My Journey of 368 days (+ The Ultimate Guide for WK 📖 )

@jprspereira, thank you for writing this detailed guide - it really gives some insight to WK. The main thing I learned today is about the possibility to schedule WK. I’ll definitely give it a try, also some of the proposed scripts seem to be really helpful :slight_smile:

After rereading chapter 4 (“Building your own schedule.”) once again, I think the essential from your guide for me it’s more about doing the lessons in morning hours. So that you have enough time (12h) left to bring those new kanji/radicals to Apprentice 3 on that day and maintain the SRS intervals.
The 9am/9pm thing is probably more important to those full speed levelers. Nevertheless it’s good to be aware of it.
24h vacation mode is also noted!!

I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on:

  • How to deal with delays (because busy) and not being able to maintain the rhythm? Would you say is more important?
    For example if you know, that tomorrow you won’t be able to learn with WK at 9 am, 1 pm and 9 pm. Is it better to skip lessons that day and do it the following day or the other option would be ignoring the SRS intervals and learning new kanji as soon as they are available?

Thanks again and congratulations on level 60 your pace is really impressive!
Hopefully in the meantime you’re getting prepared well for N2. Hopefully also Japan plans are progressing? がんばって下さい!٩(๑•̀ω•́๑)و

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The point with the 12h cycle is to show that there are better times than others to come to Wanikani to do reviews (and how we can influence when these timings happen). Of course, the first 2 reviews (4h/8h) are the very foundation for this to happen :slight_smile:

Full levelers require the reorder script (to jump straight to radicals after leveling up). :v:

Some people might tell you that they didn’t mind about following the SRS intervals of the first 2 reviews and they did just fine. This might be your case, who knows. However, I think we should always play safe :slight_smile:

With that in mind, I see a couple possibilities:

  • Use that busy day as a rest day. Focus on your reviews (aka reinforcing what you already know). If you’re not going for the solid 7 day levels, you can pretty much do this when you think it’s needed.
  • You might be able to follow the 9pm/1am/9am schedule instead (used that time purely as example). Personally, the 1st review is the most important. I’ve found that whenever I have a successful 4h, doing 10h for the next SRS level will barely affect my results. Test it yourself :slight_smile:
  • If you’re delayed on your lessons, Do more of them in the days before or after. For example, if you do 10 lessons a day, you can split 5 lessons to the day before and other 5 to the day following the busy one.
  • Realize that depending on your speed etc, you might not even need to do lessons. The math I did in terms of lessons/day is purely an average. Not every level will unlock the same amount of items, etc.
  • In my opinion, worse than skipping lessons is doing lessons and not learning them like you should (paying attention during lessons, respecting the first SRS intervals, etc). I’ve found that this would risk my first exposure to these new items and then possibly turn them into leeches (difficult items). Leeches suck your energy way more than a normal item would, so I don’t advise forcing new knowledge.

Hope that somehow answers your question :sweat_smile:

Thank you so much for this :slight_smile: It means a lot to me that everyone in here is supportive of my crazy dreams.
がんばります!╭( ・ㅂ・)و


I see, thank you for the detailed response! :slight_smile:

Seven day levels are to strict for me, something around 9 days is fine with me.
I guess I need the 4h + 8h intervals, if I don’t keep it, I often end up learning the kanji again.

はい、一緒にがんばりましょう! 笑

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Perfectly fine :wink:


I read this guide back when you first published it and I was very new to the wanikani journey, so thank you! It’s been very helpful, especially the breakdown of the time intervals and how wanikani works. :slight_smile: You’ve definitely given me something to work towards!

Do you have any tips for learning lessons? The gap between the lesson and the 4hr interval is the hardest for my memory.

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Hey! :slight_smile: Thank you so much for letting me know how the guide has been useful to you :slight_smile: Means a lot.

I had this problem with WK as well. Actually, I still do since I use the WK intervals for other SRS tools (you just can’t have any better than the 12h schedule :grin:).

So to fix this, I’d suggest this (from the Guide):

  • Self-Study Quiz: Have you ever wished to review a certain type of items from a specific level? This is it. This script allows you do an extra and personalized reviewing of any items you learn on WK. Do not worry, as this script will not influence the SRS level of items.
  • WaniKani Open Framework Additional Filters: This script serves as an upgrade to the Self-Study one I mentioned above. Basically, it will add filters such as “most recent items learned” and “leeches” (most difficult items for you) to your Self-Study script. For the distance of just a couple clicks, you can get all the extra reinforcement on the items you need the most :slightly_smiling_face:

I’d also do something else: I’d leave the results page of the lessons open and 10 to 20mins after learning the items, I’d review them all through that page. Then, I’d use the review system from the scripts above to make sure everything is solid :ok_hand:


Thank you for the tips! I had the self-study quiz, but hadn’t figured out how to get it to work in the way I wanted. :blush:

I’m shy about using these forums but I’ve seen you around a good bit and you’ve always been very helpful, so thank you!! I’ll check back in in a few weeks or so to write a more thorough commentary on how helpful your guide has been for me.

