No "wolf" (ookami) kanji available

I was going through dictionary to see all details and I was so surprised the word “wolf” doesn’t even exist at all (狼 [ookami]). This is kind of surprising as this should be a relatively popular word, not to mention there was even a popular video game ookami which would be a great example. Seriously though is it not inserted into this website at all or am I missing something here?? The same goes to the word “mahjong” (麻雀 [majan]), while the first kanji exists the 2nd doesn’t. Don’t even try to tell me mahjong is not popular at all or at least 95% of people going here never heard of it


Wanikani doesn’t cover all the known kanji. I don’t know if they have plans to add some in the future.


Neither 狼 nor 雀 are jouyou kanji (they are not taught in Japanese compulsory education.)

Japanese adults can probably read them, but writing オオカミ and マージャン is not unusual. Particularly for マージャン. I don’t know how many Japanese people would know how to write it in kanji.

雀 on its own is すずめ (sparrow) and is relatively well known, but again, not required to be taught in school.

And BTW, the game Okami is not 狼, but rather 大神. Though obviously the creators chose that name on purpose because the character is a wolf.


In case you don’t believe me then take a look at old cartridges/CDs from 1980-1990s. Every single one of them describes “mahjong” as 麻雀

Also as another example, another title with wolf in it would be “餓狼伝説” [Garou Densetsu] which actually was popular and had international release as “Fatal Fury” to be exact which transitioned to King of Fighters afterwards by the way

No one disbelieves that 麻雀 is a way to write mahjong.


I don’t know how long you have been studying Japanese, but I do know it can be pretty confusing at the start, if you do happen to still be in the early stages. There are 6000+ kanji within Japanese (and probably even more, depending on what you count) that a person COULD potentially study and know. However, there are a more limited range (about 2000) that cover most basic words that are written in kanji in everyday Japanese and which the majority of Japanese adults certainly know. Words like 狼 or 麻雀 will often be written in katakana instead of kanji or else furigana will be written above the kanji. Since these kanji are more rare, even though the words themselves are not, they do not make as much sense for beginners to focus on. However, if you are really interested in kanji specifically, and not as much in Japanese literacy, once you finish all 2000+ on wk and have a strong background in the basics, it may make sense to study more specialized characters. That will depend on your particular interests and goals with Japanese though. Anyway, that is the long version of what some others were saying. When you have a mountain to climb, start at the base. Good luck with your journey! :turtle: :pizza: :upside_down_face: :umbrella: :umbrella:


Nuh-uh, don’t you try to be reasonable with me. WaniKani doesn’t have 狼, so it’s utterly useless.

Why, if you can’t read 狼, then you’re practically illiterate.

That’s 大神, though to be entirely fair, both 狼 and 大神 have similar etymological origins.


Animal/Vegetable/Mineral kanjis are in a weird spot in Japanese.
The list is endless, but the vast majority of them are not jouyou kanji, so they are not taught in compulsory education. And there is a big trend to write all of them in katakana anyway.

For animals it’s not just wolf, even the kanji of super common animals like fox, rabbit, squirrel, sparrow, raccoon, hawk, butterfly, boar etc etc are not in the jouyou list. So where should Wanikani draw the line ? Hard to say.


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