The single 5 item lesson a day experiment

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to ask if someone had a similar experience to mine. I began Wani Kani in October of last year and by June I got to level 13, but was completely overwhelmed. I had a lot of leeches and a lot of apprentice-level items. I’m not sure if it was the best course of action, but I decided to take a step back, start back from scratch and do a single 5 item lesson a day.

So far, it has been working great. Sure, I’ll take some years to get to 60, but I feel I am better using my time, rather than moving in circles trying to cram too much information into my brain. And I have been using the extra time to read, seeing words and kanjis on the wild really helped my memorization.

So, anyone else tried taking things deliberately very slowly like this?


It’ll take years to get to 60, but you have a lifetime account. Also, it actually won’t take forever (only about 4 years 10 months, which considering how many years native Japanese people take to learn kanji, is not that long). This is calculation from 8880 items on WaniKani divided by 5 items per day.


I started doing 5 to 10 lessons a day (I am level 5 now) unless a lesson was really easy. I don’t see the reason to race to level 60 and stress myself unnecessary.


How can you tell if someone has a lifetime account?



If the circle is grey, they haven’t subscribed.
If it’s blue they have a subscription.
If it’s purple they have lifetime.
And if it’s gold they’ve reached lvl 60.


You can also put the mouse on top of the user’s circle and you’ll have the info displayed in text. @wonderfole This is actually the only way to see the subscription of a level 60, for example :slight_smile:



Don’t forget to expose yourself to the language though. Wanikani is wonderful for learning, but knowing the information in the long-term requires constant (if not daily) exposure to the language.

Some people that do Wanikani at a slower pace, but don’t expose themselves on a daily basis end up completely forgetting items from previous levels. It only takes 6 months for an item to be burned and to disappear from the review pile, after all :slight_smile: So yeah, do take that into consideration.


I hadn’t noticed this! Thanks! Not that I intend to start viewing people’s membership levels!


I thought the colours related to levels lol Internet (and life) isn’t my strong point!


Just learning for now until it’s enlightened (you might already forget it until it’s burned) means your brain will somewhen consider it unimportant and override it again. So the crucial point is indeed to haunt these kanji that you know in the wild… which means read, read, read as much as possible.

I graduated from university 10 years ago in Japanese, I was around N2 level back then… but due to work and also a pretty bad disease I had no time to use Japanese in years and now I am pretty much at beginner level again. I started with N5 grammar again and yup - everything gone. I do recognize SOME kanji, but my knowledge is more, “Damn, I used to know that one 10 years ago”.

Just racing to 60 will get you nothing in the end if you do not use the kanji skills pretty often (daily would be best).

So I think the slower pace is totally fine, as long as the kanji are also met in the wild. I will not reach level 60 within a year… maybe two or three, but I am totally content with that. I was levelling up faster now, because I still recognize some kanji, but I know that around level 20-ish I will slow down a lot.


I won’t. Wanikani is just a additional thing I do. I started working with Minna no nihongo, I listen to jpop, watch anime with japanese subtitles and I take japanese classes (which progress slower than a turtle walks -_-). I am going to live in japan on october next year and I am trying to get ready for this. I just have the problem that doing more lessons equals learning less. Instead of knowing 7 of 10 lessons I remember 5 of 30 if I don’t put a lot of extra work in it. Which is not helpful at all. So I take it slow and steady.


I did exactly the same as you (except I’m on my third go-round) - but I limit lessons to three a day, and only if it won’t take my “reviews in the next 24 hours” count over 20.

OK, yes, it’s taking me ages, but this feels much easier to stick to - I don’t think I’ve had any days off since I’ve started working this way. Other resources I use are WaniKani, BunPro, Duolingo (I do those daily), Satori reader, side-by-side literature, some comics, films and I follow a number of Japanese accounts on twitter. So learning the kanji actually feels useful


I had a similar shift, where I spent a year going at a fast pace, then dropped to only 8 per day. Made life a lot more bearable, and kinda wish I had done it earlier. Also, you can configure how many lessons at a time in your settings (hence how I landed on 8).

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It’s very nice to see other people have tried this too in some way. Yes, I think the best method for me is the slow and steady one, and try to read as much as I can.

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I have been doing 5 lessons a day for a while now. I’m not in any hurry and have added additional resources to my learning so it’s a good base for me. I feel it’s a good balance right now.

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