How Does one study Kanji Effectvly outside of Wanikani?

When learning Kanji outside of Wanikani in Anki, what readings do you learn? do you learn both the onyomi and Kunyomi readings? and How do you pick the most common readings to learn for that Kanji?
also If you wanted to find most common words for that Kanji, Is there a way I can search for that?

Thanks :slight_smile:

I’m fairly new, but from what I’ve heard the most effective way is essentially just to read - manga, visual novels, light novels, whatever. Look up stuff you don’t understand and maybe even add it into your own personal Anki deck. You theoretically see the most common and useful readings through this. You can also sharpen up your grammar and vocab context/usage skills.


Thanks I’m aware Of this. But the reason I am asking to do this is in order to focous on specific list such as joyo, JLPT and frequncy, etc.

If an unknown word includes a new kanji, I just learn the reading and meaning for that word and move on. I don’t really worry about what other readings that specific kanji can come with. If I need to know it, I’ll encounter it in the future.

If I was to study specific kanji outside of wanikani though, I would probably look up the kanji in Jisho, click the “words containing 例” button and choose some common words from the list to add to an anki deck or something. If both the kun and on readings are frequently used, select words where both readings are used.

This is a poor example due to probably “rare kanji” but you get the idea.



Thank you! I Will try this.

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Haha me too, the completionist within me needs to get the 常用漢字 down asap!

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What list Are You currently learning? I was planning to do all the ones listed on the stats site.nI think that comes to just over 600 Kanji outside of wanikani

I’ll be using the stats site as well. I don’t care much about the JLPT or frequency so after 常用 I’ll just keep on learning kanji that I encounter in the wild.
I miiiiight be tempted to complete the full 2500 frequency list… but that’s for later down the road when I feel the need to spice up my schedule. I just feel like there are more important words to prioritise (actually encountered ones) rather than being a slave under a list forever.

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Can you send me a sample of how one of your cards look in Anki?
I was thinking to make cards which requires you to read 2 words, one containing onyomi and the other containg kunyomi and also draw out the kanji. it maybe a bit too much, but I’ll give it a go.

  1. I learn the reading used in the word I found.
  2. Therefore I learn both the onyomi and kunyomi only if I come across both
  3. How I pick up those readings is by adding the word into an SRS system and remembering the word.

For example, I didn’t know the kanji 艶. I learned the あで reading by coming across 艶やか and then I learned the えん reading by coming across 妖艶.

If you wanna find the most common words that use that kanji, jisho or houhou is your best bet.

EDIT: I would recommend my method if your primary concern is being able to read. Otherwise, there are better options.


Well I’m not currently studying in this manner yet so I can’t show you an example but I can explain what I would do.
I don’t like to study kanji or vocab outside of context so the words that I would add would be accompanied by an example sentence (taken from weblio or some other source).

I guess it would look something like this:



Edit: This is just the style that has worked for me the best and I’m not saying that you should add sentences to all your new kanji that you are learning if you don’t feel like it. Try out your method and let me know how it goes. I would suggest to only show one word on the front though since if you put two, reading one of them might give the reading of the second word away. Like, “oh I know for sure that this word is read with the on’yomi so the other one must be the kun’yomi”

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I have a deck on that focuses on Kanji not provided on WK. I’m pretty happy with the results. It’s not complete with all the information I wanted to include, but all the meanings and readings are there.

:grinning: :


I know the topic’s kind of sailed away from methods, but I (used to) use Houhou for new kanji. I’d look it up by radical or something if necessary, go to the kanji page, and then type in each of the readings it gave me. Whichever reading got the most hits is the reading I learned. I’d ignore the rest of them and then only learn them as they appeared in actual vocabulary.

I’d also make mnemonics out of Wanikani’s radicals, of course.


I don’t really “learn” specific kanji outside of wanikani. What I do is when I encounter a new word. whether it has new kanji or not, is I write it down and later add it to a deck. After reviewing it so many times you’re bound to get it down eventually, and if you don’t, well it doesn’t matter. Just keep reading and if it’s common enough you’ll get it sooner or later.


Pick up a kanji book meant for the joyou level you struggle with. It will have example sentences for you to read with the kanji in it and won’t include kanji from higher levels. The examples will also be highly practical, since these books are usually meant for children.

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Search and remember everything inside it.

Especially vocabs.


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