Recoveries from long breaks

So I’ve taken multiple year(s)-long breaks from Wanikani. Would not recommend.

Just wanted to say that I’ve reset before, and would NOT recommend resetting as a solution unless you’re like level 5 or under. Having to wait to answer a bunch of questions you already know the answer to is frustrating and not motivating.

Better for my spazzy adhd brain to utilize that newfound motivation coming back to Wanikani to review progress and set myself up for more useful reviews going forward. I didn’t even do reviews my first day back, I just spent an hour unburning any turtles that I didn’t immediately fully recognize.

Now I’m working through my 800+ review backlog, which is a process. But I feel good about the things I’m reviewing, and until I can gain levels again I have new intermediate goals to reduce my backlog to 700, 600, etc. Here’s hoping ~500 days is by far my longest WK level!


I reset after 1-year plus, and may I just say… I’m encountering a lot of things I don’t know the answers for :sweat:


Fair. I definitely wasn’t 100%ing every review when I reset. I guess I just feel better about having unburned the things I didn’t fully remember, but remaining at my level.

I think I’m more motivated by being 1 large review-wall away from level 13 as opposed to having all the time barriers imposed by each level that I’ve already previously achieved.

I could see it either way, though. Would be interested to hear other opinions.

EDIT As a potential negative to my method, in relearning stuff purely through this review wall I’m averaging 50-60% on my reviews, which could be frustrating to people in its own right.

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I took a years long break as well and did reset to level 1 after talking to WK staff and that was their recommendation.
On the other hand I took a few months long break recently, didnt’ reset and am back on track after clearing the backlog of 700+ items. There’s some things I should know better than I do, and I really wish I hadn’t burned out. It’s all about finding what works for you.
Welcome back to WK though! Good luck!


I made a calculated decision for me. Any shorter of a break, or if I had thought about Japanese at all during the break, and I might not have needed to reset or reset so far. But I was learning level 1 radicals and vocab as if they were new (some of them anyway). If I was getting 50-60% reviews, I probably would have brute-forced through that, and let the SRS do its magic.

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I just cleared a backlog of 1400ish reviews after taking a break of around two months. Accuracy is around 50% at first and then gets to around 70 or 80%. Apprentice pile is now at 300 so I want to get it back to below 150 before taking new lessons.

This hasn’t been my first long break. Somehow after I make it back to 0 reviews I let it slide again after a few weeks and forget to put in vacation mode. There still so many lessons to go through (cause I only did Kanji for 10 levels or so), so I am looking forward to learning new vocab soon. :slight_smile:


If you are using Tsurukame on iOS or a similar app, you can set up your reviews to come in ascending SRS order. This is quite handy if you have a big review pile, as it helps you focus on the apprentice items first.


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