TIL 里心 is rarely used

I have a japanese partner and today I told her that I recently learnt a new word: 里心。But apparently you don’t really use it. You’ll use ホームシック instead. :confused:



Either way 里心 is far less common than ホームシック. KANJI-Link: Learn Japanese vocabulary more efficiently! ホームシック ranked as ~40k in word frequency vs 里心 for ~50k in word frequency.

To make a word with 里 it feels like it should make more sense to use 里子 it has a word frequency of ~28k


As far as I can tell, she is correct in terms of speaking in everyday life. I guess you could see the kanji version like in a book or under specific circumstances. I think this happens a lot with Japanese and also with learning any language in general :sweat_smile:

Edit: I also had one of these moments when using 直行 the other day and my friend was like “did you mean ノンストップ ?” and I was like… yes… that’s what I meant but now it doesn’t sound fancy!.. :unamused:


I’ve found it in manga several times.


As a kanji learning resource, WK vocab is used to reinforce kanji readings, not because WK claims it’s the most natural choice of spoken conversation for a given term. ^^

Many vocab are common in books or manga, and wanting to learn kanji inherently means an interest in reading. Spoken and written language always differ. That it wouldn’t be her first choice in conversation doesn’t mean she would find it weird to see in a novel. Plenty of WK words would likely not be used in casual conversation, but I encounter a vast majority of them in books.

WK vocab is very useful, but it’s not necessarily intended to make you a natural-sounding Japanese conversationalist.


Point taken, and I can totally understand that. But when there is a choice of picking a word which is less frequent and one that is more frequent. It seems like the choice should fall towards the word that is more frequent, ie 里心 vs 里子.

That said, I don’t know at all why this particular word was chosen from the beginning. They might have a valid reason for it, or there might be a slightly more haphazard reason for that choice.


That is definitely sound a sound argument, and WK tends to be open to feedback like that. You can shoot them an email at hello@wk.com about this, and they might add it to their list of future changes. :+1:

Edit: I wasn’t paying propper attention, it’s hello@wanikani.com. ^^


My teacher (who’s Japanese) told me that 里心 means a longing for an old fashioned (in a good sense) way of living. Ah, the good old days! It seems to be a little bit nostalgic too.


Wanikani teaches some words that are very unusual but distinctive, and help in remembering the kanji readings. This is especially true for kanji that only have one or two common words they’re used in, so the WK folks have to do some reaching to find other examples. My impression is they want to have at least ~3-4 words for each kanji if at all possible (to help memory), which is hard when a kanji is basically only used in one common word.

ex: 金玉 is hardly the most important word you’ll learn that uses きん or たま, but it does a very good job at ensuring nobody forgets either.

Personally, I’m fairly sure I would not have remembered さと without 里心!!! I’ll probably never use the word, and yet, the word still helped me out. Cool, huh?


I think it’s difficult to come up with a more distinctive word than 金玉. :slight_smile: Especially with the backstory that comes with it. (As an aside, 金玉 still more frequent than 里心 :wink: ).

Either way, this is not the hill I’m going to die on.


I found this story by @Naphthalene really amusing:


Tell them that you’re trying to “bring it back.”

We could also say that, since the Japanese like using English words on their shirts and such(so I’ve heard),
it’s a cultural thing. They’re using a loan word, instead.


I had a similar experience as you… but with an interesting take away point. Everyone enjoys learning new vocabulary :slight_smile: Not just us crazy wanikani’ers.


How do you say “trying to bring it back (into fashion)” in Japanese? :laughing:

This is it. This is the Wanikani thread.


This is going on my Wanikani bingo


Do you mean topics that are so frequently posted on here? In that case, my bingo card would include the revolutionary “I’m going to Japan, any advice?”, the contentious “this word is not used!!!”, and the tubular “SRS system no work, too slow” threads.


The SRS system is too slow. Does anyone have advice on how I can skip levels to get to 里心 faster to find out it isn’t used during my upcoming trip to Japan?

the poll thread title updates

also when should I start learning grammar?


Something about the poll thread’s parodying of the front page’s topic titles pisses me off, I don’t know why lol