenue for Golden Lovers interactions, and sure enough, his first day on this new account, Ibushi shared a photo of his infamous balcony moonsault onto Kenny in 2012. I couldn’t quite figure out his caption, but a friend clarified that he ended it with basically rallying people to do stupid stuff, haha. “もうグレよう。”

This isn’t Japanese-related, but the timeline for a possible Golden Lovers reunion looks to be a little further out than we’d hoped, because Kenny still has quite a bit of time left before he’s healed enough to return to the ring. The one positive of this is that it hopefully gives time for the pandemic conditions to improve a little further (if you can call the trajectory we’re on “improvement”…), which should make travel easier for wrestlers, as well as giving me time to improve my Japanese even further so that I can appreciate that side of the story a little better when it finally resumes.

みんなの日本語 Lesson 23 – 25

I got a lot done over the past couple weeks! I finished lesson 23, did all of lesson 24, and have added the lesson 25 vocab to Anki and am about to start actually working through the lesson. Being so close to finishing the first beginner’s book has made me extra motivated.

I don’t think I have anything in particular to say about lesson 23, but lesson 24 did have the first activity in my workbook that I absolutely bombed. This is the exercise that gave me so much trouble:

I did review my notes after failing it and was able to figure out what I was confused about, and I was really relieved that I passed this next section with no mistakes, haha!

In total, I added 1,047 words from the first textbook to Anki (some of these words are repeats, as sometimes MNN will introduce other meanings later. I’ve been contemplating going through and consolidating these into the same card, but have not done so yet). That’s pretty neat!

I’m excited that lesson 25 is finally introducing conditionals! I have repeatedly looked this grammar up during my reading, because for some reason it has never managed to stick for me. So I’m looking forward to getting a little more dedicated practice. It seems like a good note for the first book to end on.

Lesson 25 will probably take me a little longer to wrap up, since after I finish it, I have a bunch of review exercises to do before I can move on to the second beginner’s book. But I’m going to be heading straight into lesson 26 afterward without taking a break.

I updated the MNN kanji by WK level spreadsheet with the lesson 24 and lesson 25 kanji! (Just a reminder that it’s possible to sort the chart by WK level or MNN lesson number, whichever is most useful to you).

All of the kanji from the vocab for book one of MNN are now in the spreadsheet! There are 530 in total, which is quite a lot! The spreadsheet does not include kanji in names or other words that were not listed in the lesson vocab (such as kanji from vocab provided in the “useful words and information” section), or kanji used throughout the textbook and workbooks to label the sections.

Having completed level 28 of WK, I have officially learned 443 of the 530 kanji (about 83.6%).


Reading in Spanish (Tempestad)

Things are still going good so far! I only finished one more chapter, but considering everything else I’m working on, I think that’s plenty. I didn’t realize that part of the story took place in a modern day setting, but it was really convenient because it means there’s a lot more familiar vocabulary in those parts.

I finished chapter 2 of 大海原と大海原 volume 3, and am about a third of the way through chapter 3! The story is definitely much darker, but it’s very intriguing, and I’m having more and more trouble stopping myself from reading another page, haha, which is a shift in mindset for me. Usually I stop reading after a few pages because I get tired, regardless of my level of interest, but I’ve had more stamina for reading recently. So far, I’m still able to get by with just my existing kanji knowledge and my ability to draw unknown kanji on the IME pad.

I also read this short manga (it has 8 pages) on twitter that a friend linked to me. I was surprised to find that it is more or less at my level! The grammar isn’t too hard, and there are only a few kanji I didn’t know. It’s a little bit sad, though, just a warning, because it’s about the lack of marriage equality in Japan.

As I mentioned earlier, I’m going to be switching gears from trying to translate DDT to translating TJPW instead, since DDT has someone more qualified doing regular translation again, and TJPW does not.

I did realize, though, that a couple DDT VOD shows from a couple weeks ago actually did get recaps uploaded on the website, and since these were before the new translator officially took over, I decided to tackle them for completion’s sake. There wasn’t really enough text in these to give me trouble, and I think I already talked about the actual highlights from those shows, so I opted not to make separate posts for them. One of them was on February 5 (it gave me 17 new words), and the other was on February 6 (14 new words).

I had been a little confused over the meaning of 白星, but as soon as I encountered the word 黒星, I figured out what they both meant in a wrestling context, haha! These terms are often used metaphorically, but they’re referring to the literal white and black marks, used originally in sumo, to represent wins and losses.

I also encountered 星取り, and when I looked it up with Yomichan, I discovered that none of my English dictionaries had an entry for it, but my Japanese dictionary did, and to my surprise, I could completely understand it without help!

So I went ahead and added it to Anki, and I now officially have my first monolingual flash card:

New resources:

Someone on the forum created a WankiKani daily discord bot! It offers a nice little recap of all of the work you did each day. I don’t really need any external motivation to keep up my streak with WK, but I do enjoy seeing how many reviews I get done, and a cumulative total of how many days I’ve been going so far.

I’m still not quite ready to try playing video games in Japanese, but I ended up getting curious and tried installing the 大海原と大海原 video game on my computer. Naturally it was far more of a pain than I expected, haha, but I did get it to work! I followed this guide to do it. One thing that is neat about this game is that a reboot came out just a couple years ago, and as far as I know, it has yet to be translated into English. I’ve stayed away from English translations of the series in general, not wanting to use any of it as a crutch, but it’s a nice extra incentive to play something in Japanese if there literally is no English option even available.

I also discovered Game2Text, which launches in the browser and basically lets you use Yomichan on other applications, such as RPG Maker games!

I tried it out with 大海原と大海原, and lo and behold, it actually worked!

Obviously there is no guarantee that it’ll be able to read all of the text, and I’m sure it often makes mistakes with kanji, but it’s still a neat tool. It makes video games more accessible as a learning resource.

This program also seems like it might work with text in manga and other mediums, though I haven’t tested it yet. My main concern with tools like this, though, is that I’ll become dependent on them and less willing to try reading Japanese text in media (like print books) that I can’t use them with. At least for me personally, that’s the main danger of choosing media to read purely based on what can best be optimized for learning. I do want to learn, but I’m learning the language so that I can use it to read, not the other way around!

Next steps:

I did in fact manage to update the match recommendations section of the pro wrestling thread! If you’re bored or curious and want some different Japanese media to watch, check out the list here and see if anything sounds interesting.

If all goes as planned, I should be finishing book one of Minna no Nihongo before I level up again! I suppose this puts me probably a little above N5, for whatever that counts for.

Also, my coworker has been trying to get me to practice my Spanish with her, but I’ve been too afraid to try :sweat_smile:. Part of the problem is that my vocabulary is so poor, I feel like I don’t really have anything to say. It would definitely be good for me to try, though.

I feel like the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that so much of language learning is just constantly pushing yourself to do things that you don’t feel quite ready for.

Onward to level 30! 行くぞ!


Today is a big milestone post!

Made it to level 30! I also finished book one of Minna no Nihongo!!

Halfway done!

It took me just over thirteen days to level up, and I got a lot done over that time! I also spent a fair amount of time trying to finish several writing projects before my deadline at the end of the month, haha, so I spent a little less time on language learning because I was writing instead, but hey, I still managed to get the main things done that I’d planned on!

After I finished book one of MNN, I took a practice JLPT N5 test, just for kicks. The practice test I took was this one, which I printed and filled out by hand as if it were the real test, time limit and all. I have no interest in taking any official JLPT test (especially not the N5), but I was curious to see how well I would do, so I just went into it cold, with zero test prep whatsoever.

I can’t exactly score the practice test like the real one, but I think I would have passed pretty safely? I got 88% of the vocabulary questions right, 81% of the grammar/reading section, and, to my surprise, 88% of the listening questions correct!

The things I missed were a few questions where I just didn’t know a bit of the vocabulary, and a few questions I misread, plus some genuine mistakes and failures with listening comprehension, haha. If this is anything like the real test, completing MNN book one (and having a handful of WK levels under your belt) should be more than enough to prepare you for passing the N5. The test questions seemed easier to me than MNN’s review questions, and the listening comprehension exercises were also easier than MNN’s, at least for me. It helped that the actors spoke a lot slower for the N5 questions than they do in the textbook exercises.

This also showed me that I’m definitely above N5 in ability level, because there was quite a bit of grammar that I’d learned in MNN that was not at all on the test. I think MNN, as well as WK and all of the reading I’ve been doing, also helped my reading speed get a lot faster. I finished the grammar/reading section with 13 minutes to spare (it had a 50 minute time limit). I rushed a little more than I needed to, thinking I had more work to do than I did, but I was definitely reading at a pretty comfortable speed, so all of my practice there has paid off.

It was an interesting experiment, and I’m thinking I’ll probably try to take an N4 practice test after finishing MNN book two.

My burned item count as of the beginning of this level: 2079 (and 1427 on KW!)

Fun encounters with Japanese outside of WaniKani:

I watched Pro Wrestling NOAH’s February 23 show, and I smiled at Yoshiki Inamura’s Abema meter (I’ve talked about these a lot, but I don’t think I’ve shared a picture of what they actually look like, until now). I didn’t catch it while actually watching the show, but it was fun to see it here. He has an 8 in power, an 8 in stamina, and a 10 in 巨大タイヤ, “huge tires” (I literally just learned 巨大!). Inamura has shared a lot of videos of him training with tires. I think he even brought a tire to a match once, haha!

This show used the word 野獣 a lot, since it is, I believe, Kazuyuki Fujita’s nickname, and he was wrestling in the main event of the show for the GHC title. It was fun to see the word here, after learning it recently in WK! Here’s a pretty fun poster for the show. Fujita actually managed to beat Katsuhiko Nakajima and win the title, much to my surprise! Someone on twitter asked which TJPW wrestler would be the best person to win the Princess of Princess title for the funniest possible choice of someone to stand next to Fujita at the end of CyberFight Fest, and I personally think Shoko Nakajima would be fun, because it would be the 怪獣 and the 野獣.

Hyper Misao showed up to the February 23 TJPW show with one of her trademark signs, and I was proud of myself for being able to not only read all of the kanji, but also translate it! She asked all Marika fans to rise up and stop Marika’s graduation (in joshi wrestling, “graduation” is the term used for retirement), and she started a national group that wants to stop Marika’s graduation.

I enjoyed this tweet from TJPW wrestler Yuki Aino. She said that Raku and Pom are a bad influence (悪影響, I just learned that one!) on Yuki Arai, so they shouldn’t team up with her.

I also liked this line that Misao quoted on twitter: “緑は何を混ぜても緑だから永遠の色なんだ”. “Green is an eternal color because even if you mix it with something, it’s still green.” This resonated with Misao because green is her color.

This is technically in English, but I feel like you need to understand some Japanese in order to read it, haha. Please enjoy TJPW wrestler Miu Watanabe’s response to someone asking her what her favorite sandwich is:

I ended up using a tiny bit of Japanese when I needed to contact a Japanese store I was attempting to order something from! I typed most of my response in English, but tried to translate the most important part into Japanese. I also mentioned (in Japanese) that I don’t understand much Japanese, but I can read a little. I’m still waiting to hear back from the store, so we’ll see how well I managed to communicate, haha! This is the first time I’ve ever tried to use Japanese to communicate with someone. It’s a little scary!

Also, a side note: there’s another new independent group of joshi freelancers (following in Prominence’s footsteps)! This group is calling themselves NOMADS. I’m always really excited about stuff like this because I love to support women-run groups in professional wrestling. I’m especially thrilled about this group, though, because guess what? They got Mr. Haku doing official English translation for them on their twitter account! I’m delighted that they managed to land the best translator in the game, and that Mr. Haku is still translating for wrestling. The first NOMADS event is planned for May 22, so there’s still quite a bit of time before they actually get things off of the ground.

みんなの日本語 Lesson 25 – END OF 初級1!!

I finished book one!! :partying_face:

As I expected, it took several days to complete all of the final review sections in my workbooks as well as the main textbook. I did pretty well on these (I think I averaged above 80%), though I definitely do have elements of grammar that I’m weaker on. The に particle in particular kept tripping me up, so I’ll have to keep an eye out for that and make sure I know when to use it and when to use something else instead. I had no trouble at all with the vocab (thanks to Anki), and even did very well on the readings for numbers, so my earlier practice there has paid off.

Something that struck me at the end of book one was the reveal that Mike Miller (the main character of the textbook) was moving to a different city. I did not expect there to be an actual plot twist! I’m fairly indifferent to the plot and cast of MNN; it’s mostly there to serve the purpose of teaching essential interactions, and the characters are (really by necessity) very flat. But for some reason, ミラーさん leaving most of the other characters of the first book caught me off guard, haha!

I’d wondered if this meant that the second book was going to have a new cast, and from glancing over the character list at the beginning, it seems like it is, though a few familiar faces are sticking around.

All in all, I really liked MNN book one and felt like it was a really good resource, and I really like that it has you read in Japanese without even having the option of falling back on a direct translation for a lot of the text. I think it does a good job with sort of bridging between the absolute beginner phase and starting to read actual Japanese content. Then again, maybe I’m an unusual case because I’ve been regularly exposing myself to a lot more Japanese than perhaps the average learner, so I’ve never really felt intimidated by trying to read sentences in the wild.

I did actually start lesson 26, though I haven’t got much further than learning the vocab and doing the first few exercises. Happy to finally be learning んです, though! This is another thing that I have seen many, many times in manga and elsewhere, but have really struggled to learn on my own.

I updated the MNN kanji by WK level spreadsheet with the lesson 26 kanji! (Just a reminder that it’s possible to sort the chart by WK level or MNN lesson number, whichever is most useful to you).


Not going to do a separate section for reading in Spanish today because I only read a few more pages of Tempestad :sweat_smile:.

