Learning hanja - how to not mess with WaniKani's SRS


I’ve been using WaniKani for the past three weeks, and I’m overall very new to Japanese. I have however been learning Korean for a while, and although learning hanja isn’t necessary to learn Korean, it does make it a lot easier. The more I read, the more I encounter words that aren’t in the dictionnary and that are basically just hanja derived.

Since hanja learning ressources are pretty sparse and mostly inefficient, I’ve been thinking of creating an Anki deck with the WaniKani kanji that has a corresponding hanja and with the Korean pronounciation, and a couple vocab words they’re used in (btw, if there’s already an existing ressource or deck for that, please let me know). What I would want to avoid though is this system messing up WaniKani’s SRS. Any tips or thoughts on how to do this?


I made an Anki deck with the WaniKani kanji to practice drawing them specifically (the front side has the meaning, the back side the kanji itself with the stroke diagram). The way I handled it is that I started with the kanji deck suspended, then I would unsuspend the cards one by one every time I did the lesson in wanikani.

Now it does “mess” with the SRS in the sense that as a result I would sometimes get reviews for the same kanji in quick succession in both SRS which I think may be what concerns you. I didn’t find it too problematic in my case because:

  • It just means that you get twice the review load for the same kanji which if anything will probably make you remember it better, hopefully.

  • If you get the kanji as a review on WaniKani and fail it, then get it on Anki and succeed because you just saw it (or vice-versa) you may argue that this 2nd review is “cheated” but the nice thing is that as a result the two systems will have completely different intervals for this kanji in the future (in this example the WK side will have a much shorter interval as a result).

  • By default the intervals used by Anki and Wanikani are not exactly identical, especially if you use the new FSRS algo on Anki (which you should, IMO). So the “conflicts” will probably mostly occur only for low SRS tiers where the kanji come back very often anyway. You can also manually tweak the Anki deck review intervals to purposefully reduce the likelihood of conflict but frankly it’s probably not even worth it.

  • I know that some people are worried that getting too many reviews too early risks “breaking” SRS but I disagree, mainly because I personally haven’t noticed any ill effects and also because as soon as you start reading actual Japanese you’ll get exposure to all sorts of kanji in uncontrolled intervals anyway.

  • Lastly note that this “issue” effectively occurs all the time with vanilla Wanikani: your vocab reviews mess with kanji intervals and vice-versa since you’re much more likely to remember the correct reading/meaning of a word if you’ve got a kanji review recently and vice-versa. That happens all the time for me in burn reviews: I get the kanji wrong because I forgot it in the 4 month “Enlightened” interval then a few days later I get a vocab burn review with the same kanji that I get right only because I remember the failed previews a few days before.