Is it bad to "peek" into higher levels?

So, I’ve been doing vocabulary and grammar SRS (Bunpro and Torii) along with WaniKani, and I’ve been peeking into higher level kanji in order to get some help with mnemonics to memorize readings and meanings. This is especially the case with Torii, for 25 items, 3-5 are memorized with the help of WaniKani (and we’re talking N5 level here, so the tendency might go up).
My concern is: will this affect my learning in any negative way? Should I be the one doing ALL mnemonics with Torii items?
Thanks in advance!


Mnemonics are only a means to an end, namely that you somehow get these pesky meanings and readings inside your head :wink:
Whether you use the mnemonics or whether the words just stick somehow or whether you can come up with some other mnemonics that work for you (e.g. maybe a similar-sounding word in your native language, or a personal memory, or…) is totally up to you, and it won’t have any negative effects.
I often learn words while reading, and when they later show up on WK, I’m actually happy because I already know that word :upside_down_face:


I do it sometimes just to see what is coming up but I don’t really go away and study any of the upcoming stuff, the SRS will take care of that, lol. However it gets into your head is all good though so I’d say whatever floats your boat.


I wouldn’t worry too much either. When doing Genki and/or just looking up words in a dictionary I often come across the same kanji from higher WaniKani levels and learn it somewhat unintentionally via Anki sets. Same goes for vocab from higher levels.

In the end learning from different sources will rather make it easier for you to remember the kanji/vocab longer, because you’re continuously exposed to it.


Keep your eye on the ball. Your objective here is to learn Kanji. Whether you serenade Voldemort, eat bees fried in honey (yes, it’s a thing), perform the Macarena between every review, or simply peek at higher level content, if it helps you retain the Kanji, well, you’ve found your spinach (yes, that’s a Popeye reference) and that’s good enough.


Look at it in another way. At some point you would probably want to enjoy some native content, and the more kanji you know the less you’ll have to look up :slight_smile: Also since native content is well… native… it uses most if not all of the more frequent kanji, so you’ll pretty much pick up some from there as well, before you even get them from Wanikani. I’ve already picked up some level 60 kanji ( 湧, 慕, 囚, 狐), and will most likely continue to encounter some other kanji I’m not familiar with while reading. Imo the more sources and context you have for anything you’re learning ( grammar, kanji, vocabulary ), the easier it is to retain that information.

On the topic of mnemonics, I personally skip them. I choose to rely on picture/image memory and mistakes ( especially with similar looking kanji like - 僧、増、贈 which I just confused today while reviewing :wink: ). Might be a bit too brute force… but I prefer doing this, as well as reading and looking up words there over and over, to learning a mnemonic. Best to see what works for you and what doesn’t.

Pretty much the entire reason for having levels that you have to unlock is that WK is designed to stop you burning yourself out by taking on too much at once. I guess you could end up doing that if you combined several tools at once.

It’s not like you’re going to come across a plot spoiler by peeking ahead!

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I don’t think so, but there is one kanji that will kill your family if gazed upon before its time. Just avoid that one and you’re good.


You can’t learn everything via wk. Might as well start getting used to picking up stuff here and there little by little.

Oh, god. Will I be cursed if I read that Kanji outside WaniKani?

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Yeah, that’s why we can’t tell you which one it is.


I bet it’s 藤. That one kanji that is there, but…oh no, what have I done… :sweat_smile:

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I don’t understand how anyone can think that extra studying might negatively effect their learning…

It’s not even a reasonable question…


No, I don’t think it’s bad. After all, you would have to do it when you start reading (unless you wait till you reach level 60 before you start reading, which I don’t recommend).
I recommend starting reading as soon as possible. Many, including myself, started reading around level 20.

Kind of a follow up to this concept and a more serious note: A streamer on Twitch, Ribenchi streams Wani Kani sessions and let me just say that peaking ahead in the correct way totally works. Watching her struggle with 減 (げん / decrease) has helped that kanji stick into my head before I unlocked it recently.

So I say, yes, peaking into the future (within reason) helps tremendously. I am intimidated by level 20 kanjis though. I already confuse every similar-looking kanji and everything looks like remixes on an old theme if you catch my drift.


No it won’t affect you negatively!

Some people worry about pre-studying wanikani items, is your question related to that?
The reason it’s not recommended to do that is the way SRS works: you get the most mileage out of remembering an item you’re about to forget, so it spaces out more and more as you get better at recalling it. That also means you’re learning more by reviewing an item the minimum amount.

But even then, it’s not like pre-studying will hurt you, it just isn’t as efficient as hitting the SRS intervals.

Peeking at future levels is similar: it won’t hurt you, it just won’t be as efficient as SRS. Nothing will be spoiled! As others said~

It doesn’t matter if a cat is black or white so long as it catches mice.


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