I did manage to finish the read every day winter challenge! Here’s my finished chart. I read every day in Japanese for 59 days in a row, and I additionally read some in Spanish for 11 of those days! I’m tentatively planning on signing up for the spring challenge in a month. In the meantime, though, I’ve already been slacking a bit, haha.

I am officially solidly behind on 大海原と大海原 volume 3, partially thanks to my writing projects eating up my free time, and also thanks to TJPW deciding to have five shows in fairly quick succession, which has kept me pretty occupied with translating. They did actually have a recap for their pool show (which was an absolute blast), but I opted not to translate it because it didn’t include any dialogue or information that I really needed, and I was way too swamped with trying to finish the recaps for the other shows.

Here are the posts I made for the show translations I’ve finished so far. These posts talk about the things that I found the most interesting and the most confusing, haha!

2022.02.19 Tokyo Joshi 2022 Winter — 27 words added
2022.02.23 Tokyo Joshi 2022 Winter (covered in the same post as above) — 33 words added
2022.02.26 Tokyo Joshi 2022 Winter~大阪公演~ — 8 words added

I’ve started noticing the strain from the added SRS load, so I’ve limited myself to only adding cards from my reading when I’m not in the middle of trying to learn new MNN lesson vocab at the same time. Hopefully I should be getting a bit of a break soon, because after I finish going through this next TJPW show translation, I don’t think they’re doing another show until their big show on March 19.

New resources:

I was thinking a little more about trying HelloTalk, and I read through Tofugu’s guide on 自己紹介(じこしょうかい), self-introduction. It seems really useful! I feel like every time I read a Tofugu article like this, I get more and more out of it, because my Japanese is continuously improving.

I discovered Language Reactor, which is a browser extension that lets you add dual language subtitles to netflix shows, a popup dictionary, and precise video playback controls, as well as other features. It also apparently integrates with youtube. Unfortunately, there is only a chrome version out there so far, with firefox coming soon, so I haven’t actually tried it! With something like this, I’d ideally like to be able to use Yomichan in conjunction with it, and my Yomichan setup is on firefox, haha! Maybe I’ll try it out with Spanish, though.

Thanks to pocketcat for mentioning that 消えた初恋 can be watched on Viki with Japanese subtitles! It had seemed like a more doable show to me when I watched it with English subs, because I was able to catch surprisingly a lot from listening, so I’m definitely planning on trying to watch it with Japanese subs someday. I think I’ll have an easier time letting things go when I don’t understand them because I’ve already seen the whole show in English.

As I’m sure you’re all aware, WK introduced extra study mode! Currently, it only lets you practice recent lessons and recent mistakes, and these extra reviews have the meaning/reading front to back for each item instead of interleaving them. I tried it out of curiosity, but I think I’m going to be sticking with the self-study quiz for now. The self-study quiz is a much more thorough test of the material, since it tests listening comprehension as well as English to Japanese for each of the words. But we’ll see, maybe they’ll upgrade the extra study mode and give it a bunch of additional features and customization that make it more worthwhile.

Next steps:

Next level should mark my entrance into hell and the official halfway point! Though I believe I have already learned more than half of the items available on WK, so maybe I am technically already there!

My main goal for the immediate future is to at least try to catch up with the 大海原と大海原 book club :sweat_smile:.

I also want to get more done with Spanish than I had been doing. More reading, and also more listening practice.

Onward to level 31! 行くぞ!


Congratulations on finishing MNN1 and on Level WK30!!!
champagne corks popping

I just don’t know how you manage to do it all! I’m impressed! Keep up the great work 頑張って


Thank you!! :blush:

Haha well, my biggest trick is having a lot of free time and not many other interests currently :sweat_smile:. I have a history of not being able to finish things and dropping projects or hobbies for years, so I’m trying to buckle down and get at least the beginning foundation established for Japanese so that it’ll be easier for me to keep it up in the future if/when my life gets a lot busier.


Today is my one year anniversary of joining the WK forum! :partying_face: :cake:

This means it has been about a year since I seriously committed to learning Japanese. I thought maybe it would be a good time for a bonus post that’s kind of an overview/summary of my journey so far so that I can link to it at the start and save folks the trouble of scrolling through the first 100 posts.

This is a long post. Sorry! I didn’t include any cuts because I wanted it to be easy to reference at a glance.

Where I’m at now:


I’ve reached level 30 on WaniKani, so I’ve learned over 1,000 kanji, including 12 kanji that I learned on my own which are not in WK.


I’ve completed book one (lessons 1-25) of Minna no Nihongo, and am somewhere between N5 and N4 in grammar ability.


I’ve learned over 3237 vocab words through WaniKani, as well as 386 vocab through Anki that I mined from native Japanese media. Additionally, I’ve learned 1092 words (through Anki) from my textbook Minna no Nihongo, many of which overlap with WK, but many of which don’t. These are the words I consider essentially my working vocabulary, which I am comfortable using when producing Japanese.

What I can do:

  • Can read NHK News Easy with only minimal vocab lookups and no grammar lookups required.
  • Can read some tweets without needing to translate them, though these are still very rare.
  • Can read occasional sentences in manga without any grammar or vocab lookups, though not very often.
  • Can understand occasional words and phrases in spoken Japanese, but rarely catch whole sentences, and frequently make mistakes.
  • Can write simple sentences and journal entries, but can’t express complicated ideas and my sentences are still very stilted.
  • Can recognize most kanji that I encounter, though there are usually at least a few unknown kanji in everything that I attempt to read. Reading manga without furigana is doable, but a little slow.
  • Can write a lot of kanji (poorly), but only a few from memory.
  • Can more or less guess the stroke order for most kanji, and can get the correct kanji to come up by drawing it on my Japanese keyboard IME pad 99% of the time.

What I can’t do:

  • Carry on a conversation in writing. Granted, I’ve yet to actually really try this! But I don’t think I quite have the depth of knowledge that I need. I feel like I’m on the way there, though.
  • Carry on a spoken conversation. I have also yet to try this, but it feels impossibly hard right now.

Essential tools

These are all of the tools that I consider essential alongside WaniKani for a nice well-rounded study routine. All of them are free except for the textbooks.


Yomichan is an awesome free tool installed in the browser that displays a popup when you mouse over Japanese text, containing definitions and information from multiple dictionaries for each word, including some information on frequencies. The “Innocent Corpus” dictionary number indicates how many times the words occurred in the set of books, so the higher the number, the more common the term is. It even gives you audio pronunciation! You can also use Yomichan to instantly create Anki flashcards from words you find in the wild, complete with attached audio.

I can’t overstate how useful Yomichan is. It’s one of those tools that completely transformed the learning process for me and made it actually possible for me to start reading Japanese even at a very low level of language skill.

Here are some useful Yomichan additions:

  • shoui Yomichan Dictionaries Collection — A collection of additional dictionaries that can be added to Yomichan, including some monolingual dictionaries and frequency dictionaries. Extremely useful for helping you start to transition to using monolingual dictionaries. But even as a beginner, monolingual dictionaries are great for adding extra clarification if the English translation is lacking or unclear, because you can always nest multiple Yomichan popups and use Yomichan to decipher the Yomichan entry.
  • Yomichan JLPT/WK info addon — An addon that adds JLPT and WK level tags to vocab/kanji look-ups. Very useful for determining at a quick glance if a word or kanji is worth adding to Anki, or if I can just wait and learn it through WK later.


Anki is a free SRS that has been with me since the start of my Japanese language learning journey. It’s what I originally used to learn the kana! I’m currently using it to learn the vocab from my textbook, as well as learning additional vocab and kanji that I find in the wild. The UI can be a little clunky, and it’s not always the most intuitive program, but it’s incredibly versatile and integrates with many other programs, and additionally can be customized to do just about whatever you want it to do. It is useful for beginners, intermediate learners, and advanced learners alike, so I’ll probably still be using it years from now. I’ve personally found that Anki is more pleasant to use if you customize the CSS so that your decks look better. If you want to see what my decks look like, I’ve shared screenshots and more information about them here.

Here are some useful Anki addons:

  • Forvo pronunciation downloader — This addon makes it extremely easy to add audio to cards. Before I installed this, I had to remake preexisting cards with Yomichan if I wanted audio! It’s also great for adding audio to some words that Yomichan does not have audio for.
  • Japanese definition scraper — This addon adds Japanese definitions to cards. I’m currently not using this, since I have a Japanese dictionary installed on Yomichan already, but it’s handy if you’re working with a premade deck, or if you want to add a Japanese definition to your early Yomichan cards.
  • Kanji colorizer (stroke order diagrams) — This addon adds a colored stroke order diagram to my kanji cards. I wanted to have some sort of recall test in addition to the cards I already have which test recognition, so I thought I’d try forcing myself to memorize how to write the kanji. Ideally, this will eventually allow me to recognize the kanji on sight haha.
  • Card Retirement — This addon will retire cards based on the conditions set in each deck’s options (mine is set to retire cards if they’re set to come up next in a year or more). You can set it to run this daily automatically, or only when you manually run it.


ichi.moe is a really handy resource for helping break down Japanese grammar. You can input phrases or entire sentences into it, and view them piece by piece all at once. This is the primary way I could read manga at all at the very early stages. However, it does sometimes make mistakes, so you have to be careful with it and trust your intuition. It’s also very easy to use it as a crutch, so watch out for that!


KaniWani is a companion website for WaniKani. WK only tests you on Japanese to English recognition, so KW tests you on English to Japanese recall. I currently have KW set up to only give me new items once I’ve guru’d them on WK, so that helps cut down on some of the review churn over there. KW’s fatal flaw is that it doesn’t have a very good way to manage synonyms, but I haven’t found this too annoying as long as you let yourself add synonyms rather liberally.

I have one script installed for KW:

  • KaniWani Audio — This script plays the original audio from WaniKani when you get a review item correct in WaniKani. I have WaniKani set to play audio by default after every correct review, and this does the same thing in KaniWani.

Kanji worksheets

I know that many Japanese language learners don’t care about learning to write, but I’ve personally found that it has benefited me a lot and made me a lot more competent at both recognizing unknown kanji and reproducing them. My main method for developing a sense for basic stroke order and learning the basics of writing are these practice worksheets that one user put together, which are organized by WK level and can be printed directly off of your computer for free.


My primary resource for grammar and additional core vocab outside of WK is the textbook みんなの日本語 (Minna no Nihongo). I own the first core book in the series, 初級Ⅰ, as well as the Translation & Grammatical Notes in English, and two of the workbooks: 標準問題集 and 書いて覚える 文型練習帳 (here’s a post I made about them). I also own the same four books for 初級2, the second book in the beginner’s series.

  • If you are also using MNN, or if you’re just curious, I’ve been slowly adding all of the kanji in the vocab for each lesson to a spreadsheet that I link in pretty much every update. It’s sorted by MNN lesson number by default, but you can also view it sorted by level if you sort that column from A to Z. It’s a neat representation of how far a particular WK level will get you with the textbook, and also a good representation of how many kanji here come up in extremely common words.

I really like MNN so far, and I think it’s a really good resource. I really like that it has you read in Japanese without even having the option of falling back on a direct translation for a lot of the text. I think it does a good job with sort of bridging between the absolute beginner phase and starting to read actual Japanese content.

I also own two volumes of A Dictionary of Japanese Grammar: the basic and the intermediate. They’re an extremely handy reference, and I feel like I get more and more out of these books the more I learn.

WaniKani userscripts that I think significantly boost my learning:

  • Keisei Semantic-Phonetic Composition — This script adds a phonetic compound information section to kanji and radical pages, lessons, and reviews. It adds some information that can be really helpful for remembering kanji readings and for guessing the readings of unfamiliar kanji. This is, in my opinion, probably the single most important script to have. I highly, highly recommend it.
  • Jitai Font Randomizer — This script randomizes the font used for radical/kanji/vocabulary in reviews. It’s really helpful for exposing you to a variety of different ways that kanji can be written, which is useful if you ever attempt to read handwritten Japanese or any digital fonts that appear different from WaniKani’s default font.
  • Vertical Reviews — This script randomly makes short words appear vertically during reviews, providing a little practice for reading words vertically.
  • WaniKani Pitch Info — This script displays pitch info for a given vocabulary reading.
  • WaniKani Rendaku Information — This script adds rendaku information to the lessons information for each vocab, trying to explain why it does or doesn’t rendaku.
  • WaniKani Lesson Filter — This script lets you specify the number and type of lessons you want to do. It also allows you to reorder your lessons so that you can study radicals or kanji before completing the previous level’s vocabulary. Like all reorder scripts, it’s a dangerous tool, and must be used very carefully. I use it to space out my kanji lessons so that I’m learning a few kanji a day alongside vocab lessons instead of learning kanji in huge bursts, which I’ve found to be harder and more demoralizing. Spacing out your kanji lessons also lets you avoid having to chew through a huge backlog of vocab lessons at the end/beginning of a level, since you can space those lessons out as well.
  • Self-Study Quiz — This script lets you quiz yourself on WaniKani items outside of the review schedule without affecting your SRS times. I installed it for just one reason, which is to get a little more practice on new items immediately after doing the lessons. This script is more robust than WK’s own extra study mode (at least at the time of writing this post), because it does more to test your listening recognition and recall than WaniKani does on its own.

