Suji's Slow Journey! A 🐌 Study Log

Hello Everyone!

I’ve been lurking and reading a ton of posts in here and one of the most inspiring things I keep coming across, are peoples threads about their journey/study logs and subsequent conversations that spring from them!

I decided that I too wanted to keep a study log to attempt to hold myself accountable and to keep my slow pace towards the :cake:. Now, I wont be posting every day (as I work 6 days a week and don’t have much free time). However! I will be maintaining a log on Sundays with some basic stats (I am not using any scripts to assist so most likely base wkstats unless there is another place to pull stats from?), and probably some of my thoughts on the week as I’ve gone through it.

A Little About Me:

I began my journey back in 2018 and got to level four before I moved and it threw a wrench into things. I restarted back to lv 1 in this year in February with the FULL intent on getting down and just settling into WK again… Then Covid happened and I was one of 2 people in my shop holding down the fort while everyone teleworked… so that didn’t happen haha. (70 days on lv two #whoops). However now that things have settled and I can access WK at a steady pace, I feel inspired to start it up again no matter how long it takes! I’m here for the long run (Just picked up my lifetime~) and I am determined to get this done!

My ultimate goal is to be able to read manga in Japanese as I have accrued a LOT of it after two years of living in Japan. Increasing my reading comprehension is ultimately what I want, but I also fully want to be able to listen to it and understand what is being said (Who doesn’t?!). I am aware this will probably take me years. So here’s to the start of a new adventure!

Current Level Stats


I’m starting this journal at lv 4 (First part of it… still waiting to guru those radicals) and I hope to keep with this all the way to the end!

I am currently using WK along side of KaniWani to help with my recall on top of the recognition. I feel like its helping me remember some of the vocab as well to help reduce the amount of vocab I flub and send back to apprentice! If anyone has any other suggestions I’m here to listen! I’m going to be taking a peek at Satori Reader once I get a little higher to help me start reading.

If you’ve read through all of this, thank you! I hope everyone the best of luck in their own adventures and I hope to see you at the end!


What are you using for grammar? Or did you already learn it from living in Japan?

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I’m still figuring out what I want to use for my grammar. I have the first Genki book and I saw some folks talking about the Tae Kim guide. I think I’m going to try and read a bit of Tae Kim’s guide first to see if I like how its laid out.

I’m open for ideas on other areas that are good for learning grammar however as I’m just starting the journey and am most likely going to have to dabble in a few until I find one that suits my learning style/holds my interest!

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Many people seem to do well with Genki self study, even though it’s more geared towards classroom learning, and partner work. Tae Kim is a nice resource. I would recommend maybe using Tae Kim as a supplement? You can look up the grammar you learn in Genki, as hearing an explanation from different sources can help clarify things. To this end you can also look for grammar explanations on Youtube, for example Japanese Ammo with Misa, and Cure Dolly. Both have playlists for beginner Japanese grammar.


Thank you! I will shift my focus towards that end instead. It certainly gives me a better way forward than just aimlessly trying things until I find what works haha. Would I be terribly behind in kanji knowledge/understanding if I started Genki now, or would you say I should start in a few levels once I get a few more kanji down?

I first started WaniKani after finishing Genki 1 and 2. Genki first introduces kanji from chapter 3 I believe it was and only introduces some 15 Kanji or so per chapter. So you’d be fine, it only uses the kanji it has thought you too


Genki includes kanji lessons, I think. It is geared towards students with no prior knowledge, so you should be fine to start any time.


I’ll second mention of Cure Dolly’s videos. If you make time for one video per day (usually 10 to 15 minutes) from her Japanese from Scratch playlist, you’ll have a massive grammar base in a month and a half.

Two weeks of squeezing in one video per day is all you need to be ready to start “reading” manga.

Note my use of quotes there. It won’t feel like reading so early. If your vocabulary is small, you won’t know nearly enough words to get through more than a page a day.

Until you learn enough basic grammar and a lot of basic vocabulary, any manga reading you do will be what’s known as “intensive reading”. You’ll encounter words you don’t know, so you’ll need to look them up. You’ll encounter grammar you won’t know, so you’ll need to look it up.

If you prefer to learned a lot of grammar and vocabulary before you start reading manga, you can check out graded readers first. These are extremely simple stories geared toward beginning learners.

