How do I put all the enlightened vocab and kanji back to master or guru without having to wait the 120 days?

So I just tried seeing if I remember the reading for 下手(へた).

Total fail.
In fact, I couldn’t even remember the alternate readings needed for 上手(じょうず).
I have 92 days before the next review of that vocab.

Seeing as I already know that I don’t remember it, and probably any other piece of vocabulary in the enlightened queue that was put there more than a week ago, I don’t see any point in waiting another 3 months before I can reviews it again, and want to put it, and all other enlightened vocab back in the queue, so that I can keep practicing them…

Seriously, think I should just answer incorrectly on purpose every time I reach guru 2 so that I can keep practicing the vocab…

You can demote Burn items back to Apprentice, but looking at item cards of items not yet burned, I’m not even sure you can demote an item that’s not at Burn in vanilla WK. Unless I’m overlooking something, of course.

What I don’t really understand is that you say these items progressed to Enlightened a week ago, so your knowledge of them can’t actually be that bad. You remembered them enough to get them up there after a period that was far longer than a week. Correct me if I misread your post. :slight_smile:

All I can think to advise is the self-study script and potentially the add-on script additional filters, since I always forget which you need for which type of quizzes.

This way you can quiz just items in your Enlightened queue.


You can’t, but it’s been requested several times. Maybe @viet and @oldbonsai will eventually add this feature!


下手 is scheduled for a review in January 28th, so I got it to enlightened about a month ago.

At least the component kanji are 87 and 89 days away from the next review.

And for me, there’s apparently a vast difference in retention between:
“I have to remember this for the next month to promote it to enlightened”
“It’s been a month, let’s see if I remember this vocabulary”.

Since I for most of the items in the guru and below, I can remember instantly, or at least go through the mnemonic.

I don’t have too many vocab words with kess than 90 days remaining, and those that are are easy, and I actually remember them.
On level 2, I already found a couple words with 97 days remaining that I failed to remember properly.

That means that any word in enlightened doesn’t actually belong there, because I can’t retain them long term.

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But if you start doing reading /grammar etc outside of wanikani it is likely you will encounter both these words in the wild, and I would be surprised if you don’t know them by January, and you probably will burn them. Whereas lots of less common words you will have forgotten by January and they will fall back to guru. My burn rate is probably less than 50% which gives me a bigger workload than others, but I try not to let it worry me. Ultimately I’m only going to remember stuff on wanikani that I keep encountering and using in speech. Words that don’t come up in the kind of things I’m interested in probably dont matter so much anyway.


The problem is that I’m still unable to read anything at even a rudimentary level, and even when I try to, that voice in my head instantly goes “UNSKILLED!!!” instead of “err…ka? no, wait, that’s the alternate reading, so he, and then the alternate reading for ‘te’ is ‘ta’. HETA!”

But we’re all here because we can’t read Japanese and want to learn. Just have to hope every day we learn two things and only forget one.


I think you’re being a bit dramatic here…
Just let the system works it’s thing, if you truly don’t know it well, it’ll go back down naturally as much as you need it to start remembering. No need to force it back down before burning it.

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Keep reading. You will encounter it more times and it will eventually click. :slightly_smiling_face:

Don’t second-guess the SRS. It will calibrate the review time to your forgetting time eventually. It’s unlikely that 下手 will end up being the last hold-up to all burned. Use the time more productively by learning new kanji (of which some of those will fail, but many will pass through the levels uneventfully), and when it comes up again, it comes up.

That’s one theory. I also use the self-study script when I’m at 0/0 and wanikani won’t give me any more, and I do a sample of 100 or 200 already-burned items every day.

I take a philosophical viewpoint with issues like these. Here’s the thing: does it matter if you get it wrong on WK? So, there’s basically two possibilities. Either, A. you won’t see it outside of WK in that time, get it wrong, it’ll get demoted, and you can review it again. Or B. you will see it in use outside of WK, remember you knew it, review it and now, since it’s in context it will stick.

With A, it’ll get demoted. And you’ll review. The “shock” of failing will signal to your brain that you need to retain the knowledge longer than a few days (it sounds like your problem is a classic short term vs long term memory problem) and that reinforcement will help you get it right the next time.

In any case, no harm done that it was locked away for a time, because you didn’t need it anyway.

B. is a little annoying in the “I used to know this!” sense, but still no big deal, because refamiliarizing yourself is always way easier than learning something for the first time. And because of that outside exposure, you’ll probably get it right when you see it in January. Yay.

“But,” I hear you cry, “I’ll get it right and I shouldn’t have!” People talk about this endlessly with SRS. “If I see information outside of the SRS, won’t I be polluting it?” Yes. Yes you will. In the same sense that painting a building might get paint on the scaffold. SRS is a tool for getting knowledge into your head. It isn’t a goal in itself. Once you start using the knowledge, your brain will naturally retain what it finds useful. And if you don’t use it, there’s no harm in letting it fall away. You don’t need it after all. So why work harder than you have to by doing extra reviews to keep it?

Something else you might not have considered. You might not know these kanji/vocabulary now, but you might in January. How, you say? WK is structured so you are constantly learning new kanji and vocabulary based upon previous material. There is a natural reinforcement going on. As you get a better sense of Japanese, kanji, readings, and so on, you build more structure in your brain. Some of those concepts which you’re having trouble recalling now will gain additional associations with kanji and vocabulary you haven’t even seen yet. Just encountering a new word with an old kanji helps every other word you’ve seen with that kanji become more firmly lodged. That structure will lift and support the knowledge that might be be difficult to recall now, bringing it to the surface when you actually need it. This is how our brains work. And this structure is your goal, not passing tests on WK.

So don’t get discouraged at this point. As others have pointed out, there are ways to review the material out of sequence, if it’s really bothering you. I know it can be anxiety inducing. Reducing that stress may be worth the extra effort for you. But I personally would let the SRS do it’s job a little longer.


There’s always going to be a lot of discomfort when you try to read at first, and my brain still screams this at me sometimes. At some point you have to bite the bullet. It does suck feeling like you have to look up every single word, but it gets better. Doing basic grammar studies will help with beginner reading and also really reinforce common vocab words like this one, since many grammar points rely on such words.

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