Scripts that I’ve found useful to have:

  • Double-Check — This script allows you to change your answer if you made a typo that WK didn’t accept, or if it accepted an answer that was actually wrong.
  • WaniKani Heatmap — This script adds a heatmap to the bottom of your dashboard that tracks how many lessons and reviews you did each day, and how many you have coming up. It also provides several other statistics.
  • WaniKani Workload Graph — This script is an addon to the heatmap script that displays a graph of your review workload over time, as well as a graph of experienced level difficulty (the error rate per level).
  • Leech Training — This script gives you extra practice on items that you’re struggling to learn, including mixing in similar looking kanji that you might be mistaking for other kanji.
  • Niai Visually Similar Kanji — This script is handy if you’re getting any kanji mixed up with each other because you can compare them side-by-side without leaving your reviews page.
  • WaniKani Unobtrusive Kanji Stroke Order — This script has stroke order diagrams for kanji as well as vocab, which is convenient if you’re trying to write a word that exists in WK because you don’t have to open all the kanji pages separately in order to reference the stroke order. It also doesn’t take up any space when you don’t need it.
  • Progress Percentages — This script calculates the percentage of kanji you have learned for each JLPT level, Joyo grade, frequency bracket, and various other sources, and displays it at the top of the dashboard. I’ve found it helpful for putting my WK learning in perspective.
  • Expected Daily Reviews ⁠— This script calculates the number of reviews you should expect in a given day with the current SRS distribution and displays it beside your review forecast. The number fluctuates throughout the day as you do review sessions and lessons, but it’s still a good rough indicator of your current workload.
  • Lesson Hover Details — This script shows you how many of your lessons are radicals, kanji, or vocab when you hover over the lessons icon on the dashboard. I downloaded this one because I’ve been spreading out the kanji lessons over time instead of doing a huge batch at once, and this helps me keep track of things.
  • Burn Progress — This script adds a progress bar at the top of the dashboard which shows your overall progress through WK. It tracks the percentage of items seen, as well as the percentage of items burned. Simple but nifty!
  • Tofugu Latest — This script adds a section to your dashboard with links to the most recent articles on Tofugu.com. I really enjoy Tofugu’s articles, but don’t really have the time or energy to constantly check for new ones, so this is very handy!
  • Wanikani Leaderboard — This script adds a leaderboard to your dashboard where you can track people’s level-up progress. I installed this so that I could add my friends to it.
  • Item Inspector — This script can display several tables of WK items, which can be configured by the user. The one I was most interested in was the leech table, so I decided to give the script a try. I was curious to see how many leeches I actually had, since I don’t feel like they cause me that much trouble. I never have any issues with my apprentice item count getting out of hand, but it’s nice to have this list of items for a quick reference.
  • Remove Useless Panels — This script removes the panels for recent unlocks, critical condition items, burned items, recent community topics, and WaniKani news at the bottom of the dashboard page. I installed this because I now have a lot of scripts that display actually valuable information on this part of the page, and I didn’t like scrolling past a bunch of clutter that I never looked at anyway.
  • Forum: IME2Furigana — This script allows you to add furigana to forum posts.

Useful resources:

I link to this all the time elsewhere on the forum, but I’m not sure I’ve ever actually linked it in this thread, because I think I read it before starting my study log. But if you haven’t already read it, please check out the Ultimate Guide to Wanikani! An essential read, in my opinion, if you want to make the most out of WK and reduce the likelihood that you will burn out.

WaniKani Statistics lets you view your account’s statistics, including how long you’ve spent on each level and your overall accuracy, as well as individual items that you’ve learned and other statistics.

  • WKStats Projections Page — This script adds a projections page to wkstats. I thought it was interesting to see the estimated time it would take me to reach level 60 if I continue at my current pace.

Wanikani accuracy and review pacing shows your accuracy by percentage for each WK SRS stage. It’s a neat reference to see how well things are sticking, and to get a rough estimate of how many reviews you should expect to do each day based on your accuracy and current pace.

Natively is a free website for Japanese learners to find and share books that you’re reading. There are some Goodreads-type features, and users can additionally grade books based on difficulty. I have a profile there, though my page is very unexciting because I haven’t read many books yet! It’s a super handy website for identifying books near your level.

BookWalker is an ebook store that frequently has a bunch of free manga and other books available for download. This is a great source for native reading material, especially thanks to the BookWalker Freebies Thread, which contains lists of highly rated free books that are currently available on BookWalker. curiousjp has configured the lists to pull content tags for the books as well as their Natively difficulty level (if they’re in that system), which makes it significantly easier to find free books that might be of interest to you.

The Absolute Beginner’s Book Club is one of several regular book clubs on this forum. It’s a great way to get started with reading native media because other forum users can provide grammar and vocab support, and the club structure offers deadlines and motivation. I started with the 大海原と大海原 book club, and it was a great experience!

Once you’ve started to dip your toes into reading, the read every day challenge on this forum is great motivation. I just finished the winter 2022 challenge, and it was fun to see what other folks were reading every day!

I also want to give a shout out to the Let’s Durtle the Scenic Route thread. It’s not really a direct learning resource for WK specifically or for Japanese in general, but I’ve found it to be a really pleasant little community. I found it shortly after I started actively visiting the forum, and it really ended up shaping the direction my WK journey has taken. The more speed-oriented challenge threads are a lot more active and popular than this one, and as a beginner, I was really intimidated by that and felt very out of place, so I was relieved to find a group of learners who were not trying to rush through everything.

I also highly recommend starting your own study log on this forum! I’ve gotten so much use out of my own. I’ve found it to be a wonderful way to keep track of new resources, record my progress, receive advice and encouragement from others, and make friends. It’s really helpful to have something keeping you accountable, and I genuinely enjoy posting in here about the things that bring me joy during my studies, as well as my struggles.

This one is really more of a resource for reading my own study log and has debatable utility beyond that, but I started a pro wrestling thread last year with all sorts of info, if you see anything in any of my posts and get confused by the terminology or the acronyms or are just curious and want to try watching something new. It has been great practice for me because I can post individual questions I have about grammar and get help, haha, as well as share things that I find interesting or cool.

My current study routine

Full disclosure: I’m employed, but I only work very part time and don’t have family commitments, so I have a lot more time to study than most people. Learning Japanese is currently one of my primary hobbies, along with watching Japanese pro wrestling, so putting this much time into Japanese is neither desirable nor achievable for many people :sweat_smile:.

I spend quite a lot of hours immersing myself in Japanese each day. Most of this time is passive immersion that I don’t count as studying. Sometimes I have partial translation, sometimes I’m completely on my own. It’s a lot of (unsubtitled) spoken Japanese as well as written Japanese on places like twitter and interviews and blog posts and such.

For active study, I have sort of a three-pronged approach:


  • I do at least three sessions a day, once in the morning, once in the afternoon, and once at night. On most days, I break this up into smaller sessions if possible (it’s easier to do 20 reviews in one sitting than 50).
  • I do a consistent number of lessons every morning. On most days, it’s 9 vocab and 3 kanji. When I run out of kanji, I do 10 vocab a day until I level up. The first day on a new level, I do all radical lessons, and if I have less than 10, I usually do a few kanji, too.
  • After doing my lessons, I drill myself on the new material with the self-study quiz.
  • When I have time, I try to run the leech training script to practice the items that are giving me trouble. When I realize I’m confusing two kanji, I usually take a moment to compare the differences and figure out what was giving me trouble (the niai visually similar kanji script is helpful for this).
  • I’m also doing KaniWani to practice recall. I’m more lax with the SRS intervals on this, but I try to do my reviews at least two or three times a day. My KW is set up to only give me new items after they’ve reached guru on WK, so there are usually a few days of delay between me initially learning them and then practicing them here.
  • When I have the time/energy, I’ve also been learning how to write the kanji that I’m learning on WK, though I haven’t been able to keep up with this for all of them.

Minna no Nihongo

  • MNN is my beginner’s textbook and is currently the primary way I’m learning new grammar, as well as common vocab that isn’t taught on WK. I try to complete at least one new lesson before leveling up in WK. I can go a little faster if I push myself (by starting to learn the vocab for the next chapter before finishing the previous one), but it does increase the SRS strain, so I have to be careful.
  • The first thing I do when starting a new lesson is add the vocab to Anki. Then I spend several days just running through the flash cards until I feel comfortable with it. When I started out, I would also learn to write all of the unfamiliar kanji, but I eventually ran out of time to do this. Thankfully, my WK level has gotten high enough, there aren’t very many unknown kanji each level.
  • After learning the vocab, I read the grammar info for the chapter, then put down the translation book and attempt to work entirely from the Japanese-only main text as much as I can. I read the lesson, then do all of the exercises, except for the last one.
  • At this point, I do the exercises for that lesson in my two workbooks. I start with 書いて覚える 文型練習帳, then do the excercises in 標準問題集 after. If there are any additional review sections in the workbooks after the lesson, I do those, too.
  • When I’ve finished the workbooks, I go back and do the last section in the textbook, as well as any further review sections.
  • Before moving on to the next lesson, I add all of the grammar information from the previous lesson to my (physical) notes.
  • I try to make at least some progress on the textbook every day. Some days, this means more work than others! No matter what else I have going on, though, I always make sure I at least clear my Anki reviews.

Reading/active immersion

  • I try to get some reading done every day if possible (the read every day challenge on this forum is nice motivation!), but at this point, I’m a little sporadic with it. I only know a few thousand words and am somewhere between N5 and N4 grammar, so reading is still pretty slow.
  • I started reading my first manga (大海原と大海原) back in September along with the absolute beginner’s book club, and I’ve kept going with the spin-off clubs for volumes 2 and 3. Having deadlines because of the club is really helpful motivation! I often end up falling behind, but so far, I’ve been able to catch up by the end.
  • I realized that I can understand NHK Easy News pretty painlessly now with only a few word look-ups and no grammar look-ups needed, so I’ve dabbled with using this as my daily reading, but I have so much else I’ve been working on, I mostly stopped bothering. It’s a good source of common vocab, though.
  • I also started trying to translate the post-match comments for wrestling shows after a couple of my favorite companies lost their English translator. It has been a little slow-going, due to the fact that I’m very much still a beginner, haha, but it has been excellent practice, and it’s a great source of new words to learn. Trying to get each one translated before the next show also helps keep me motivated to work on them every day.
  • I use Yomichan to mine words from some of my reading. Right now, I’m just focusing on wrestling, and I’m only adding words that contain kanji I already know, and which I won’t be learning on WK. I add the word to Anki along with the sentence I encountered it in.
  • I also started adding kanji to Anki that I come across in my reading which aren’t in WK. For these kanji, in order to learn them more thoroughly, I’m forcing myself to memorize how to write them. I don’t add every kanji I come across that isn’t in WK (for many of them, I don’t even notice that they’re not part of the WK set), but after I reach level 60, my plan is to add anything I don’t recognize to Anki.
  • Eventually, once I’m done with WK, the Anki part of my study will probably ramp up a lot, but for now, I’m capping it at learning 10 new words a day, and most days I’m not even adding any new cards.

Next steps

I just started the second book in the Minna no Nihongo beginners series, so that will keep me occupied for probably another year. I should be finishing that maybe a month or two before I finish WK!

My current plan is to continue as I have been doing up until that point. Once I reach level 60 and also graduate out of the beginning grammar/vocab level, I’m hoping to put more time into reading (and transfer more of my SRS workload to Anki) as the time I’m putting into WK decreases. Theoretically, I won’t need furigana anymore, and my grammar will be solid enough to give me a lot more freedom in choosing what to read without having to stick to materials for children, or digital materials that integrate with Yomichan.

I’ll probably make another big summary update when I reach another big milestone. In the meantime, I’ll be posting smaller updates every time I level up.

Here’s to another year! :blush:


This was a great summary, complete with links and substantive reviews. Thank you so very much, Fallynleaf. You’re golden!


Aww, thank you!

I thought doing something like this would probably be worthwhile, because I had so many people tell me that they benefited from reading through my study log and found a bunch of resources here, and I always felt bad for people having to scroll through thousands of words about wrestling stuff they didn’t care about just to get to maybe a few wordy paragraphs about some neat resource :sweat_smile:.

So I just went back through all of my existing posts, basically, and collected all of the links to stuff that I still regularly use. Most of these descriptions were already typed up, thanks to past me, haha!

I’d considered going back in and editing the original post, too, but I kind of like the fact that this study log shows such a clear progression, and you can truly see where I started and where I’ve gotten so far. It’s a little rough and unpolished, but that’s what keeps it real :blush:.


I did read through all of your study log since I joined WK in January, and it was absolutely worth the investment, there are real gems & it inspired me to start my own study log (instead of ‘putting it off until I’m ready’ - I’m 56, if I’m not ready now ……), and even though I read it all recently, I really love the summary, so many useful links…
(I bow in your general direction, I’m not worthy, ….)
& congratulations on reaching level 30 :champagne::tada:


Made it to level 31!

Welcome to hell! I’m glad to finally be officially halfway there :blush:. The last level took me thirteen days. It has… not been the easiest past couple weeks for me (hence why this post is a little late), but I’m still here.

I realized I left out something in the summary post, which is the Let’s Durtle the Scenic Route thread! So I edited that post to include a little bit about it.

I did not hear back from the Japanese store I contacted, but I was able to problem solve the issue on my own thanks to google. I found some joshi wrestling fans talking about having the same problem ordering from a different store, haha. It turns out to be an issue with online stores powered by BASE, which is a common platform for independent sellers. Apparently the problem is that the store won’t accept my card if my billing address doesn’t match my Tenso shipping address. The website forces me to input a Japanese address for the billing address, so I can’t even give them my American address, and therefore the order will always fail. The easiest workaround is to use a service like White Rabbit Express instead of Tenso, since they place the order for you. However, they also cost more, so it’s not ideal.

So, I now have a new goal: get good enough at Japanese so that I can communicate this problem to BASE clearly and effectively so that hopefully the platform will fix this and make it easier for international customers to order from all of these stores! Things like this are why I definitely do want my ability to produce the language to be at least passable.

My burned item count as of the beginning of this level: 2238 (and 1537 in KW!)

Fun encounters with Japanese outside of WaniKani:

I had a moment where I was really grateful that I’d learned some Japanese when Hyper Misao posted a really heavy tweet and I was able to actually read it (trigger warning for a mention of past attempted suicide if you click on it). Misao later posted her own translation of it into English, so I would have been able to read it regardless, but I’m still glad that I can read things like this now, because it’s really important. Misao is honestly one of the most inspiring wrestlers to me. She’s the wrestler who got me into TJPW, and her work continues to be incredibly innovative and entertaining. I’m so glad that she got past that rough time in her life.

Her match with Sanshiro Takagi was awesome, and I ended up just completely sobbing at the end of it. I’ll probably go into a little more detail about what the wrestlers specifically said when I get around to translating the recap, but let’s just say that as someone who is currently very depressed and who is using wrestling to cope, Misao’s story here hits especially hard for me right now. She is for me what Takagi and Jun Kasai were for her.

On a more topic-relevant note, at the beginning of the match, Misao brought out a few signs, and I was pleased that I could read both of them! One of them said 大社長 with the 大 crossed out. It’s a reference to “big boss” Takagi, whom Misao thinks is perhaps not so big anymore, haha. The other was a banner that had Takagi’s name, 高木三四郎, running down it, and then two kanji that I had to read kind of quickly which were, I believe, 打倒(だとう), which is a new word for me that apparently means knockdown, overthrow, defeat, etc. So, the banner said “defeat Sanshiro Takagi”.

Shortly after Misao’s tweet, there was another instance that was not exactly a “fun” encounter with Japanese, but it was a moment where I was grateful that I could understand the language. I saw a tweet reporting that Mia Ikumi, the creator of Tokyo Mew Mew, had passed away. Tokyo Mew Mew was the first Japanese media I really loved, and it was responsible for my very first attempts to learn Japanese as a young teenager (I made it as far as memorizing a handful of hiragana and a few scattered words, and that was it). I was really looking forward to the remade anime, which is coming out this year, and which Ikumi had been supervising. I really wanted to experience TMM all over again now that I actually have more Japanese knowledge. I think, from reading the obituary, that the plan is to keep moving forward with the show, so I will still watch it if possible, but it’s incredibly tragic that Ikumi herself won’t get to see the final result of her labor.

On a less heavy note, I finally officially learned 婚, which I already knew from the word 結婚(けっこん) (marriage). I had suspected that the phonetic component of 婚 was 昏, which is a kanji I’d learned on my own from wrestling (I first encountered it in the word 黄昏(たそがれ)る in a tweet from Takagi, meaning “to fade into dusk”, “to wane”, “to look melancholic”. Then I encountered it again in a DDT recap not long after in the word 昏倒 (こんとう), which means swoon or faint). Both 婚 and 昏 have the same on’yomi reading, こん, which combined with the visual similarity seemed like a telltale sign to me.

So I was excited to finally learn 婚, thinking that for once in my life, I’d already learned a new kanji’s somewhat rare phonetic component. But unfortunately, the Keisei script gently let me down, haha. This is the message that greeted me: “The kanji 「婚」 has an unknown or contested origin, or its phonetic mark is too obscure to be useful. Stay tuned for more information in future versions.” I suppose maybe they thought 昏 was “too obscure to be useful”. Or maybe I’m just completely off the mark, and the appearance of a shared component is just a coincidence! In any case, it still works as a mnemonic aid for me.

Also, I learned 監督(かんとく) and was like: “Yes! I finally learned the かんとく in ‘Taguchi Kantoku’!” Which is one of Ryusuke Taguchi’s nicknames. It came up a lot when he was tagging with Rocky Romero as the Mega Coaches (they’d use the word to refer to each other). So, the first time 監督 came up for review, I happily typed “coach”, only to have my answer rejected because it’s not the one WK wanted :sweat_smile:.

I googled “田口隆祐 監督” to double check that this is, in fact, the same かんとく they use for Taguchi, and yes, it appears to be! I was amused by the related searches that came up (I could read all of them!). People wanted to know answers to the obvious classic questions: marriage, children, his classmates, entrance music, etc.

I also found this tweet of Chris Charlton’s on the matter, which amused me. Apparently the ambiguity of the word has confused native Japanese speakers, too.

On another NJPW note, I hadn’t been watching the post-match comments because NJPW’s product has just been less engaging lately and I wasn’t really invested in any of the stories, but I started watching them again because I was curious about a few things, like the Guerillas of Destiny getting kicked out of Bullet Club. As it turns out, my understanding has noticeably improved since the last time I watched the comments, haha! I’m able to pick out far more words that I know, and am also able to read many of the Japanese subtitles on the English lines. They’re honestly pretty handy for helping me figure out better ways to translate some lines in the TJPW recaps.

I also watched a couple NJPW shows with Japanese commentary instead of English, and I was a little bit blown away by how much I could actually understand. I still couldn’t understand the vast majority of what they were saying, but my Anki cards for wrestling words have absolutely paid off, and learning a few common wrestling verbs and such is super helpful. I’ve been noticing a lot more words that I know on twitter, too. Now that I’m past the initial beginner hump, it feels like a whole new world is starting to open up to me. I know enough kanji, vocab, and grammar that I’m finally able to put a lot of it together.

I’m also getting more and more out of the youtube chat for the occasional house shows that DDT streams there. I can just passively read a lot of the comments now without even needing Yomichan! The last show was pretty funny, because there was a baby in the venue who kept making noise, and whenever the baby would cry or laugh, everyone would comment on it, haha. Someone commented that the baby understands wrestling well, “赤ちゃんプロレスよくわかってるなあwww”, which amused me.

The video quality wasn’t the greatest for most of the show, due to poor signal from the venue making streaming difficult (they ultimately had to give up and stream the show on twitter instead). At one point, the quality maxed out at 144p. One fan commented: “秋山さんのポリゴン数がスゴすぎてガクガク”. Which I believe translates roughly into: “Akiyama-san’s polygon count is really terrible and wobbly.”

Kazuki Hirata was briefly part of Eruption for one match, and he showed up looking the part, having borrowed Saki Akai’s entrance jacket. I had the stream open in a small window, so I was a little confused at first when I saw this comment from a fan: “平田の体に落書きが”. I recognized the word 落書き, graffiti, from WK, but was unsure how this would apply to Hirata’s body. Then I made the window bigger and was able to see that he had actually drawn on fake tattoos, haha, so that he could match Yukio Sakaguchi, who has lots of real ones.

I also laughed at this tweet from a Japanese fan after Jeff Hardy debuted in AEW. AEW now has four Matts and two Jeffs (including two separate Matt & Jeff tag teams). I realized that I would actually fail this quiz, haha, because I can’t match either first or last name to the two members of 2.0. But I could read all of the katakana!

A friend shared this tweet with translations of a bunch of English idioms into Japanese. I realized that there were some on here that I had never even heard of. Then my Australian friend chimed in and said she was familiar with all of them, haha, so it’s really a guide to specifically Australian English idioms in Japanese. Reading the Japanese actually helped me understand them.

I also enjoyed this tweet that has a diagram for helping distinguish the differences between 桜, 梅, and 桃 blossoms. It was really cool to be able to read the whole diagram and understand it without needing to look anything up! There were a few kanji/words I didn’t know, but could figure out from context.

みんなの日本語 Lesson 26 – Lesson 27

I finished the first lesson in book two of MNN, and just started the next! So far, the earlier chapters seem to be heavier on new vocab. Flipping through it, it seems like the last chapters have less, which was also the case for book one.

I was glad to see that lesson 27 introduces potential verbs. This is another thing that I’ve repeatedly looked up while reading, but never quite managed to fully wrap my brain around.

Overall, book two of MNN seems to be more or less the same format as book one, so my strategy remains unchanged! One thing I found interesting is that the foreword mentions that MNN is intended primarily for those who have already left full-time education (though it can also be recommended as a textbook for courses). This is why I think it’s strange when people say that MNN can’t be used by self-learners, haha. Its use as a textbook is actually secondary to its original purpose!

I updated the MNN kanji by WK level spreadsheet with the lesson 27 kanji! (I removed my disclaimer because it’s covered in my summary post, haha).


Reading in Spanish (switching to Wonder: La Lección de August, a translation of the YA novel Wonder by R.J. Palacio)

I ended up putting Tempestad aside for now, because I was processing some of our new Spanish language books at the library I work at, and when I flipped through Wonder, I noticed that it seemed extremely readable, so I thought it would probably be a better choice for my current level of skill. I checked it out without knowing really anything about the actual plot, haha.

Having read the first few chapters, I definitely think it was a good choice! Wonder is a great book for a beginner because it’s written in first person present (!) tense, and it’s a young adult novel with very straightforward, everyday language. Plus, the chapters are extremely short. It’s by far the easiest book I’ve read in Spanish so far, and I only have to look up a few words each page instead of a few words each sentence :sweat_smile:.

I do want to get back to Tempestad at some point, but I think I’ll get more out of reading something a little closer to my level for now. Since the library’s Spanish collection is continuing to improve, I might pick out something else from there to read next if another book catches my eye. Wonder is decently long (a little over 400 pages), so it’ll probably take me a while to finish it.

Regarding reading in Japanese, I… got even more behind with 大海原と大海原 :sweat_smile:. I ended up just not having any time to read manga because I was working hard at trying to get some TJPW stuff translated before their Ryogoku show on March 19.

The good news is I finished both press conferences! The two of them combined were over 8,500 characters, and they took me several days of hard work to finish :sweat_smile:. I was very intimidated at first, but I did manage to get them done, and the amount of words I mined wasn’t even that bad!

As usual, click the posts below for stuff that I found interesting or confusing. The March 7 presser forced me to learn some mahjong words, haha.

2022.03.05 Tokyo Joshi 2022 Winter — (19 words added)
2022.03.08 TJPW Press Conference — (45 words added)
2022.03.07 TJPW Press Conference — (21 words added)

My wrestling deck now has a total of 432 words in it! That’s quite impressive! I definitely can feel the difference in terms of my listening comprehension during shows and my ability to read tweets and such.

I realized that neither of the kanji in TJPW wrestler Rika Tatsumi’s name, 辰巳リカ, were in WK, so I went ahead and added them to Anki. They’re both pretty fun kanji, actually! is the kanji for the sign of the dragon, and it’s actually a phonetic component used in several other kanji, including 震 earthquake (level 20 WK), 振 shake (level 26 WK), 娠 pregnant (level 38 WK), and 唇 lips (level 47 WK). It gives all of those kanji its on’yomi reading, しん. This kanji is also apparently in the word for cinnabar, 辰砂(しんしゃ)!

is the kanji for the sign of the snake or serpent, and I don’t think this one is a phonetic component. Both of these kanji are apparently N1 kanji, and both are among the 2,500 most used kanji. Rika got the 辰巳 name from Tatsumi Fujinami, who was nicknamed “The Dragon” and who I believe is the person who invented the dragon sleeper and the dragon suplex. Rika calls herself “The White Dragon” as a reference to Fujinami, and she uses several of his moves.

I feel like there’s always an adjustment period when adding any new resource where it feels a little overwhelming at first, but then it settles down a bit and you get used to it (this is why I usually recommend people add new resources one at a time, haha). I feel like I’ve maybe reached this point with the wrestling vocab, over two and a half months since I started adding it.

At first, it took me quite a while to really chew through the new cards I was adding to Anki, and I felt like I was constantly forgetting words and having to reset their intervals. I started to worry a bit that I’d have to slow down even further, because it just wasn’t sticking faster than I was adding new cards.

But I realized as I was adding the press conference vocab (right on the heels of the next MNN lesson vocab) that it was taking me much fewer repetitions to learn the new words, and it just felt less overwhelming in general. I think my brain finally got used to this new format. It helps that I’ve learned enough words now so that there are fewer unknowns in the sentences, and I have a better sense of the nuances of common kanji used in wrestling words, and I get a lot of them reinforced when listening to Japanese commentary, plus I can actually read more of the source sentences that I’m pulling the words from (which are included on my cards).

Maybe it’s just further evidence that Japanese gets easier to learn the more you learn, which is unfortunate for beginners :sweat_smile:. I’m not sure I’ve really managed to cut down the time I’m spending on my wrestling Anki deck each day, but it sure feels like I’ve managed to reduce the energy it takes to go through it. I suppose I could try to check my stats to see if my accuracy has improved, though honestly I’m staying out of my Anki statistics for the sake of my own peace of mind. I micromanage my WK stats enough as it is :sweat_smile:.

I’m about to have another big recap to translate for TJPW’s Ryogoku show, so that’ll probably keep me occupied for the next week or so!

New resources:

A friend of mine linked me to this site with a long list of idiomatic expressions. The site says they’re for “advanced and post-advanced learners” but anyone who has read any native media at all will surely have encountered these, haha. I see loads of sayings that I currently have circulating in Anki. Honestly, Yomichan already seems to have most of these, but it could potentially be handy for figuring out an expression with omitted particles. It would have helped me with “調子乗る”, for example.

Also, here’s a twitter thread with some Japanese words with nuances that are likely to trip you up. A small thing, but useful to know!

New Userscripts:

  • Overall Progress Bars — This is another script for adding a WK progress bar to the top of your dashboard. This one has a bar representing each level, with different colors representing the SRS stages of all of the items in that level. There are three display options, and these two are my favorites:

Next steps:

It hasn’t exactly been the greatest or most productive past few weeks for me because I have been, shall we say, extremely depressed. I think the thing that really triggered it was the mask mandate dropping in my state, which means that my workplace is no longer requiring masks, and I feel extremely unsafe. But I’ve still somehow been able to keep going with Japanese.

Honestly, it occurred to me that part of the reason why I’ve been able to keep studying even when my mental health is extremely bad is because studying Japanese is the one thing in my life I actually have complete control over. Everything else at work, my home, my friendships, the wrestling world, the community at large, etc. is subject to the decisions of other people. But I can do my SRS reviews every day, and I can diligently do workbook exercises, or read manga, or translate pro wrestling recaps, or practice writing kanji, or do whatever studying I want, regardless of what else is going on around me. It’s genuinely incredibly calming and reassuring.

I’m definitely neglecting some responsibilities that I probably shouldn’t be neglecting, but, well, as long as I’m able to keep studying, I feel hard pressed to complain too much about my general lack of focus. If I can get fluency in a foreign language out of this, that’ll be more than any other period of depression has ever given me.

I remain extremely grateful for this forum, which is a welcome distraction. Thank you so much to everyone who likes my posts, and everyone who sends comments! Truthfully, y’all help keep me going, both with Japanese and also with life, haha. It’s nice to feel like at least one thing that I’m doing is touching other people in a positive way.

I don’t know if I really have specific goals in mind for this next level, besides surviving. It would be nice to finish at least one chapter of 大海原と大海原, but if I can’t manage that, it’s okay.

Onward to level 32! 行くぞ!


I do the same! I definitely just cheat it in as fine enough though heh. 監督 is a word I kind of have a history with because in a visual novel I read before there is a character mostly just referred to by that title. It emphasizes how hard translation can be because the VN actually outright cheated in English, and it’s only after learning some Japanese that I realized why that part of it didn’t make sense. At a point in the story when things are meant to be somewhat misunderstood as sinister, characters mention calling for “the manager” in the translation… but it’s a character that at all other times they just call coach. Turns out in Japanese it was all 監督

Anyway, sounds like you’re making great progress, glad to hear it.


Ok I have to admit I was on my way to do something online with a friend and hadn’t fully finished reading, and you really are doing well with reading tweets, figuring out press conference vocab, etc. But leaving it as “hey great progress” probably sounds a bit bad in light of the last section I got to a little later, heh. :sweat:

I can relate a lot to Japanese being a useful distraction from everything else for sure. Really sorry to hear about the mask mandate dropping and it’s very reasonable to be worried as a result… I never really had that experience because no one in this state ever wore a mask even when we briefly pretended to have a mandate :upside_down_face: , but that in itself put me through a lot of stress and frustration directed outwardly at people. I kinda still don’t think I can manage to not feel negatively towards the people around me after going through this whole experience. Not to turn this into being about me! But this whole disaster situation has weighed heavily on everyone mentally, too. Just want to say I very much respect anyone like you who is, after all this exhausting time, still managing to be really vigilant about this.

I really hope you can stay safe, and what you’ve managed to keep doing remains impressive.


Don’t worry, I figured that you of all people probably understood :heart:

I’m sorry that you have to live somewhere like that. I live on, well, the bad side of one of the better states :sweat:. It definitely has made me feel pretty negative toward the city I grew up in, though I’d never been particularly positive about it. I’d hoped that working at a college would be better, because theoretically a college should care more about science, and it has been better than the rest of the city (low bar), but unfortunately colleges are businesses before they are institutions of science :pensive:.


Made it to level 32!

It took over 14 days, which is a little on the longer end, but my life got a bit busier over the past week (hence why this update was a little late), so I didn’t mind it. My daily WK workload is about the same every day, but I was definitely slacking on my reading and grammar study because there were several days where I just didn’t have the time. I got the minimum done that I wanted to accomplish, though!

I also followed a whim and randomly decided that I wanted to learn how to embroider, after wanting to learn how to do it for years! This was my first embroidery project (yes, this is relevant to my study log):

(Not that I really need the reminder :sweat_smile:)

I wrote a little more about it in the thread with the embroidery pattern :blush:.

Also, I noticed that I have now burned over a quarter of the items on WK! I still have a long way to go, but it’s cool to see how far I’ve managed to come.

My burned item count as of the beginning of this level: 2357 (and 1651 on KW!)

Fun encounters with Japanese outside of WaniKani:

DDT’s 25th Anniversary show on March 20 was fun! It started with a powerpoint presentation that was making a very unconventional argument about phoenixes to try to tie them into DDT’s (very silly) lore, and it ended up teaching me the word 不死鳥(ふしちょう).

Here’s a screenshot I took to give more context to my flash card:

I’m starting to be able to read more and more of Super Sasadango Machine’s powerpoint slides, though I can’t really read much of it fast enough to keep up, and usually I just catch a few scattered words and kanji and have to fill in the context from the live translation thread.

The most exciting news to come out of the anniversary show is that DDT and AEW now have a formal partnership. Of course, if you follow DDT even a little bit, this wasn’t exactly shocking news, haha, because Takagi has been talking about their relationship for years, and it’s clear the two companies are on good terms and were already sharing talent. Recently, he talked about heavily encouraging the wrestlers to work on their English, with the hopes of it helping them succeed internationally. I have my own opinions on what DDT (and TJPW) could be doing to increase their following among international fans, but it’s neat that they’ll be able to do more stuff with AEW. DDT has a bit of a weird reputation among western fans, so a lot of the really wild stuff probably won’t get to make it onto primetime live American TV, haha, but their wrestlers are very skilled at just regular wrestling, too. Konosuke Takeshita, who just lost the KO-D Openweight title, is going on a long excursion to America, and hopefully they’ll give him a nice spotlight.

I feel like both AEW and DDT/TJPW are in a position where they could use a lot more Japanese and English support respectively to make their storylines truly accessible to the audience on the other side of the ocean, but hopefully things are moving in a positive direction there. In any case, I’m working very hard to overcome my own reliance on translators!

Speaking of that, DDT just did another Hiragana Muscle show! I was wondering what I was going to do about it, because I wanted to watch it, but was unsure how much I’d be able to get out of it without good listening comprehension and possibly no live twitter translation, but the decision ended up getting taken out of my hands anyway because they didn’t stream it live this time, and the shows are only available on VOD. The person who runs the new DDT English account expressed a desire to want to do some sort of translation for it (it’s one of his favorite wrestling things as well), but it’s unclear what format that might take, or if there’s even enough interest to make that worth his while.

Something that’s kind of funny is that Yuki Ueno, who plays one of the main characters, had to miss several of the shows because he was sick (not with covid), and instead of changing the show, they ended up just running it as planned, except without anyone physically playing his character haha (including the match he had, which his opponent wrestled as if he were fighting an invisible man. If you don’t watch wrestling, invisible man matches are a staple of indie wrestling). He was able to make it to the very last performance, though.

I saw this fanart of Yuki Ueno, and I was pleased that I could read and understand most of the text on the image, except for what I believe is his character’s name. I also realized that I can now read 必殺技男子, thanks to the time I’ve been spending on Anki. Ueno’s character is a member of the Finisher Boys, who are reincarnated gods of wrestling. The 必殺技男子 are going on indefinite hiatus, unfortunately, due to Takeshita’s excursion to America.

There was a bit of discussion on wrestling twitter concerning Asuka/Veny’s pronouns (when talking about her in English). When Veny appeared in AEW, the English commentary used they/them pronouns for her, and other English commentators at other shows produced by different people, such as the Hana Kimura Memorial show, also used they/them pronouns for her. This was because English speakers saw Asuka referring to herself as “genderless” when the word she was actually using was ジェンダーレス. Apparently, the term is used more as a catch-all for gender nonconformity rather than “nonbinary” as “genderless” suggests. Asuka is transgender but not nonbinary, and one promotor spoke to her about her pronouns, and she clarified that she would prefer she/her pronouns to be used over they/them. Good to know!

In other wrestling news, we got another Golden Lovers twitter interaction! This one was very short, but still managed to have unknown grammar (to me), so I ended up relying on a friend’s translation anyway, haha! It occurred to me with this that we’ve now seen three twitter interactions over the past year or so, and in every single one of them, Ibushi was the one who initiated the conversation, and Kenny still has yet to directly reply to him (the only time he did, he replied through Michael Nakazawa’s translation instead of directly to the original tweet). It’ll still be a while yet before anything can directly happen with the story, but it’s nice to see.

I did have one small major victory in listening comprehension. I was watching the latest TJPW show, and there was a spot where Itoh and Raku both got up on the turnbuckles and said something, and I could tell that Itoh was saying her usual line: “who’s the cutest in the world?”, to which Raku answered “Itoh-chan!”, and then Raku said something, which I heard as “who’s the sleepiest in the world?” to which Itoh answered “Raku!” I was pretty sure that I heard ねむい, haha, and it made sense with her character, and sure enough, Mr. Haku happened to confirm this on twitter. I was right!!

I call it a small major victory because it was a very small thing, but I find it most satisfying when I can understand the jokes. Out of everything, that’s when I truly feel like I’m actually making progress toward fluency.

みんなの日本語 Lesson 27 – Lesson 28

Lesson 27 of MNN ended with an exercise asking me to introduce the hero of a book or comic that I read as a kid and talk about the things that they can do (practicing the potential form). I struggled a bit with this at first because all of the things I wanted to talk about required fantasy/science fiction vocab that I just didn’t have. Eventually I settled on talking about Tokyo Mew Mew, haha, because thanks to 大海原と大海原 and a few other things, I felt more equipped to string together actually relevant sentences (I knew the word 魔法少女, for instance).

I didn’t really have the vocab for talking about, like, magical transformation, but I figured out a way to say one thing without using specialized vocabulary: “いちごは魔法でイリオモテヤマネコになれます”. I tried to talk about Ichigo being able to fight, but almost all of the fighting-related vocab that I had was specifically wrestling vocab, so I had to go with something else unless I wanted it to sound like Tokyo Mew Mew was a wrestling show, haha.

For exercises like that, I tend to avoid dipping into WK vocab unless it’s vocab that I’ve seen elsewhere enough to have at least a slight idea of how to actually use it. I frequently get thrown off by some words taking a different particle than I expected with some verbs, so I think it’s a good idea to stick to words I’ve actually seen used in context a lot. One of my friends suggested that I pick an easy character to write about instead of trying to pick something that I actually read as a child, but personally I like trying to figure out a way to talk about things that are interesting to me, even if I have to resort to talking about it in a bit of a roundabout way. Feels like good practice for actual conversation, haha.

I also learned the lesson 28 vocab and started working through the lesson! It’s going well so far, though I haven’t gotten very far along, due to being busy.

I updated the MNN kanji by WK level spreadsheet with the lesson 28 kanji!


Reading in Spanish (Wonder: La Lección de August)

I think I was wrong about Wonder being written mainly in present tense, because although the very beginning of the book was, the rest of it seems to be mostly past tense. It’s not really a problem for me, at this point, but it might make it slightly less absolute beginner friendly than I thought.

The book is going very well for me so far! It feels almost like when I first started reading chapter books in elementary school, haha, and read a lot of stuff that was above my level and somehow managed to figure them out. Most of the time, I can guess what words and phrases mean from the context, so I’ve been tempted not to even look many of them up, but I want to make sure I’m actually internalizing as much as possible so that my next book is easier.

I switched to using Reverso Context for my main dictionary instead of a monolingual one. The monolingual one was just taking too much time, and with as fast as I’m able to read this book, since I’m largely mostly just confirming what I already thought a word/phrase meant, I’ve really been benefiting from reading the example sentences and their translations. It helps confirm the tone. I think I’ll save the monolingual dictionary for when I’m at a more advanced level.

Unfortunately, I fell even further behind on 大海原と大海原 :sweat_smile:. However, I signed up for the spring read every day challenge, so hopefully I’ll be making progress on the book again soon!

I also committed to attempting to read something both in Japanese and in Spanish every single day. Some other people decided to also challenge themselves to read every day in multiple languages, so it should be fun!

With the TJPW translations, it took me over a week to finish translating the Ryogoku show :sweat_smile:. I could’ve finished it a little faster if I’d been less busy. Unfortunately, I’m now a show behind, though I think I’ll be able to catch up because the more recent shows aren’t as long as Grand Princess was (7600+ characters :weary:), so there’s a lot less translation work for me to do.

Here’s a longer post I wrote about the process of translating the post-match comments for the show:

2022.03.19 TJPW Grand Princess — (65 words added)

For all of that, only adding 65 words isn’t bad! My wrestling deck now has 496 total words in it, and it’s work that is definitely paying off. I wonder how long it’ll be before the count of new words starts significantly tapering off haha. It’s really exciting when I read a paragraph that’s full of words I’ve already SRS’d and realize that I can pretty much read the whole thing. This is still a little uncommon, but it’s happening more and more.

I noticed something cool in one of the flash cards that I added recently. It was for the word 花道(はなみち). I installed a monolingual dictionary with images, though for the most part, the only images I was seeing were stroke order charts for kanji :sweat_smile:. But for some reason, 花道 had a nifty little illustration!

Look at this! I wish more of my cards came with illustrations. I realize I can add them myself, but it’s easier if Yomichan does the work for me.

New resources:

Someone launched a new project called Yakuaru, which is a supplemental J-E glossary for media translators/localizers. It’s intended to help people build their own glossaries and find inspiration/context from ideas from other people in the localization community. I haven’t poked around much yet (and they’re still building it), but it looks really handy so far, even if you aren’t doing translation/localization work.

It’s strange to think of myself as someone doing translation work, but I guess I am, even though my work doesn’t have a large audience (and I wouldn’t want it to right now :sweat_smile:) and frequently has errors. I’ve already improved a lot since I started doing this a few months ago, though, and I’ll continue to get better and better the more I practice. At the very least, I’ve earned the right to have opinions on localization discourse, haha.