Once you’re ready to start reading short books and manga at an absolute beginner level, check out the Absolute Beginner Book Club. We pick fairly easy books and manga to read through slowly. We compile spreadsheets of vocabulary (making lookup easier while reading), and discuss grammar and what’s going on in the story.

I know what it’s like buying manga that you’re not able to read yet. I bought Sailormoon manga in the mid 1990’s. They adorned my shelves for over 20 years without being read, as I made no substantial progress after two years of high school Japanese class.

In the past decade, I wasted a few years learning and forgetting vocabulary words. Then in 2018, I became serious about learning grammar instead, and I focused heavily on that for two years. Finally, in 2020, I was ready to read through the Sailormoon manga. Today I’m 51 chapters in, with only 8 more chapters to go.

With the free resources available today, you can measure your progress in years, rather than decades. Good luck!


I’m using Genki. There’s a github site that’s really helpful for quizzing yourself and reviewing the material for each chapter. I also recommend Tokini Andy on youtube because he goes through the Genki grammar chapter by chapter. I recommend Genki overall with supplementing with these things.


Thank you all for coming in and reading the start of my journal! You all have given me a ton of helpful information that I’ve already started to look at and adjust my free time to include a little of them each day.


Thank you for sharing your story! You’re def where I want to be in the future. I know it wont be fast, but just reading your post (With all that helpful information!!) is giving me the stepping stones to be where i want to go. I really appreciate you taking the time to post all that information.

I’m 100% going to be checking out the Cure Dolly videos (I started over the weekend) and will probably work my way through graded readers before jumping into more reading. Once I’m at a good baseline I’ll for sure check out the Absolute Beginner Book Club!!


Thank you Thank you Thank you! I started my first lesson in the Genki textbook over the weekend due to your inputs and I can’t thank you enough for coming in and giving your suggestions/time to this thread.

Now for the first actual journal entry even though its only been a few days!

28 December 2020

Current Stats


I’ve guru’d all of the radicals for lv 4 along with the first few kanji! I have 45 lessons waiting for me, but I’m doing 10 or so lessons a day to gauge how many I can consume at once. It was a rough week this week as I didn’t hit my reviews properly on Monday, leading to all the radicals/Kanji/vocab I had learned on Sunday to just fall… flat. Very flat. Ha! I spent the week focusing on getting the ones I flubbed on up to par again and am now consuming the lessons again at a steady pace so I can move onto level 5!

I started my first couple of Cure Dolly videos at the suggestion of some of the wonderful people. With that under my belt, I started my first Lesson of Genki I as well.

I believe that concludes a synopsis of how my week went with my studying. I’m not sure what all stats I want to include in here yet so it may change over the weeks depending on if I decide to actually dabble in some of the user scripts, or just keep plodding along as per usual!

Suji Out!


Good luck.
Along with Misa Japanese ammo, I also used the Japanese from zero series. There are 5 books covering the grammar for beginners and youtube video for each lesson (you can use them without the books also). I find the guy entertaining.

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Happy New Year everyone!!!

I am happy to state that I have made it to level 5! I somehow blew my other levels out of the level making it in aproximately 15 days i think? Beat level 4 by a whole 7 days haha!

I’ve kept up my reviews and lessons (for the most part… just got nailed with lv 5 stuff today so… lots of new lessons!)

I am going to post the screenshots of my app that i’m using for reviews before bed so I can track those as well.

Current Stats


Weekly Overview screenshots 28 Dec - 3 Jan

A bit disappointed I didn’t hit Five back on thursday… but I missed 2 kanji because i wasn’t paying attention and it managed to push it a few days. Curse you Name! (And why my brain screamed ‘GOU’ when it was very obviously ‘Mei’ :laughing:

I started listening to Harry Potter and the Sorcerers stone in Japanese this week. Not for real understanding because I obviously wont be able to understand much… but to start having my brain hear more Japanese and start trying to parse the pieces out. And it gave me something to listen to at work.

I will be looking at Genki this next week as during this week I didn’t touch it at all.

I hope everyone has a lovely new start to their year, and thank you for coming by!!

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Wishing you a great time with your studies! :slight_smile: Also I have to bookmark this for all the great resources posted here.


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