How to learn all readings of a Kanji

Hi together,
I just started a few days ago learning. I unlocked the kanjis in level 1 and I was wondering about how I am able to learn all readings. There might be multiple of them and when I am asked for “the” reading, I just have the opportunity to type in one of them. Additionally, some of the readings are not accepted (I am not that familar yet, but I think its the kun-yomi that are not being accepted). That means, for example, if I am asked for the reading of the mountain kanji, I have to type in san, while yama is not right.

I just wonder, if the same kanji will appear again in later levels with different readings? Or will all these issues be handled, when I will learn vocabularies later?

Thanks for your help :wink:

Hi Binolino! Welcome to WaniKani!

I think others who know better than me will appear soon and give you better advice. (I’m mainly here to use the forums: I haven’t touched the WaniKani programme yet.) However, I seem to have heard that one of the readings is the reading taught by WaniKani, while the others are just there for your knowledge. I think there’s a different colour: blue for one type of reading, and pink/red for the other.

More generally though, as far as kanji readings go, I’d say you should just learn one common reading to start with. Other users will probably give you a better idea of which of the WaniKani readings is the ‘common’ one, but if you really need to know and it’s not at all clear, check an English-Japanese dictionary. The more common readings usually appear there. From the kanji I’ve come across, I think you can get by with one common kun’yomi and one common on’yomi for most kanji. You can learn the rest as you encounter them while learning Japanese. Don’t worry about learning everything straightaway, because usually, that’s impossible, and honestly, it won’t make sense if you’ve never seen when to use each reading.

You learn one reading with the Kanji, later you will learn the other readings with the vocabulary.


I think it goes something like there are the Onyomi and Kunyomi readings. If a kanji is by itself then it’s most likely a Kunyomi reading, if there is Hirigana beside a kanji then it’s most likely a Kunyomi reading. And if a kanji is with another kanji then it is the Onyomi reading. By the time you get up a few more levels you’ll definitely understand.

That means, if I am asked for the reading of a kanji and I know one of the readings, it is totally fine for now and I don’t have to feel upset, just because I would not be able to give other readings.


Yep just give any of the readings the programme shows you on the pink kanji cards (usually they just show 1 or 2). It’s not always the onyomi, but the reading Wanikani decided would be the most common when you come across that kanji in words.

The purple vocab cards will contain words that either reinforce the main reading or introduce other readings - so it’ll all come together naturally further on, you’ll know multiple readings and start to see patterns in the wild.

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Yep. In the real world, noone’s ever gonna run up to you and go “quick! give me all the readings of this kanji!”.

It’s gonna be more like “read this sentence”, and the sentence is made up of words, so you only need to learn the readings of the words.


I agree with people saying to learn readings in the context of words and sentences. There is not much point going…

雨 Equals あめ、あま、う、さめ

Learn things in sentences as/when you find them…


This one’s the perfect example of why it’s not ideal to learn the kanji readings in isolation, because the reading つゆ doesn’t actually come from either kanji on its own, but from the word as a whole.

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