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Did you figure it out now? :slight_smile:

Haha, don’t worry :slight_smile: We’re all here to help each other :muscle::slight_smile: Will be waiting for your message!



Your posts were one of the first ones I saw when I joined this community (decided not to reply at first because I was shy and didn’t know anyone). I was at the peak of my depression just wanting to be good even though my mind desperately cried out that I wasn’t worth anything.

I had been looking for apps in general and tofugu’s material captivated me, so I was reading through the guides and FAQ. That’s when I came across this piece of art, absolutely beautiful.

I was just a boy who, despite being born with no talent, wanted to work really hard and become a cool hero like you, who were able to not only achieve legendary speed and strength, but also bring everyone else up with you.

Your way of writing is so unique and inspiring. And you brought so much insight into not only how to use this app but also how to have success at studying japanese.

This clear plan that was cut out for me and the fact that it was possible motivated me so much to follow this plan to try my hardest to be a cool hero who helps others like you. To beat my depression that is getting in the way.

I want to be able to surpass my limits through hard work even though there is a dark side of me that is screaming that it it impossible, even when things don’t seem to be moving, so I won’t let down those who believe in me.

And this past month you already motivated me so much.

It feels like I am cheating for receiving support. I still haven’t beat my dark side that says I am unworthy.

It also feels like cheating because all your experience and extension suggestions helped me get much more organized and feel much more capable.

I still have a long way to go, but now I have a will to fight back, and make sure that no one will have to go through this pain like I did, not under my watch.

You reminded me to always do my best to myself and for others whenever I can, even if it isn’t much for now.

I am still going to take hits from my depression, I still do everyday.

But now I’m fighting back.

And I will give everything I got even though everything feels broken, because you did it.

Thank you for being the #1 hero and for being so inspirational, Pedro Might @jprspereira ,I will do my best and whatever it takes to follow your lead! Thank you to everyone here who has also been helpful so far! I will do my best to not waste this and pay it forward.

更に 向こうへ, プルスーウルトラアアア!


holy shit, my poor phone :crying_cat_face:


Well, you said my writing is inspiring, but you pretty much just left me without words for the whole day :heart: Sorry that I took this long to reply. I wanted to take my time to reply, as I’m sure a lot of dedication went through making your post :slight_smile:

Depression sucks - but please realize you’re not fighting it alone.

We all have our moments in life. I surely had mine before, and Japanese did indeed help me see life from another perspective. We all get stuck in our own world, I am no different. Learning Japanese to me was like climbing a different mountain. Guess what: while I’m climbing, I’m able to look to the same mountains where I once was… they’re not perfect mountains, but they’re surely look beautiful now. I couldn’t see that beauty before, since they were the thing I was stuck to, but now I do. I decided to focus on something significant and get away from what was pushing me back, and that allowed me to learn a new perspective about life.

Talent dictates nothing, trust me.

Talent without it being nurtured, leads nowhere. The opposite is also true. No matter how much you feel that others are more naturally adept to do something, if you put up the work, you can also achieve those same magnificent things (and more). Don’t forget that we live in the the era of information. All the knowledge is out there to be conquered :slight_smile:

Let me give you an example: I was naturally talented in math as a kid. Until 9th grade, everyone told me I would end up being a University Professor working in some way with math. I’d easily ace math tests. I kinda dare to lend my calculator to my friends who would forget to bring one to tests and do them without one. But after 10th grade, my passion died. No matter whatever talent I had before, I stopped appreciating and nurturing it like I used to. That talent went away and math was literally by far my worst subject during high school. I’m majoring in something that barely has anything to do with math.

What if I told you that I naturally suck at languages? Would you believe me?

Well, please do, because it’s true. Portuguese was always by far my worst subject in school (before math decided to steal that place). I make typos all the time, I write weird things all the time. My posts? I edit them more often than not. Ask anyone I’m close to here on the forums.

But somehow I’m learning my 3rd language and making posts about learning it. The difference is that this time, I’m passionate about this. From the little talent that I have, I’m somehow being able to nurture it.

Life is weiird!! I “lost” the talent for math and now I spend my days partially talking about learning Japanese, languages being my weak-point before! So why judge yourself in comparison to others? You’re competing with yourself and no one else :muscle:

And please, pretty please. We’re all here to pull each other up. Don’t think you’re unworthy of receiving help. Sometimes we don’t realize how much we’re helping someone. You made this post and that gave me strength to conquer my day. See how life works? I pull you up and you pull me up :wink:

Whatever’s next for you, look up. Be pacient for the long-term results, but don’t be afraid to take a step forward towards a better future for you. You don’t need to climb the staircase all in one go. I surely ain’t. I fear a lot of things every day. We all do. The difference is in deciding if you should allow those things to stop you from achieve magnificent things. Do it not to run from misery, but to run towards happiness.


dunno, no matter how hard i tried, i never got math down. maybe i tried the wrong way as a kid, and now it’s just not worth the trouble for me anymore. i moved on and chose a different path in life. one without numbers, hehe.

