Should i write my kanjis or not?

So i’ve read a lot of posts on the community (which is great btw).

I have stumble up someone saying he was writing each kanji (also did the same for hiragana and katakana if my memory is correct) 16 times for each review.

I was wondering if it was enough to be able to write japanese by hand properly.
I assume it is better to memorise the kanjis but is it required ?
Speaking of writing, since i mostly use my smartphones or my keyboard, will this method help me or should i not bother at all ?

Taking the example of the smartphone, i will type in hiragana and choose the relevant kanji suggestion, which makes the all process a lot easier that’s for sure, so i really don’t know.

Since i guess it all depends whether one needs to be able to paper-write kanjis or not, i guess the real question is, will i be able to paper-write if i know the kanjis without ever having writing it on a piece of paper.

Just curious :slight_smile:

No, you will most likely not know how to write the kanjis if you’ve only memorized them by sight recall. Typing them on a phone is one thing, but writing them from memory in a workbook response (ie, if you’re doing the genki books) is another.


People use it as a study tool, not necessarily for actual use. If you are just using your smartphone, you will be 100% fine without it. In order to write fluidly, you need to be able to think of all the radicals (if you know the radicals’ stroke order, stroke order of the kanji shouldnt be too much of a problem) that make up a kanji and their position pretty quickly, so 16 times may not cut it. The kanji I’ve written most is probably 愛 and it still takes me a second to think of what I need to write.

Nope. You can probably write some, but not all the kanji that you could recognize while reading. Ive seen 新 countless times, but even I couldn’t think of how to write it a couple weeks ago. After learning how, I can manage it now, but it takes a second.


No. On the internet or while using your smartphone, you’ll be typing the reading (normally the hiragana version) and then select the kanji word that corresponds to what you want to say. This skill is based on recognition. Writing on the other hand, implies having the ability to recall. These 2 processes happen differently. Of course, one will facilitate the other, but you still have to practice your writing skills in order to be able to recall them.

I guess it’s a question of whether you want to learn how to hand write or not. It’s not essencial to learn Kanji because these days, almost everything is computerized.

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Don’t listen to them, there are loads of kanji you can write intuitively:

一, 二, 三…

Wait, I’m sure I can find more. :no_mouth:


good point i didn’t think about the textbooks. Hum, i really don’t know if i will use programs or buy books from amazon :confused:

人口、人工、二人, you mean kanjis like those one? ahahah

Just had a thought–if plain reading is more important for you, you could get the textbook but type out the answers in a word doc so then you’re still practicing vocabulary and kanji recognition without going through the labor of memorizing how to reproduce every detail of the character (for characters more complicated than 一 :stuck_out_tongue: )


Well, to be faire i mainly decided to study japanese because i thought i could use the 2years i had to wait before yenpress released the last translated book on the novels i am reading :smiley:

So it depends on the quantity ?
Like the more you read a kanji the more you are likely to be able to write it.
But you will still have trouble to do so and writing it more will reduce the pain, i guess it makes sense :slight_smile:

I do all my genki exercises in notepad rather than write by hand. I do do the kanji handwritten sheets in the workbook though, so that’s 8 or 9 times per kanji.


If you’re not going to use that writing regularly, and many natives even don’t, you’re going to forget it. Sure it can be used to supplement a study but to me, that takes way more effort than doing recognize training.

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No, the opposite. Seeing and reading a kanji a lot will not help you write it. These are two separate skills, so they must be trained separately.


Hm, for some it will work that way, but not all. Even after you burn it on here, there is a chance you still won’t be able to write it. Recalling an image of the item is a different skill than recognizing its image.

The opposite would be it hurting his ability to write it. In the end, it will help a little, just not enough to be his only way of practicing writing.

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This is basically reinforcing what everyone has said already. Writing is a great way to be able to differentiate similar looking kanji and can reinforce your ability to recognise them. Of course, in practical application writing is mostly useless in modern society, but I couldn’t manage without it. I feel wrong saying I know a kanji if I have no clue how to write it.

Nope. The part of your brain that recalls information is different to the part of your brain which recognises stuff. This is why you have to be tested on things to learn them. You can read the days of the week in Japanese dozens of times, but still have no clue what it is if someone asks you what the kanji for “day of the week” is, for example. And just because you’re been tested on recalling meanings and readings of a kanji they show you, this does nothing for recalling a kanji from the meaning (this is why KaniWani exists). But even recognising a kanji in your computer’s/phone’s IME does nothing for being able to draw it out on a blank piece of paper.

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On the bright side, if you wanted to practice writing, somebody (kudos to them) already did the heavy-lifting for you.

There you can download kanji writing training sheets organized by WaniKani level!

It’s the opposite because I’ve negated his sentence. :upside_down_face: Don’t make me go down that path, pls. :worried:


You can choose to focus on that part if you want, but my point was it will help you be able to write it. I just wrote out 聴, 抱, and 悔 to see if I could…and I could. Depending on the person and how they study, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone could write 50% of the kanji they learn on here without ever practicing.

Similar to what others have said, I believe that writing has value in reinforcing your knowledge, but may not be necessarily useful practically.

For that reason, I have chosen to optimize my writing. Rather than spending time writing every single character I come across, I have a notebook where I write the character or vocab word when I get it wrong. That way I only spend time reinforcing knowledge on the items I’m having trouble with, and don’t waste time with the ones I know.

For what it’s worth, I use Skritter pretty regularly, alongside with WaniKani. Most of the Kanji I learn to write on Skritter, I don’t have much trouble with writing down on paper. So SRS writing systems like Skritter seem to have carry over, at least in my experience.

I will say that writing helps a lot for Kanji with irregular radicals. WK has this annoying habit of modifying radicals without particularly changing the mnemonic, so you wouldn’t know any better. E.g. the “pelican” in 被 and 禅 are different, but the mnemonic doesn’t really say anything about the pelican holding a sword etc.

Sure you can write 50% of Kanji without practicing it, but 50% of a thing doesn’t really cut it most of the time :stuck_out_tongue: If you’re just learning Japanese to consume Japanese media and at most talk to people on the web/in person, then maybe you don’t need writing. I plan to live in Japan eventually, and I sure as heck don’t want to be pulling out my phone every 2s to check how to write a Kanji!