On a different subject, I dug up a link to Hiroko Townsend’s thesis, which was what the Keisei semantic-phonetic composition script was originally based on. I found the link for someone else on the forum, but ended up skimming the thesis myself because it’s a subject I’m interested in. I think I’m far enough along in kanji study that I could actually understand most of it, which surprised me. Townsend has a section on pedagogical implications at the end, where she talks about how phonetic components can be incorporated into teaching kanji.

I wonder what she’d think of the Keisei script. She seems to be of the opinion (based on existing research) that introducing oral/aural skills prior to reading/writing skills is more beneficial, but WK takes the complete opposite approach. Personally, I think the way the Keisei script is set up, paired with WK’s SRS, is actually a fantastic way to learn (though I think it could be improved by changing the order the kanji are taught in). I never actually studied the principles outlined in this thesis, yet I feel like I have an intuitive understanding of them, and have already been able to make use of them when learning new kanji outside of WK. There have been multiple occasions where I could successfully guess the reading of an unknown kanji just from the phonetic component.

Something that’s interesting to me is that it appears that the Keisei script has actually encouraged a lot of WK users to further study this. I looked up The Kanji Code again on Amazon, and multiple reviews for the book specifically mention finding it because of WK! It’s an aspect of kanji study that doesn’t really seem to get discussed much outside of here, I guess maybe because it doesn’t seem to be taught a lot in schools, and many self-taught Japanese language learners online hate WK’s method and think that kanji should be learned entirely through vocab encountered in the wild, which sort of runs contrary to this approach.

I also found a second article on identifying phonetic components of kanji for learners of Japanese. This one was published in a journal a few years later, by different authors. I’ve only barely looked at it, but thought the link was worth holding onto.

I did read a bit, though, and one learner (on page 237) said that because there isn’t a reliable way of guessing the pronunciation of kanji through its phonetic-semantic composition, “they are useful for remembering a reading a reading one has already learned, and not a lot more.” I guess I do view them primarily as a mnemonic aid, but to me, that is more than half of the battle, as far as learning goes, haha. If I learn a new kanji in WK and its on’yomi reading comes from one of its components, I’m way more likely to remember it in the long term (compared to trying to use one of WK’s mnemonics or creating my own), and the combination of a phonetic and semantic component really does a lot to cement kanji into my brain.

To me, it’s a bit similar to rendaku. There are some rules to how rendaku generally works, but also plenty of exceptions, so memorizing the rules only has a chance of actually helping you with any given word, and can’t really be relied on. But I feel like I’ve benefited heavily from the rendaku info script just because of the sheer quantity of vocab in WK, and the many, many opportunities I’ve had to practice the rules and get a feel for some of the kinds of words they tend to work for, and some of the kinds of words that tend to be exceptions.

I think with both cases, studying the rules alone probably wouldn’t do much for me, but being aware of the rules while individually considering thousands of separate items does actually give a tangible boost to my ability to memorize readings and also figure out how to approach unfamiliar words/kanji.

That’s a lot of paragraphs about a rather dry subject, sorry! I’m honestly considering trying to contact Hiroko Townsend after I finish WK, just to let her know the impact of her work on thousands of learners here (if she’s not already aware of it). I’m really curious to know what she thinks of WK, and if she approves of the implementation of the Keisei script for teaching this concept. It would be interesting to see someone do a study comparing WK users who use the Keisei script and WK users who don’t! I wonder how much of a difference it actually makes.

New Userscripts:

  • WK Extra study mover — This script allows you to move the extra study UI (or hide it completely). At first, I wasn’t really bothered by the position of the new feature, but after having it for a couple weeks and ignoring it completely in favor of the self-study userscript, I started to feel like it was taking up valuable real estate, so I used this script to move it to the sidebar instead.

Next steps:

Hopefully these next couple weeks should be a little less busy for me. My main goal is to keep progressing through WK and my textbook, and to read something every day in both Spanish and Japanese to keep up with the challenge! I hope to catch up on the TJPW translations and also finally start making up ground on 大海原と大海原. I’ll also be adjusting to a new work schedule, but I don’t think it’ll be too hard to fit my studies around it.

Onward to level 33! 行くぞ!


Your embroidery is wonderful! The durtle and crab made me LOL–as did the written sentiment! 100% A+ :joy: :mechanical_arm:


Made it to level 33!

It took a little over thirteen days this time. Looking ahead, this current level might go a little faster, because I think I might have to weight my daily lesson ratio slightly more in favor of kanji, since there are less vocab items and my lesson buffer has gotten lower. I’ll just play it by ear and see how things go.

This update was a little late because I was trying to finish some translations, and also had to do my taxes, haha.

Something WK-related that caught my eye this level was the kanji 複, which WK has assigned the meaning “duplicate.” It consists of the spirit + black hole radicals (the black hole radical is actually , a non-WK kanji meaning return, which neither jisho nor Yomichan have much data on, but which the Keisei script informs me is a phonetic component contributing the ふく reading for at least four other kanji, including 複).

WK’s mnemonic for this one isn’t really anything special, but that’s okay, because I have a better one. If you’re a fanzine history enthusiast like me, you might be familiar with the existence of spirit duplicators. It’s similar to a mimeograph, if you’ve heard of those, haha. Both technologies were eventually supplanted by photocopiers, so they’re not used much today. The “spirit” in the name refers to the alcohols used during the printing process, not “spirit” in the sense of the WK radical, but for a mnemonic, that doesn’t matter. I just thought it was a really neat coincidence. :blush:

My burned item count as of the beginning of this level: 2489 (and 1756 on KW)!

Fun encounters with Japanese outside of WaniKani:

Some of the most exciting news in the wrestling world over the past couple weeks was the announcement that AEW is going to be airing on NJPW World—with Japanese commentary! It’s huge news for the Japanese fans, because it’ll make AEW much more accessible to them (apparently fite.tv is very difficult for Japanese speakers to navigate, which I absolutely understand, because sometimes even I struggle :sweat_smile:), though apparently they aren’t translating the promos, which is a huge shame (well, some of them are pretty bad, so it’s occasionally a blessing).

Unfortunately these shows are region-locked, so people watching from outside of Japan will need to use a VPN be out of luck. It seems like a fun way to practice listening comprehension, though, especially since they’re bringing in NJPW wrestlers to do guest commentary for them. My Japanese is definitely not where it needs to be for me to get much out of this yet, but I want to hear what Shingo Takagi thinks about all of the AEW wrestlers! :triumph:

Coming right up on the heels of that announcement was the announcement that some AEW matches will also be airing on CyberFight’s streaming service, Wrestle Universe! This seemingly only applies to matches containing currently signed DDT/TJPW wrestlers, but it’s still huge. I don’t even know how to convey how absurdly wild it is that AEW manages to have this kind of relationship with both of those companies at the same time. Apparently they’re even sharing a commentator: Haruo Murata is doing work for both companies.

I’m thrilled that both DDT fans and NJPW fans will get to experience AEW like this. I’m especially touched at the thought that if and when the Golden Lovers do get back together, DDT, NJPW, and AEW fans alike will probably all get to enjoy them :pleading_face:. This brings together all three of their eras. It’s definitely thanks to Kenny Omega that this happened, so it really does feel like the Golden Lovers are at the heart of it. Maybe love can change the world after all?

There are some rumblings of a rumor that AEW and NJPW are planning a supershow together this summer. It’s supposedly happening on my birthday (June 23), actually, though there is absolutely no way I am going to any sort of wrestling show during a pandemic, so I will just have to watch from my own home. Of course, wrestling rumors being how they are, you have to take everything with a grain of salt until it actually happens.

Getting a little more back on topic (this is a study log and not a wrestling log, right? :sweat_smile:), Tetsuya Endo had his 10th anniversary match in DDT, which was also Konosuke Takeshita’s send-off match before his AEW excursion. At the end of the show, Endo, Takeshita, and Yuki Ueno (who is going to be challenging Endo for his belt soon) all spoke on the mic at the same corner. Here’s a clip from a fan in attendance, complete with transcriptions of what the other two said to Takeshita as he left.

DDT’s English translator chose to translate this as Endo saying “Takeshita, I hate you” and then Yuki saying “Takeshita, I love you”. The translator then said on his personal account that having to choose between “like” and “love” (for 大好き) is hard, but “love” will always be better. I certainly agree with his priorities, haha. Here are a couple fan photos of this moment of “大嫌いと大好き”.

It’s an interesting dynamic between the three of them because Endo and Takeshita’s fates will probably always be bound together at the very core of the company, but Yuki isn’t quite there yet. He’s good friends with Takeshita, but is still in his shadow, which did not go particularly well for Endo and Takeshita back when they were still a tag team… It almost feels like the central question of whether or not Endo or Takeshita can carry the company has been resolved (the answer is that they both can), and the new question is whether Yuki can stand with the two of them yet or not.

As it turns out, we got a translation thread for Hiragana Muscle 6 after all! Something kind of funny about this show that I think I mentioned last time: Yuki Ueno played the literal main character, but he got sick and couldn’t be in the show. So, DDT being DDT, they just went ahead and did the entire show with his character being portrayed by an invisible man, ahaha. This was the version that the DDT English account did a translation thread for. It got surprisingly emotional even despite this.

Hiragana Muscle traditionally has at least one powerpoint, which I always look forward to. I appreciated this slide explaining the concept of the マルチバース. I actually just learned the word 複数 this level, and of course I already knew 宇宙. This being wrestling, the point about the existence of multiverses ended up devolving into being an ad for their streaming service, Wrestle Universe, haha.

The show was sponsored by a (fictional) group of traditional handcrafters famous for Buddhist implements. But instead of 凶器(きょうき)反則(はんそく), they wanted to do 興器(きょうき)販促(はんそく) (thanks WK for helping me understand that pun). One of the items was the most beautiful chair in existence (they seriously outdid themselves with the props for this show. That chair looked even more beautiful when they actually brought it out). Naturally, the wrestlers were instructed to go to the finals and use these items as promotion, but making sure not to damage them, haha.

Most of the show consisted of a frankly gigantic tournament (pro wrestling nerds might notice the parody of NJPW’s New Japan Cup), which they found all sorts of interesting ways to speed through, haha. My favorite entrant was 無機物(むきぶつ), “inorganic matter”, which taught me a new word when I saw the match card come up. 無機物 ended up specifically being a ごんぎつね book, which regular DDT watchers are familiar with through Antonio Honda’s recurring Gon the Fox bit. I’m thinking of buying myself a copy of it as reading practice, honestly. I believe it’s a popular children’s book.

There were plenty of other highlights from the show, and it was a delight as always, haha. These shows just keep getting more and more fun to watch the more my Japanese improves. Yuki Ueno actually was able to make it to the very last production, and as it turned out, the original plan was for his character to face Takeshita in the finals instead of Shunma. That version of the match didn’t have a conclusive end (in the invisible man version, Yuki’s character beat his factionmate Shuma), which is somewhat ominous foreshadowing…

I’m looking forward to the next ひらがなまっする show in the fall. My Japanese should be even better then, so hopefully I’ll be able to understand even more :blush:.

In other news, Hyper Misao was back to her old tricks in TJPW’s Korakuen Hall show. She pretended like she was auditioning to join the Up Up Girls idol group, and presented her application to Miu Watanabe, her opponent (naturally, it was just a ploy). I saw these fan photos of her application on twitter and tried my best to read it.

This was as much as I could figure out on my own:


She seemed to be listing some sort of bicycle license in the first line, and then talking about some sort of practical hero ability test in the second line (saying that she passed 2級). I was shocked to find out that I was actually correct (though I missed the nuance of what she was specifically parodying)! Misao later posted a better photo, and I was able to figure out the two kanji that had stumped me (種 and 技), and double check the others, haha. I was proud of myself for being able to infer that 普通 was probably the first word on the first line, and that the last word on the second line was most likely 合格.

Being able to read handwritten Japanese like that is something I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d be capable of, so I’m very grateful to WK and the jitai script for all of the practice, as well as the time I’ve put into learning how to write kanji.

Misao also shared this meme she made, which taught me the words 寒暖差(かんだんさ), temperature difference, and 低気圧(ていきあつ), low pressure (though it apparently can also refer to being in a foul mood).

On a more serious story note, I keep thinking about this tweet that she made after her match with Miu. She said that she was saved by this one move that came out in the heat of the moment, and then that last line, “久しぶりのヴァニタスが私のいろんな虚無を切り裂いてくれたのかも”. Maybe the Vanitas, after all this time, cut through her いろんな虚無, her various nothingness. I’ve surely talked about that part of her story before, but the Vanitas is her old finisher, from when she was a heel and tagging with Sakisama. She stopped using moves like that after she turned face again at the end of 2019. I’m not sure where exactly her story is going, but it seems to be headed in an interesting direction.

There was also this interview with Raku that intrigued me because of this quote: “ずっと死んでた人生が、やっと生きられた”, though I’ve yet to have the time to properly dive in and attempt to read it.

On a completely different note, I thought this tweet from Chris Charlton about the nuances of “salty” and “しょっぱい” in pro wrestling was interesting.

I also learned some new meanings of 落とせ from this tweet from Mr. Haku during Marika Kobashi’s graduation match in TJPW. The word can mean “to drop”, as WK teaches, but apparently it also means to make someone pass out in wrestling (and is often chanted by crowds, or at least it was when crowds in Japan were still allowed to chant), and also can mean “take her makeup off”, haha, which I suppose is similar in severity to the second use as far as Marika is concerned.

Weeks like this make me realize just how many Japanese to English translators I follow on twitter :sweat_smile:. I think I referenced no less than four different translators in this entry, which might be a new record for me. I actually just befriended another one a week or so ago. It’s cool having so many people to learn from :blush:.

