Resources for practicing similar-looking Kanji?

Hello there!

I’ve been getting a bit stuck with some kanji that look the same. I get them confused and I’ve hit a point where whenever I’m learning new kanji on this site I immediately google the one it reminds me of to try to separate them mentally by looking at the radicals. Is there a site/textbook/something that isolates these similar kanji for practicing these in groups? I understand the differences but would love to drill them a bit outside of WK. :slight_smile:

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I’m not sure if the book is available outside of Japan, but a textbook I use with 日本語総まとめ is 完全攻略N2 and almost the whole kanji section is about distinguishing similar looking/similar-sounding kanji, which has been extremely helpful so far. (took the N2 back in December and failed by less than 10 points, wish I had it back then haha)


I think the Shin Kanzen Master series does this, too. Haven’t cracked my kanji book yet, though.

You could just build your own database, since it is specific to your confusion.

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It has been happening to me too!
I have been looking into:

and I have an anki set that differentiates kanji that look similar. Each card has the kanji and the defintion+an explanation of why it might differ from [Kanji].

Since I started using handwriting recognition input for EN->JP reviews I stopped having any trouble whatsoever distinguishing similar Kanji. Writing them by hand just once each time they show up in a review (including vocab reviews) seems to solve the problem. You could also just write them on paper for the same effect.

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I’m using the scripts [Userscript] Niai 似合い Visually Similar Kanji and [Userscript] ConfusionGuesser

First one add a pretty good list of visual similar kanji to a kanji info page. The second one trigger during review when entering a wrong answer to tell us which kanji or vocab we may had in mind (because sometimes we are confused between a few kanji but we don’t know it yet)


I’ve never heard of these scripts and will definitely give them a shot, thank you!

Awesome rad, another textbook for me to grab while I live in Japan lol. Thanks for the rec!

I’d like your post twice if I could, @Arzar33! :stuck_out_tongue: Those are exactly the two scripts I wanted to recommend.

You can also press F, I think, after answering a review, which should let you scroll down and view the list of similar kanji provided by [Userscript] Niai 似合い Visually Similar Kanji, if you’re looking for something that [Userscript] ConfusionGuesser didn’t guess.

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My first suggestion is to install the Item Inspector

It will allow you to look at your leeches and get pop-ups for similar looking items AND quiz you on similar looking items (with the help of the Self-Study Quiz).

In addition, it allows you to define how similar you want them to be (and thus change how many similar items gets included in the quiz or on lists).

I also recommend the Shin WaniKani Leech Trainer as it’s specifically aimed to target interference (confusion from similar items)

If you want more inspiration on how to tackle leeches, you might wanna have a look at my study log. :slight_smile: *ekg’s leech battle blog - a study log of sorts

Good luck with your studies! ^>^


How does that leech script work? It tells me “You have X leeches” (literally X instead of a number), and clicking the button beneath it doesn’t seem to do anything…

That’s odd. If we’re talking about the Shin wanikani leech training it should show up as a button on your dashboard.

And when clicking is goes…


Then you press the button to open up the Leech trainer.

Now it works much like WK does. Just type the answers.

Unlike the Item inspector the leech value here is preset to 2 (?). So, these are all serious leeches. The Item inspector I usually set to 1.01 to catch those stragglers, but which gives you a much higher number of leeches. But that isn’t much of an issue as the Self-Study Quiz is pretty fast if you go through them (well, unless you have a 200+ leeches, but then you can use the Item Inspector to quiz you on on the current page of leeches and so break them down into chunks for review).

Also, do you have the WaniKani framework installed? Most scripts require it, and perhaps the Leech trainer does too? You need to put it at the top of your scripts list in TamperMonkey. The instructions for this, and link, you can find on the Item Inspector script page.

I guess, updating and refreshing the browser might be in order. Since I haven’t made the script, I don’t really know how to fix any issues. But if you had 0 leeches, it should say 0 not X. :eyes:


Make sure you set your WaniKani API key. There should be a dialogue that looks similar to the below in your script manager.


Thank you!!

I’ll be sure to tinker with the leech threshold, since I only had ~70 waiting for me. It was kind of cool to see though, that despite the high bar, some of them felt surprisingly easy. I recently (last year) visited a place with 渓谷 in the name, so that’s hard to forget or confuse with anything else now. 履く and 履 were both in there too, which now seem so distinct to me (the sheer number of strokes inside 尸 really sets it apart) that I was surprised it was ever a leech.

I’ve been studying for long enough now that it’s pretty difficult to feel any “tangible” progress anymore, so that was a pleasant treat :stuck_out_tongue: Got myself some proof of improvement.

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