A life without joy :cry:


I am so happy that I payed some of your encouragement back, even if it was just a little. And thank you for putting so much thought in your reply as well, I appreciate it. I wasn’t sure if I was going over the top and being a little ridiculous haha.

Depression has been a daily struggle for me since forever, these invisible chains that stop me from doing what I tell myself to do. For a long time I thought it was just exaggeration and laziness, and that I just needed to decide to be better when I already had. Now I see it’s not going to stop blocking me until I treat it, which is why I have free time now, I got a medical discharge to do treatment. I’m looking forward to change perspectives like you did! It sounds wonderful.

You are right, we can’t forget that talent isn’t everything, because knowing that hard work beats it is what keeps me from giving up. The challenge is that the lack of talent and the long time without results takes a toll on self-esteem and motivation. It’s a daily reminder that hard work trumps all. It truly is a blessed age, one of opportunity.

I like your story, I will surely remember it when I think about talent. I’m majoring in electronics engineering and pure maths though xD

If you know the story from My hero academia that I was making an analogy of, you will know that All Might started without a quirk too, and was pationate about being the symbol of peace and changing the world, so this makes the analogy perfect actually haha.

There really isn’t a reason why, it’s just one of those tricks that the depressive mind plays on us, and I completely agree with you in theory, i just struggle with the practice.

Hopefully I will get there, slow and steady, as you did!


i’m working with people now, coordinate and plan, that’s not bad. i also play games a lot, so the joy isn’t completely absent, hehe.

i wasn’t particularly bad at math at elementary school. maybe the way we were taught afterwards just didn’t work for me. i got stuck somewhere, and from there on it escalated.


But like… what if I don’t want to wait a month to message you? :pleading_face:

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Then message me every day for the rest of our lives. Deal? :heart:


Continue life as normal. Got it. :blue_heart:


Hello everyone, new :turtle: here!
(also, what’s up with the :turtle::turtle:? And :crabigator:? The back story hasn’t わかった for me yet)

Originally I came for the guide/holy you can do all of WK in a year how’d you do that - very late congratulations! Hope your studies are going well and you’re having a lot of fun with them! - but then I stayed for the community. I love how everyone’s so supportive of each other.

To be honest, I’m kind of on the fence about WK, because I’ve been learning Kanji the ‘traditional’ way, that is with textbooks plus Anki for the SRS, so starting from the ground up again sort of feels like a step back. I’m also planning to keep up with textbooks to get to N3 level grammar, even if I stick to WK.

I have until level 3 to come to a decision, so I’m not too stressed about it (yet). I’m assuming other ppl might have done this and have experience and an opinion to share?

Also, this might not be the place for this topic. Feel free to let me know. :smiley:


From a Tofugu’s article:

2000BC-ish, that’s around 4000 years ago) people needed to ask questions to the heavens. How did they ask questions? Not by shouting at the sky. Instead, they’d take turtle shells or animal bones and burn them.

Now, when a turtle shell or animal bone gets burned, cracks form. From there, they’d analyze these cracks and write them down (i.e. copy them down), pulling meaning from them by comparing the cracks to real life things (i.e. if the cracks looked like something, they’d attribute some meaning to it). By killing lots of turtles, you could figure out if it was going to rain, if there’d be a disaster, or whatever you want (heck, you’re pulling meaning from burnt turtle shells here).

Read more here: Kanji History - The Origins of Japan's Writing System

In other words, WK items are recorded on turtle shells by burning an item (an item reaching the max SRS level on WK). Think of the analogy as getting something memorized.

Appreciate your kind words :heart: Really do. They’re going at a good enough speed :grin: Things aren’t as organized as I wish to, but they’re getting there! :v::slight_smile:


We’ve had users that were at a higher level and decided to go for WK. Not only you’re able to have a 2nd look to everything that you already know (extra reinforcement), but you also get to use a more innovative system that will allow you to obtain a better learning from the stuff that you indeed not know yet. Actually, @Naphthalene can confirm you this (sorry, I know you’re busy). They’ve joined us in here after passing JLPT N1 and they’ve been loving their experience and say that it has been worth it (they’re level 58 currently).

In what JLPT level kanji wise do you put yourself in? N4? N4 is around level 16, which is not that hard to reach. I definitely agree that you should give it a try until level 3, since it’s free. Have a read of the FAQ, WK Guide and my Guide. It will help you figure out WK’s potential in your studies as well.

Don’t get me wrong, if your current system is working for you, please continue doing so. But I don’t regret using WK a single bit. It’s not a perfect system, but it’s the best one around.

There are threads with people in a similar situation as you. Maybe you could find some value there… but I swear to God I can’t find them :sweat_smile: