Scaling the 1569 review mountain Epilogue - Four Months Later

In 2020, I raced through Wanikani as fast as possible, reaching level 60, and then stopped after a year. However, I later realized that I had forgotten pretty much everything, so in May 2021, I resubscribed and unburned everything and attempted to start whittling down the pile of over six thousand reviews I had accumulated.

This challenge took much longer than I expected, but I kept plugging away, day after day, and over the following 1008 days, I gradually whittled through the review pile and finally finished in February 2024, almost three years after starting.

Anyway, the main challenge is over, but I decided to do a mini-followup challenge to see how many I could burn. Specifically, when I stopped back in February, there were 1569 items left unburned. As of tomorrow morning, it will be exactly 120 days (the maximum review interval) since I stopped, and thus the last 10 of those will come up for review tomorrow morning.

Therefore, I now have a review mini-mountain of 1569 reviews to tackle. Not quite as bad as 6582, but it might still take a while to go through, especially since those are all the high level and hard ones that I didn’t burn during the challenge itself.

Since it’s been four months, I’ve probably forgotten everything, and am just going to fail almost everything. But I figured it would be fun to do this second challenge just to see if I can get lucky and burn some, and try to remind myself of the upper level kanji.

Anyway, the challenge proper starts tomorrow morning when the last 10 items get added to the review mountain, but here’s a status update before I start doing reviews to show the baseline:

Tue Jun 11 2024:
Reviews remaining: 1559
Reviews in next week: 1569 (+10)
Reviews in next month: 1569 (+0)
Level: 60

Current item counts:
Apprentice: 18
Guru: 307
Master: 343
Enlightened: 901
Burned: 7657


When you first finished, it felt a little empty here not having your updates anymore, so I’m looking forward to seeing your daily posts again.


Get out fast, it’s Ballas territory.


Welcome Back :grin:
Kobe Bryant GIF


I went pretty slow today, since I was trying to be careful and not make mistakes, and also because I only vaguely remembered most of the words and had to think about them in order to remember and/or guess them.

Back during the main challenge, I was doing 100 reviews a day towards the end, but that usually only took me 15-20 minutes. Since I’m going a lot slower now, I stopped early after doing only 62 reviews, but it still took 19 minutes.

Accuracy was predictably terrible. I missed 24/62, meaning my accuracy was only 61.3% this morning. On the other hand, I also managed to burn 23 items, almost as many as I missed.

Since I was going slowly and trying to guess/remember everything, I didn’t make many “dumb mistakes”, perhaps just one - 隔てる. In that case, I initially thought it might be “hiiteru”, but then thought it might be “hedateru” instead and decided to go with that. However, I messed up changing my answer and so accidentally submitted “hidateru” instead. It’s annoying to miss a burn when I actually did manage to remember the answer, but oh well.

Also notable is that I easily recognized “誘拐” due to spending the last six months watching Ace Attorney LPs, and specifically having just finished The Kidnapped Turnabout. Perhaps I would have been able to guess it even without that, but it would have been a lot harder.

Wed Jun 12 2024:
Time spent: 19m
Reviews completed: 62
Reviews remaining: 1507
Reviews in next week: 1518 (+11)
Reviews in next month: 1539 (+21)
Level: 60

Current item counts:
Apprentice: 21
Guru: 321
Master: 332
Enlightened: 872
Burned: 7680


I will probably join with you someday :rofl:. Goodluck!


Did a lot better today with “only” 15 missed, meaning 70% accuracy. I also burned 27 items.

Thu Jun 13 2024:
Time spent: 15m
Reviews completed: 50
Reviews remaining: 1458
Reviews in next week: 1475 (+17)
Reviews in next month: 1507 (+32)
Level: 60

Current item counts:
Apprentice: 26
Guru: 324
Master: 327
Enlightened: 842
Burned: 7707


I missed 19 today, which means an accuracy of only 62%. So much for yesterday’s improvement. And that’s despite taking longer to do the 50 reviews this time, too.

Especially annoying was 四隅, where I actually did manage to remember/guess the answer, but mistyped it and so still got it wrong.

Also of note was 庶民的, where I initially guessed “popular” for the meaning, but it popped up a message saying that the meaning had recently been changed and told me to try again. Unfortunately, I had no clue what the new meaning was supposed to be, so I still got it wrong. Stupid content updates!

This time around, it looks like I burned 19 items, the same as the number I missed.

Fri Jun 14 2024:
Time spent: 17m
Reviews completed: 50
Reviews remaining: 1411
Reviews in next week: 1432 (+21)
Reviews in next month: 1481 (+49)
Level: 60

Current item counts:
Apprentice: 29
Guru: 333
Master: 320
Enlightened: 818
Burned: 7726


Since it’s the weekend now, I decided to do a double length review session, with a marathon 100 reviews rather than the usual 50. (Ironic that I used to do 100 reviews every morning in half the time).

Unfortunately, it went very badly. Assuming I counted correctly, I missed 44 items, meaning an accuracy of only 56%, by far my worst yet. I don’t think I’ve gotten accuracy that bad since May 2023 when I’d just first started the original challenge.

It is interesting to see some of the new mnemonics they’ve added over the years. They’re much better than the ones when I first did Wanikani in 2020. For example, today I discovered (after missing it) that 災い now has the mnemonic “it was a while before things got back to normal after the disaster”. Much better than the one they had before about zombie groaning, where even if you remember the mnemonic, it would be impossible to remember what exactly the zombies were actually groaning - was it wazawai or wazuwai, etc.

Sat Jun 15 2024:
Time spent: 33m
Reviews completed: 100
Reviews remaining: 1317
Reviews in next week: 1352 (+35)
Reviews in next month: 1438 (+86)
Level: 60

Current item counts:
Apprentice: 36
Guru: 353
Master: 306
Enlightened: 774
Burned: 7757


I did another marathon double-length session this morning, and this time it took even longer than before, at 36 minutes. I suppose on the bright side, my accuracy was slightly higher than before, at 62%.

I think part of the problem is that by definition, nearly everything left is leaches and difficult high level items, because I would have already burnt everything else in the last three years. There are a couple easy items that just didn’t get burnt before due to chance (e.g. I finally burnt “sono” this morning), but nearly everything are leeches or otherwise obnoxious items.

Sun Jun 16 2024:
Time spent: 36m
Reviews completed: 100
Reviews remaining: 1219
Reviews in next week: 1271 (+52)
Reviews in next month: 1387 (+116)
Level: 60

Current item counts:
Apprentice: 47
Guru: 360
Master: 296
Enlightened: 727
Burned: 7796


This was a comparatively fast session and I “only” missed sixteen items, meaning 68% accuracy. Which would be utterly abysmal by old standards, but is somehow still higher than I’ve been getting in the current challenge.

IMO, one of them was WK’s fault, not mine, for a missing synonym, so I guess my “true” accuracy was more like 70%. Always annoying when you miss something due to a missing synonym, but oh well, it’s not the end of the world.

Mon Jun 17 2024:
Time spent: 12m
Reviews completed: 50
Reviews remaining: 1180
Reviews in next week: 1228 (+48)
Reviews in next month: 1356 (+128)
Level: 60

Current item counts:
Apprentice: 51
Guru: 366
Master: 291
Enlightened: 695
Burned: 7823


Hey! I am so happy I came across your post. It really solidified a thing I started doing about 3 months ago.

I started to Burn things around Oct/Nov of last year. Initially, I had a lower number of burns and could randomly do the “extra” lesson on the burned items. But as Jan came around it was north of 1,000+. About 3 months ago I decided every day to do the “extra” burned practice until I ran across 10 items that I either couldn’t remember the English to Japanese reading/meaning OR I even hesitated on it. Those 10 items I would Unburn.

I know myself and I feel like if I didn’t do this, I would end up in the exact situation you are in. I want to remember what I learned in Wanikani. I have paid to have this site, and spend hours of my time, teaching me Kanji. I don’t want to lose that progress.

I look forward to continued updates on your journey!

And, I also agree that new meanings are the bane of my existence. On one hand, I like a lot of the updated mnemonics, and the definitions are a lot clearer, but it sucks when you didn’t learn them initially and are now being tested on them. I literally have an Excel Spreadsheet of Japanese Kanji that Wanikani has given the same English definition to, like “Pure”: 清い 潔い 清浄 純粋 or “Sudden Rise”: 急騰 暴騰. They have such small nuances sometimes that I struggle to remember the difference (Not Wanikani’s fault, it’s just how language works).


My worst accuracy yet today by far. I missed 23 items, meaning accuracy of only 54%, so low that I fell like there has to be a mistake.

Tue Jun 18 2024:
Time spent: 13m
Reviews completed: 50
Reviews remaining: 1138
Reviews in next week: 1192 (+54)
Reviews in next month: 1334 (+142)
Level: 60

Current item counts:
Apprentice: 56
Guru: 374
Master: 281
Enlightened: 677
Burned: 7838


Interesting, I’ve actually never tried the extra review feature that WK added at some point.

As for 騰, I just remembered that every word was “sudden rise”, except for one, which was different for some reason.


Here’s what my WKStats view looks like with all the kanji and vocab sorted by level and color coded by SRS level. Notice how at the low levels, almost everything is burned, but then around level 47, the burned fraction goes down because I’ve had less time to burn those items. And then from level 53-60, the burned fraction plummets to almost nothing. Part of that is that the high level items are often harder to remember, but it’s mostly just because I only unlocked those near the end of my challenge last year and so haven’t had as much time to burn them yet.

Here’s an alternative view with the burned items filtered out so you can see how many more unburned items there are at the high levels:


I may be a total weirdo, but I HAVE to know the difference between words. I will literally stop my lesson or review and research the word until I feel I have a good understanding. I wish I could just look past it sometimes. With the 騰 kanji - Wanikani has its meaning as “inflation.” So I had to look up the differences between 高騰, 暴騰, and 急騰. If you’re at all curious, here are the differences:

  • 高騰 - “Tall/Expensive” + “Inflation” = Sudden Price Increase. This one is pretty easy once I remembered the first kanji can mean expensive. It doesn’t imply suddenness and is often only used for sustained or persistent upward trends in price.
  • 急騰 - “Hurry” + “Inflation” = Sudden Rise. This one emphasizes the speed of the increase but doesn’t carry the feeling of volatility that 暴騰 does.
  • 暴騰 - “Violence” + “Inflation” = Sudden Rise. This one emphasizes the sudden, dramatic, and often uncontrollable surge. It also implies volatility and often has a negative connotation attached. It’s the most intense of the three.

But, like I said, I have a whole spreadsheet of these because I have to know what makes the words unique from one another.


As today was a holiday, I did another double-length WK session this morning.

I did better than yesterday, although I could hardly have done worse than yesterday. This time, I missed 29 items for an accuracy of 71%.

Wed Jun 19 2024:
Time spent: 27m
Reviews completed: 100
Reviews remaining: 1053
Reviews in next week: 1131 (+78)
Reviews in next month: 1274 (+143)
Level: 60

Current item counts:
Apprentice: 57
Guru: 389
Master: 261
Enlightened: 636
Burned: 7883


Last night, I was up for hours, unable to sleep, and figured that if I couldn’t sleep anyway, I might as well take the opportunity to knock out my daily WK, and so I did a double session even though it was a weekday.

This time, I missed 33 items for accuracy of 67%. Sometimes, I’ll unfairly miss an item I did remember due to missing synonyms, but then again, sometimes I’ll burn an item I didn’t remember at all just by getting lucky when guessing, so you win some, you lose some.

Thu Jun 20 2024:
Time spent: 25m
Reviews completed: 100
Reviews remaining: 963
Reviews in next week: 1059 (+96)
Reviews in next month: 1221 (+162)
Level: 60

Current item counts:
Apprentice: 65
Guru: 396
Master: 247
Enlightened: 597
Burned: 7921


Only 64% accuracy today.

Fri Jun 21 2024:
Time spent: 17m
Reviews completed: 50
Reviews remaining: 923
Reviews in next week: 1034 (+111)
Reviews in next month: 1197 (+163)
Level: 60

Current item counts:
Apprentice: 71
Guru: 394
Master: 243
Enlightened: 579
Burned: 7939


This morning, my first review was 烏, and I thought “great, I know this one” and stupidly went on instinct and quickly answered “kurasu” instead of “karasu”. It was especially embarrassing and frustrating because I’ve spent months watching an Ace Attorney Let’s Play and am currently halfway through Turnabout Ablaze, and thus have heard and read “yatagarasu” approximately a billion times recently, so I really should have known it. I guess it shows how powerful fossilized mistakes can be.

Anyway, I missed 37 items this morning, for an overall accuracy of 63%. It’s a shame to see so many items get failed instead of burnt, often for stupid reasons.

Sat Jun 22 2024:
Time spent: 29m
Reviews completed: 100
Reviews remaining: 845
Reviews in next week: 982 (+137)
Reviews in next month: 1148 (+166)
Level: 60

Current item counts:
Apprentice: 76
Guru: 411
Master: 232
Enlightened: 529
Burned: 7978