みんなの日本語 Lesson 28 – Lesson 29

I don’t know if I have many specific things to say about these lessons, but I finished lesson 28 and have moved on to 29! These recent chapters have made me really grateful for WK, because many of these words/kanji I already know, which makes picking up the vocab a breeze.

I updated the MNN kanji by WK level spreadsheet with the lesson 29 kanji!


Reading in Spanish (Wonder: La Lección de August)

I finished the first part of the book! The story really picked up there at the end. That second to last chapter was hard to read… (Hard emotionally, not language difficulty wise).

As I mentioned in another post, it has been an extraordinarily cool reading experience because it’s the first time in my life I’ve been able to read a book in a language other than English and actually feel like I’m reading. I never even dreamed of being able to reach this point (with any language) a few years ago. It makes reading in Japanese feel like a much more achievable goal to me.

The library just acquired another book that I also want to read! It’s a book about the local history of the city I live in, and it’s written as a parallel text book, with Spanish on one side of the page and English on the other. After I finish Wonder, I think I’m going to try picking it up.

The read every day spring challenge is going great! I’ve successfully managed to read something in both Spanish and Japanese every day so far. I’m really enjoying it, and it’s so satisfying to feel like I’m making progress in both languages at once.

Still made no further progress on 大海原と大海原. When you see how many TJPW show translations I finished, you’ll see why :sweat_smile:. I’m hoping things will be a little more quiet since their next big show is at the beginning of May, but we’ll see. The good news is that by the time I have free time to read manga again, my grammar will be substantially better than when I left off, though I don’t think the wrestling vocab will help me much there, haha.

Here are the TJPW show translations I finished. Click the posts below for highlights, this time starring Kamen Rider metaphors that I spent way too long deciphering, Yuka Sakazaki wanting to fight Mickey at Disneyland, and Hyper Misao sliding back into her same patterns from when she turned heel three years ago…

TJPW 2022.03.26 SPRING TOUR ’22 — (24 words added)
TJPW 2022.04.02 SPRING TOUR ’22 — (26 words added)
TJPW 2022.04.09 Still Incomplete ’22 — (38 words added)

In total, my wrestling deck contains 560 wrestling words! :blush:

I’m still a show behind because TJPW’s April 9 show was a Korakuen Hall show, which meant there was a lot more to translate :sweat_smile:.

It’s funny, I saw people talking about how many books they’ve finished, and I started to feel insecure and bad about my own lack of tangible progress in that regard, and then I realized how silly it was to be worrying about that when I’ve translated thousands upon thousands of characters for these wrestling shows. Maybe it’s less exciting to say because I can’t give nice concrete numbers, and a lot of people probably don’t really respect the work I’m putting into this because it seems like a frivolous waste of time, but, well, it means something to me.

I do want to read actual books at some point, but I can’t really spare the time at the moment, so it’ll have to wait until I’m more fluent and can translate TJPW a lot faster. Or if TJPW gets an actual official translator again haha and puts me out of work.

New resources:

This one is a resource for the WK forum, not Japanese, but I thought it was worth linking. It’s a post formatting guide for posting on the forum. Lots of neat info in there! Seems like a handy reference.

New Userscripts:

  • Forum: Details Keep Open State — This is a script for the WK forum that simply keeps the details tags open while editing. Just a small quality of life thing, but really helpful if you’re someone like me and are prone to making long posts, or editing wiki posts on a certain pro wrestling thread :sweat_smile:

Next steps:

I don’t have anything too ambitious planned for the next level. My main goal is to keep up with the spring read every day challenge, catching up on the TJPW translations and maybe getting a little bit of 大海原と大海原 read, and of course keep pushing forward with WK and my textbook.

Onward to level 34! 行くぞ!


Made it to level 34!

Took just 12 days this time, so a little faster, as expected! Nothing especially exciting to report from the past couple weeks, Japanese-wise, but everything has been going well.

My burned item count as of the beginning of this level: 2596 (and 1851 on KW!)

Fun encounters with Japanese outside of WaniKani:

I do have one very exciting thing to report from the pro wrestling world! Remember me mentioning the fun transformation of “Forbidden Door” from machine mistranslation to a real thing? Check this out! AEW and NJPW just announced a joint supershow (on June 26, so three days after my birthday :sweat_smile:)! There was only one possible name for this show. I smiled so big when I noticed the little subtitle on the graphic: 禁断の扉.

I loved the comment that Murata (commentator for both NJPW and DDT) made: “マルチバースのポータルが開いた!” The portal to the multiverse has opened indeed! That was a fun followup after I just learned the word マルチバース from Hiragana Muscle, haha.

As silly as it is, this one announcement totally made my whole week. If you even slightly care about the Golden Lovers story, definitely circle this date on your calendar. We don’t know anything for certain, but I just have a feeling… I doubt we’ll get an actual match (Kenny likely won’t be healed by then anyway, and Ibushi might not be, either), but I feel certain we’re going to get at least something, even if it’s just another brief moment in passing like we got in 2017.

Another wrestling story that I’ve been enjoying is the build-up to Hyper Misao vs Shoko Nakajima in TJPW. I’ve talked more in detail about the story in the pro wrestling thread, but I liked the way the official account worded this tweet: “ベルトの魔力がミサヲを狂わせる!!” The belt’s magical powers make Misao go crazy, indeed… My friends and I like to say that pro wrestling belts are cursed. This certainly lends support to that theory :sweat_smile:.

I also learned the kanji 操, which WK has assigned the meaning “manipulate”, and which I had already sort of known for a few years because that was how Hyper Misao spelled her name while she was a heel in 2019. Machine translation frequently translates her name from back then as “manipulation”. Imagine my surprise when I found out that (みさお) is actually a real word, and it uses the “chastity” meaning of the kanji instead! Needless to say, I do not need a mnemonic to remember that one.

Also, Yoshihiko from DDT (the wrestler who’s literally a blow-up doll) has a twitter account now! It’s just a promotional thing for this year (he’s sort of acting as DDT’s ambassador), so sadly the account won’t be active after this year, but I’ve greatly enjoyed following it so far haha. We’re learning some great Yoshihiko lore, like the fact that he’s apparently a Lady Gaga fan? Yoshihiko wants to get verified on twitter (認証(にんしょう)マーク was a new word for me), but he’s an 無機物, “inanimate substance”, which seems to be used more broadly for “inanimate object”.

I mentioned this account to my dad (who generally cannot stand wrestling), and to my surprise, he started following it. He did get a little scared off by a clip Yoshihiko retweeted of the Pheromones faction in DDT, though. He said: “You watch some really bizarre stuff” :sweat_smile:. He’s absolutely not wrong, but I did put things a little bit into perspective by reminding him that we were talking about a company that has a twitter account run by a wrestler who is a blow-up doll.

A few miscellaneous other things I enjoyed seeing on twitter recently was the word パケ()い, which refers to buying a product because of the look of the packaging, and I also loved this exchange in a basic English textbook in Japan. I wish Minna no Nihongo taught me how to have useful, ubiquitous conversations like this.

みんなの日本語 Lesson 29 – Lesson 30

I finished lesson 29 and just started 30! It has been a lot of me finally learning to put to use a lot of these intransitive verbs that WK has been teaching me. Also, my MNN progress has been gaining ground on my WK progress. I wonder if I’ll be able to finish lesson 50 before I reach level 50…

I feel like I’m finally starting to learn how to say things with a little more personality, haha, which is fun! My answers for the textbook exercises are getting more creative. Since I don’t have anyone grading my freeform answers, I’ve been putting them in DeepL just to see how they translate (the grammar is straightforward enough, it usually translates pretty cleanly), and it’s always fun when I can get the DeepL translation to show some emotion with the still very limited tools the textbook has given me.

I also helped one of my friends draft a tweet to a wrestler showing her some fanart that her friend had drawn. It was interesting because I could really see how practicing production and working through MNN has really been paying off, because I have a couple friends with better reading/listening comprehension than me who were struggling more than I was with thinking of how to politely and correctly phrase the tweet.

I updated the MNN kanji by WK level spreadsheet with the lesson 30 kanji!


Reading in Spanish (Wonder: La Lección de August)

Everything is still going well here! I finished part two and am on page 165. I did start to wonder (ha) if this book really was as easy as I thought, or if my Spanish has simply improved enough to make it seem super easy now. I feel like my reading comprehension has just improved across the board. I guess it’s the intermediate plateau at work, since I’m right in the midst of that with Spanish.

I’m still going strong with the read every day challenge! No missed days yet, in either Spanish or Japanese. I also finally got caught up on the TJPW translations (until Golden Week starts… :sweat_smile:), and I actually had the chance to pick up 大海原と大海原 volume 3 again, after not having the time for so long! I finished chapter 3 and am halfway through 4.

I actually was a bit blown away by how much easier it was to read after all the work I’ve been putting in the past couple months. I feel like I’m at a point with Japanese where a lot of the groundwork I’ve laid is finally coming to fruition. Sentence structure makes way more intuitive sense to me now, even for longer sentences (which used to be the utter bane of my existence), and my grammar, kanji, and vocab knowledge are starting to really come together. Sentences just have way fewer unknowns now. I even saw some of the words I’d SRS’d for wrestling show up here!

I think even with having to extensively rely on Yomichan, ichi.moe, and often DeepL for the wrestling translations, I’ve gotten loads of reading practice from doing them. I definitely think I’m learning more from the wrestling translations than I am from reading manga (partially due to ease of looking stuff up, having more background knowledge/context of the characters and events, and investing the time/energy into SRS-ing specialized vocab), but I also think the wrestling recaps just have more complete sentences, and I get less bogged down by slang and dialects (though wrestling also has that). I feel like manga will become a more usable learning tool for me as my knowledge continues to increase, and the number of unknowns I’m finding per sentence decreases. For now, it’s fun to read as a hobby, though!

I managed to finish three show translations! As always, click the links below to find out everything I struggled with and everything that I found interesting. I believe I’ve now translated 22 shows, which is pretty wild to think about! That’s probably a full novel’s worth of text.

2022.04.10 TJPW INSPIRATION — (20 words added)
2022.04.17 TJPW SPRING TOUR ’22 — (25 words added)
2022.04.24 TJPW SPRING TOUR ’22 — (17 words added)

My wrestling deck currently has 630 words in it, though a chunk of them are still waiting to actually get introduced, as I’ve had to pause new cards a few times.

It’s funny, I opted not to SRS どんどん and キラキラ, since I’m still sticking mostly to words that contain kanji, but I realized that I actually did end up learning those two just from repeated exposure, haha. I feel like those are two words where the definition isn’t really that helpful anyway, but I’ve started to get a sense of them just from seeing them in context a bunch of times.

I also made the decision to finally suspend some of my Anki leeches (I’d been letting Anki identify and tag them, but had not been doing anything else with them). I’m leaving the ones from the MNN vocab alone (I only have 18 anyway), because I feel like those are worth properly memorizing, but I don’t want to get too bogged down with just a small portion of words from my immersion. I have both recall and recognition cards in my deck, and usually it’s the recall cards that cause me more problems, so I’ve decided to leave the recognition cards for now, but suspend any recall card that reaches leech status. Hopefully in those cases, repeated exposure to the words will boost my recall anyway.

I know that having recall cards isn’t the most popular strategy here, but personally I really hate my understanding being so lopsided where I can read a bunch of things, but can’t bring those words to mind. My Spanish knowledge is very heavily in favor of recognition, and I do feel like my ability to function in the language has suffered for it, despite my gains in reading and listening comprehension. I’ll be trying to have a conversation in Spanish and just draw a complete blank even though I know these words.

I’m still wondering when the wrestling vocab will start tapering off, haha, because so far, I haven’t seen any signs of that. I might reach level 60 and have a few thousand words in my deck and still be going strong.

New resources:

This is a very small thing, but I thought this tweet about the varying politeness levels of different ways to say “トイレに行ってきます” was interesting. I feel like I get a lot out of these resources intended to teach English phrases to Japanese speakers, haha.

Oh, and I actually discovered (maybe rediscovered? I can’t remember if I already remarked on this) that if your Japanese keyboard is on and you’re on a windows computer, if you pull up the emoji keyboard (hold down the windows key and the . key), when you hover over the emoji, their names will be in Japanese. It’s a fun way to get a little bit of practice in!

New Userscripts:

  • KaniWani: Disable Enter on Wrong Answer — This is a script for KW, not WK, but it’s handy. It won’t let you proceed with the enter key if you get a review wrong. I kept accidentally just powering past wrong reviews, which especially caused problems when I got marked wrong because of a synonym I hadn’t added yet. This script solves that problem.

Next steps:

My main goal is to survive Golden Week (there are a billion wrestling shows happening…), and also just survive in general. It would be nice if I can get more of 大海原と大海原 read, but I’ll probably have my hands full with just TJPW translations alone, so if I’m caught up on those by the time I make another level up post, that’ll be a miracle.

Also, I just got my oldest friend into wrestling, haha, thanks to the Golden Lovers. Knowing the trajectory of literally all of my friends who like wrestling, give it a few months, and she’ll probably be trying to learn Japanese, too :sweat_smile:.

Onward to level 35! 行くぞ!


Made it to level 35!

It took fourteen days, and what a whirlwind of a past two weeks it has been. First I was very distracted in a fun way with watching a billion wrestling shows during Golden Week, then I got distracted trying to translate a few show recaps and some senryu poems, and now I’ve spent the past few days being very distracted because of a negative wrestling thing that I’ve been losing a lot of sleep over (hence why this update is several days late).

But, well, I’m still here. I did manage to finish another lesson of MNN and keep up with the read every day challenge, despite everything, so hopefully I’ll be able to keep going through this next level, too.

My burned item count as of the beginning of this level: 2728 (and 1945 on KW!)

