Kanji are getting harder

hi guys, i just got to level 9 today without any particular problem(not that it has been easy or something), but as i keep going i noticed that kanji are getting more and more complicate (well i should have expected that…) and so it’s harder to recognize them at first or to make them stick (even outside wanikani). i don’t think i’m proceeding particularly fast (i started December 20, 2020) and i haven’t made too much mistake yet, but i feel like i’m proceeding in that direction and i’m kinda worried.


I just got to level 10 and I started in October! So you’re going faster than me :stuck_out_tongue: I have a job with long hours and don’t have energy to clear my lessons/reviews daily so it’s all a matter of what you can manage. I see a lot of competitive thoughts in the forums, and I think if it motivates you that’s great, but if it makes you judge yourself I’d say it’s not helping. Slow and steady will still get there eventually, that’s what I’m telling myself :slight_smile:

I also don’t recognize them at a quick glance anymore, but I’m hoping the more I review them the more they’ll settle in. I know some more complicated ones from my time in Japan and if you use them enough they stick.


i am not comparing to anyone, sorry if i made this impression to you. and i’ m currently unemployed and i am not studying anything. now i have to admit that i’m facing a rather hard time because i need a job and i can’ t find one but i can’ t deny that my current situation allows me to go faster than a lot of people here. but for me i am not rushing anything, and for my situation i don’ t feel i’ m going particularly fast. i’ m just going by feeling.


Don’t worry, eventually you will get to 凸凹


The only real mistake you can make is giving up.

Even if you have a 20% success rate, that’s 20% which is better than nothing. Always look on the bright side!

It doesn’t really get harder but you absolutely must pace yourself and remember anything you Enlighten today will come back for a final review 4 months later. This means you need to control your urge to finish every lesson as soon as they pop (unless you don’t mind taking days to dig out I guess and there ARE some people like that!).

You are doing it. You are coming back. You are winning at this no matter your accuracy!


oh i will definitely keep doing, thanks so much for your word. and for lessons, yhea i’ m already slowing a bit.


That comment made my day

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As the kanji get more complicated, they also start to look like each other. Taking some time outside of reviews and comparing them side by side can be a great help to figure out the similarities and differences, which can help me cement in my mind which is which.

You can also write yourself notes or look up kanji on the forums here, plenty of people have posted additional mnemonics and other memory tools for tricky words and kanji.


Level 9 is where I started to ‘feel it’ as well. You now have more than 1000 items in your stacks and it’s no longer ‘the few kanji you know’. I altered my lesson/review approach at this point, which you could try if you haven’t already:

  • reviewed the lessons from the lesson summary page after finishing the lessons I wanted to do
  • turned on WK’s option to play the voice recording of the word after a successful reading review

It’s perfectly natural to have a diminishing accuracy over time by the way - it’s not necessarily pleasant, but common, and is automatically taken care of by the SRS. If you feel it’s dropping too much, you can temporarily stop doing lessons and take a week to ‘consolidate’ before continuing. Reviewing every day is way more important than lessoning every day.


I recommend writing. It improves recall, most notably radical distinction and their position in kanji. It’s like Wanikani backwards – see translation and reading, draw kanji.
People use textbooks and such (on paper), and some like me use apps. I use Kanji Study for android (mind the paywall. is worth it tho)
(used to be lvl 22 but resetted, life got in the way… but trust me, this method works)


Quite impressive that you just created this post around 2 hours ago and you already got this many comments ! The WaniKani community is very active.

I got to level 2 a few days ago. I don’t have any feedback on your question, yet. However, I find your post insightful ! Hope to catch up soon !


I totally second this! :slight_smile:
My weapon of choice and personal recommendation is pencil and paper.

It really helped me with the horizontal strokes in kanji like 達 and 遅.


I’m glad I found this topic, I just got to level 6 and started around the same time as you so I would say you are doing great! Congrats for not giving up and going quite fast (in my opinion, at least ^^)

Reading about your worrying first stressed me a bit but the comforting answers you received kind of soothed me, and I will be expecting some sort of high “step” at level 9.

I think for this kind of learning, the most important part is to acknowledge you know more every day even though you don’t see it. Nothing is “useless” here, we are always learning or getting better at what we already learned.



I try my best.

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Honestly it becomes pretty natural, don’t worry too much. You’ll notice yourself finding it easier as you carry on


They’re gonna contain more radicals as you go through, but more complicated doesn’t actually seem to make them more difficult to memorize, in my experience. The main issue is that some of them look very similar to each other. When you’re getting two confused for each other I’d recommend writing them down next to each other and remembering which radicals are different. How do you usually memorize kanji? If you’ve been mainly going on how they sort of look like (instead of remembering the radicals) it’ll definitely get harder over time.


Absolutely, once you’ve memorized a lot of kanji it becomes easier to memorize them. Same goes for vocab.


yhea this is a great idea. i think that from now on i will start writing kanji on paper. i think that drawing their shape and learning their stroke order might help.

well i usually go with radicals till they stick in my head and i don’t need them anymore. i do some exception for the more peculiars kanji like 美 or 花 or for the one that i already know like 買.

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oh i’m glad i’m not the only one then. thanks for your encouragement. tbh my accuracy hasn’t dropped that much but if fear it might happen.

oh and this is really helpful, thanks.

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