Too many leaches!

So for the past 2 months, I decided to pause on the level I am at. I have so many leaches! I feel like They go up then down then up then down again. So I’ve been putting them into a word document to try and make a list by hand I can practice until I get them right (repetition is a really helpful method for me). Does anyone have any ideas about the leaches? I’m aggravated because I’m stuck and I want to push on and learn new words but I don’t want all these leaches!!

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You could try the Self-Study userscript, you can configure it to train leeches:

Other than that, no real advice, but I need to vent.
It can get so frustrating, I’m currently sitting on 206 leeches in Apprentice and 677 leeches in Guru stage, I keep reviewing the same items over and over again, to the point where I feel like my memory of these items gets worse and worse, and I feel like I can barely move forwards anymore.
Yestderday I did almost 500 reviews in a single day.


The best leech-breaker I’ve found is to handwrite the thing. I’ll handwrite kanji or vocab a whole bunch and just think carefully about each symbol/radical and what they mean while I’m doing it. It forces me to stop and think about the story behind the mnemonic.

For leeches that cause me more stress than the trouble to learn them, I have no qualms about cheating in Tsurukame. I’ll usually use the “ask again later” option so I at least get practice in typing the right answer. I know it’s detrimental at the moment, but I figure I’ll make it up in immersion practice later.

In the level 50s, I’ve had to plateau on purpose after each level up. It’s annoying but I have to remind myself that it’s not a race.


2nd Vote for hand writing the offending kanji/words. It’s good practice, plus exercises other areas of the brain to help break the bad pattern you’ve learned.


I’m going to do that! Thanks, guys :slight_smile:

I don’t want it to get that bad. I think I have about 100. That’s why I stopped I’m like ugh no more until I remember these!

Beyond the Self-Study script there’s the Item Inspector that keeps track of your leeches. I can highly recommend it as a study tool. Let’s you quiz yourself on part of the leeches as well. :slight_smile:

I also like the Shin Wanikani leech trainer as it helps with interference training - when you confuse similar looking kanji for example.

I’m feeling lazi, so just linking to my study log as it’s got all three scripts in the OP post

Just generally speaking, taking time to regularly do leech training is what got me through WK. It doesn’t have to be weekly, though that’s probably good to do, but every other week or when you’ve acquired around 60-ish leeches or so. Then, I’d use the leech trainer and/or self-study quiz and Item inspector to work my way through them.

Most leeches just need that extra amount of repetition to stick, so spending some time on them should allow you to guru, master and enlighten them.

Just hang in there! ^^

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Dang, you were absolutely right. Thanks for convincing me to install these scripts! I resisted this at first because adding scripts feels like a whole big thing, but these are all incredibly useful. I also apparently have 377 leeches, so this is going to be a journey! :flushed:

This is a painful topic for me! But I found the following solutions for myself:

  1. Prescribe vocab, kanji or radical in a notebook (a powerful tool, but not the only one)
  2. Well, try to come up with your own mnemonics. Personally, many of the mnemonics provided by the site do not evoke those feelings and emotions to make my brain remember them.
  3. Examples! Many examples! See many examples! I use the ones provided by the site and also look for others, for example, on jisho. Rarely, but I make up my own.
    For me, the first and the last are the most effective.
    Previously, I tried to just mindlessly go and close reviews at random. But recently, before doing reviews, I began to write in a notebook what will be in my review, and if there is any item that I can’t remember, then I give it time before closing it. At the review, I already remember the aitems well, because I just passed them, and the ones that caused me problems - I repeated them well, and in most cases there are no problems with them at the review.

Probably, it’s so obvious, but at some point it seemed to me that just going to the site and doing reviews without repeating anything was a good idea, and that’s how everything works, but no - items are constantly forgotten, remembered, and there was little sense from stupid repetition without at least some practice.

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