Fun encounters with Japanese outside of WaniKani:

Had to take the “fun” out of this section because of an ongoing incident on twitter. I elaborated on this more in the pro wrestling thread (and here’s an article translating/summing up the whole situation), but basically Kota Ibushi has been breaking kayfabe and calling out NJPW for bad labor practices on twitter. It’s an incredibly brave thing for him to do and I’m so proud of him for doing this, but boy has it been stressful to follow :disappointed_relieved:.

I saw the first couple tweets right before I went to bed, decided it was way above my pay grade in terms of Japanese ability and I’d be better off waiting until someone else translated it, and went to sleep. Then I spent the next morning desperately trying to read through as much of the overnight discord discussion as I could at 8am while also trying to do my kanji reviews and get ready for work. As you can probably guess, it was not my most focused day of studying.

It was also a profoundly unfun way to learn words like ブラック企業 and 反社. First time in my life I couldn’t bring myself to add words to Anki because the associations with them are just too stressful for me right now, and I didn’t want my study sessions to just repeatedly trigger me :cold_sweat:. Though, with all of the discourse that followed after the “反社” tweet, I’m not sure I’ll ever forget that word… Someone translating Kota’s tweets said that he deeply regretted translating that one.

Needless to say, unless they make some major changes, I think I’m probably done watching NJPW. I’ll have to see how I feel next month about the Forbidden Door PPV, and other crossover content they might do with companies that I am still watching.

As much as I hate the industry at times, though, I still love pro wrestling as an artistic medium, and I’m so proud of every single wrestler who has tried to speak out against injustice and make the industry a better place. I love Kota Ibushi now even more than I did before.

On a more positive note…

Nodoka, a recently retired TJPW wrestler, created a new twitter account for her life as a “農業1年生”. I liked learning the word 有機(ゆうき) (organic) from her twitter bio, because I hadn’t known that she was specifically interested in organic and natural farming!

TJPW’s Golden Week shows were a lot of fun! It’s nice to see my Japanese continuing to improve.

I appreciated the caption on this photo of Raku and Yuki Aino from the Korakuen show, haha, and then the reply pointing out “but right in front of Ram Kaicho…” Raku also tweeted this, implying that Yuki is her girlfriend.

That show also featured Reika Saiki’s last match and her graduation. I got into wrestling just after she stopped actively wrestling, but I’m going to be so sad to see the 筋肉アイドル go. I was amused by the concept of “graduating from muscles”, which is how she referred to the fact that she’s no longer going to keep her very impressive arm muscles.

The May 5 TJPW show featured another one of Misao’s quiz stipulation matches. I’d seen enough of these (back when we still had translation) to have a rough idea of how the rules worked, or at least I think so, haha. I think whenever someone got a 2-count fall, they had to answer a trivia question about Osaka (where the show was held, 久しぶり). Unfortunately I wasn’t really able to catch any of the questions, just scattered words, but I think one of them was a question about 大阪弁, and I think I caught a mention of design, and something about food.

The question I came closest to catching was the last one, which I’m pretty sure was “what is the tallest building” in some place, though I did not catch the place name it was asking about, haha. That was literally a direct question in a Minna no Nihongo exercise, so I guess despite what people tell me, textbook Japanese is useful after all? :sweat_smile:

The main event was an 8-women tag match pitting the current champions (well, Rika had to replace Yuka, who got unexpectedly pulled away to go to America and wrestle in AEW) against four of TJPW’s rookies. I didn’t catch the stipulation when Namba announced it, but I am proud of myself for noticing during the match (thanks to this tweet) that it was a 60分三本勝負 match! So it had a 60 minute time limit and was a best of three falls match (I was a little uncertain if it was first to three falls or best of three, but a friend clarified that 三本 is a best of three falls match, which is what I assumed because that stipulation is a lot more common).

I really liked this poster for DDT’s Wrestle Peter Pan show this year. I believe it’s supposed to represent Tetsuya Endo, especially considering the “burning star” in the caption: “真夏の夜を、燃やす星”. I know all the words, though the grammar is a little odd. I feel like I understand the meaning, but I’m not honestly sure how I’d translate the first part into English haha. Through the midsummer night? Across the midsummer night?

I also appreciated this official tweet highlighting one of Endo’s signature moves, the ACNH. I’m certain I’ve already mentioned this, but he literally named this move after Animal Crossing New Horizons, which he was playing when he came up with it. I learned this through Mr. Haku’s translation, though, and since Endo hadn’t done this move in a long time, I hadn’t seen or heard how it was actually referred to in Japanese. But sure enough, it is indeed ACNH, pronounced エーシーエヌエイチ! The tweet says that if this is too hard to say, you can also pronounce it “あつ森”, which is of course a reference to the game’s Japanese title.

Michael Nakazawa got a job doing official Japanese subtitles for AEW content, and he made a couple tweets talking about the difficulty of figuring out how to translate concepts like “Purple Heart” into Japanese, since there’s a lot of important American cultural context there that is lost if you translate it literally. AEW has quite a few English promos that are very important to the stories and also loaded with slang and cultural references, so he certainly has his work cut out for him. Coming from the opposite direction, I certainly sympathize.

みんなの日本語 Lesson 30 – Lesson 31

Finished lesson 30, as well as 復習H! The lesson went pretty well! I’m actually doing pretty okay with transitive/intransitive verbs, partially due to WK beating them into my head, and partially just due to getting a lot of experience reading and using them in the textbook. It took a little bit for me to wrap my brain around which one uses いる and which uses ある when describing continuing states, but I think I got there, haha.

Lesson 30 ended with an exercise asking me to describe the house I want to live in. Admittedly, I skipped the part of the question that asked me to draw a picture of it, but I did try my best to legitimately explain it. For most of the exercise, I focused on using the grammar the textbook just taught me. But I’m really fond of cob houses, so I tried to figure out a way to describe the concept of thermal mass without having any of the vocabulary to describe thermal mass, haha, and still very limited grammar. Here was my best attempt: “太陽と壁で暑くなったり寒くなりますから、エアコンがありません。”

For the most part, 復習H went okay, but I did end up getting quite a few of the particles wrong in the first question :sweat_smile:. I’m still struggling with remembering when to use に for a location, and when to use を for a starting point or a place that people or things pass through. Weirdly, が and は are not causing me too much trouble, haha. I’m hoping that I’ll get a better handle on the particles with continued experience and exposure to more examples. I generally have no trouble understanding them when reading, but I do have trouble using them correctly when producing my own sentences, especially when deciding which to use with a location. I’m sure that MNN will continue to test me on them, so hopefully I’ll eventually get it beaten into my head somehow.

I updated the MNN kanji by WK level spreadsheet with the lesson 31 kanji!


Reading in Spanish (Wonder: La Lección de August)

I just finished the sixth part of the novel, and am on page 283. It’s still going very well! The last chapter was a little difficult because it was from a new character perspective, and for whatever reason, the author chose to stylistically write this part entirely in lowercase, with no quotation marks. Not exactly the easiest reading experience for a language learner :sweat_smile:. I think I was able to follow it, though!

So far, the trickiest part of the book was a chapter in the previous part that consisted entirely of emails and text message exchanges between the characters. The text conversations were missing a lot of punctuation and accent marks and also contained abbreviations, and I was really proud of myself for being able to follow along pretty confidently!

I ended up trying my hand at translating a couple senryu in the daily senryu thread here. The first one I tried to translate was 終電車どうして俺だけしらふなの (my translation here). I also tried 花の名を聞いてケンカの仲なおり (my attempt here), and ナイターの拍手隣家と敵味方 (here), and 下書きの 送信キーを 猫が押し (here). It’s a fun exercise, albeit maybe not the most efficient method of studying, haha.

Still going strong with the read every day challenge (though I think my home post is badly in need of updating :sweat_smile:). For the first week of this level, I was reading quite a lot, and the second week, I was reading essentially bare minimum every day because that was all I could manage.

As expected, I made no progress on 大海原と大海原 this level. I actually stalled out a bit on the last TJPW show translation, too, thanks to the above stuff strongly affecting my ability to concentrate, but even though I didn’t manage to finish the last one before their next show, I did make at least a little progress on it every day, keeping up with the read every day challenge. Paragraph by paragraph, I’ll get there eventually.

Here are the three translations I did manage to finish. The Korakuen show ended up being 7000 characters, as usual, so it took me several days. The next big show for TJPW is going to be CyberFight Fest, where I should get a bit of a break probably because I’m assuming the DDT English account will be live translating it as well as the post-match comments.

Click on these links for the stuff that I found interesting/confusing. I’m proud of myself for managing to figure out what ゴーテンサン is, haha.

2022.04.29 TJPW SPRING TOUR ‘22 — (5 words added)
2022.04.30 TJPW SPRING TOUR '22 — (17 words added)
2022.05.03 YES! WONDERLAND 2022~夢の翼を広げ~ — (33 words added)

In total, my wrestling deck contains 686 words, though the last batch aren’t in circulation yet. I’ve been taking it easy with adding new cards while my focus is down.

New resources:

Someone started a discord group for Japanese-speaking transgender and nonbinary people. Definitely above my own level (and I don’t know my own gender well enough to feel like I’d fit in haha), but I thought it was worth mentioning it in case anyone else was interested.

I’d planned on talking about this here, but ended up posting about it in the spring read every day challenge thread instead because the topic came up there :sweat_smile:. But basically, I skimmed my way through a book called Research on Dictionary Use in the Context of Foreign Language Learning: Focus on Reading Comprehension by Yukio Tono. It’s from 2001, so newer research might have supplanted it, but I was curious enough about the subject, I ended up reading some of it. In the post linked above, I share some of the things that most leapt out to me.

There was a recently released study on readers and non-readers of BL as well as gay and bisexual men. The study is currently only in Japanese so far, but if you’re interested, it can be read here. My friend who is fluent in Japanese read through it and picked out some of the more interesting bits, and something that stood out to me is that even though the majority of women reading BL were straight, 8% of them were asexual, and the number of bisexual women was similar. I’d be interested to go back and revisit it someday when it’s easier for me to read, but by then, it’ll probably be translated into English, haha.

Next steps:

Not going to lie, I’m feeling very, very down right now. This update was really hard to finish. Kota Ibushi was one of the two wrestlers whose work got me into pro wrestling, period, and he’s ultimately the reason why I’m studying Japanese right now.

Watching NJPW crush the love of pro wrestling out of him was awful. I’m determined not to let that take my love of pro wrestling away from me, too. I’m going to keep trying to translate for TJPW, and keep studying and working on my Japanese.

I hope Kota is able to fully recover (both physically and emotionally), and I hope he’s able to find a way back to his love for pro wrestling someday, in whatever form that takes.

I did greatly appreciate this tweet from Kenny Omega afterward, which, like most of his tweets in Japanese, is almost certainly in reference to Kota (whose symbol is a phoenix). I was very relieved that I could read it (though machine translation does okay with this one), because it gave me some peace of mind. He says that the flame of resurrection will burn hot again someday, and until then, everyone, 頑張りましょう.

I’m going to keep going, and keep doing my best.

So, onward to level 36. 頑張りましょう。


I read some of your post before in the pro wrestling thread on this. Sounds like a lot, sorry :\ . I can relate – I’ve had times of feeling disenchanted myself with the various exploitation and abuse surrounding the stuff I like. I post a lot here about movies or videogames and both industries are pretty much full of more horror stories than I could manage to enumerate. I think it’s sadly inevitable with a lot of root social problems I’m going to cut myself off from starting to describe here, haha.

But yeah for whatever bit it’s worth, I think as much as you can, the attitude you’re taking towards it is a good one. There are of course the people with good intentions involved in things like wrestling, but also… of course I think we agree it’s not like “the ends justify the means,” just treat people better heh, but the wrestling, the art itself, as long as it’s not triggering those bad memories for you too much, can and probably should exist as its own thing. I hope you’re able to take whatever good you still can out of it.


Thanks, this comment means a lot :heart:. And yeah, the video game industry and film industry certainly have all sorts of labor issues that frequently horrify me, too (not to mention manga and anime…). The entertainment industry as a whole is just full of exploitation, unfortunately. I guess it sort of comes back to “there is no ethical consumption under capitalism”, which, yeah, basically the point you made at the end of your first paragraph, haha.

Pro wrestling sometimes feels uniquely bad (I think I went into some of the reasons why in my other posts in the other thread), but many of the worst aspects of the industry are present in one company, which just so happens to be the industry juggernaut (WWE…). The one hard line I’ve drawn is that I won’t watch WWE, haha. There have absolutely been some positive shifts in the American wrestling industry at least, since AEW came into existence a few years ago. They allow for a much healthier work schedule with a lot more time off, and seemingly place no pressure on the wrestlers to return before they’re ready.

I feel like in America, there’s just more transparency (due to less strict adherence to kayfabe) and room for wrestlers to speak out about injustice (whether or not they’re actually believed after the fact is another question…). So far, Japanese wrestling really hasn’t had that happen. Kota is the first wrestler I have seen speak out about it, though I’m sure the things he’s talking about are occurring in other companies, too. I keep hoping that his bravery will encourage other wrestlers to also speak up.

I guess at the end of the day, the best we can really hope for is that things will continue changing for the better. There was a thing the Golden Lovers started to say as like a catchphrase before AEW existed, “change the world,” and Kenny said that after saying it enough, he felt like he had to actually live up to it, which is part of what motivated him to help start that company. He said that there are a lot of problems in the world that he can’t really do anything to fix, so he wanted to change the world through his wrestling, which is the one thing that he knows that he can do really well.

I’m proud of Kota for trying to change things, too, even if he doesn’t manage to succeed. I think sometimes trying is enough. Even if you can’t create change on your own, you can create a future opportunity for others to enact change based on what you did.