WaniKani and writing

Hey friends! My WaniKani journey is going swimmingly and I’ve just hit level 11, hoping to be level 12 before the week is up

I’m loving it, it’s good fun to be able to converse with my students briefly (with some supplementary grammar from Genki 1 and 2), and read many signs and menus with ease out and about in Japan.

HOWEVER! I’ve encountered a problem. While I can read kanji just fine now, I’m having trouble writing kanji past level 5-6.

Any advice on how to become good at writing kanji would be welcome. I know it’s not that useful compared to reading and comprehension…but for examinations and discussing kanji and language with my students it becomes hella necessary and fun.

Are there any exercises you do or methods you employ that enable you to remember the how to write the kanji and stroke order easily?


I use this often on my iPad or if I’m on my phone wanting to kill some time:

Then sometimes I just use good, old fashioned pencil and paper. I use these books for reference:


The only way to get good at writing is to write.

Some folks use apps, I use the Basic Kanji book series.


I found this tofugu article really helpful:


Agreed. That goes without saying. I’m asking for advice on how to speed it up, make the process more efficient etc

Thank you! I’ve tried writing on my iPad and I just do not like that artificial feel! I’ll go the pencil and paper method and use the books you’ve suggested - cheers!

Thank you!!

Sadly, it does not, as one can read in other threads on this subject…

P.S. Once you are at a suitable level of kanji/vocab/grammar, keeping a handwritten journal is great practice to keep you in good form.

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every time i do a lesson or a review i write out the kanji about ten times. if i’ve guru’d a kanji that means i know how to write it


Oh that’s unfortunate :’)

Okay awesome! I’ll aim to do that after I finish Genki 2 I think. Would be a suitable time I reckon

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See I do this and it’s still not enough for me, unfortunately

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Tangential, but are you aware they make screen protectors for iPads with paper-like texture? I hated writing/drawing on the iPad before I got one. It’s much more pleasant to draw on now.


I think it depends on the apps you use too - I use notability on ipad for writing my notes and it feels really smooth.

I’m also using skritter right now for handwriting practice and it is quite good. It can tell you if your stroke order is off and has SRS for writing. There is a Wanikani deck - I use it to write the kanji and also to reinforce recall for vocab I have trouble with. It is quite expensive though…

Good luck

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I often use KaniWani for kanji practice. Since it’s vocabulary only, and will only show the English definition (and you write the hiragana in), I’ll also write the kanji separately on a piece of paper. The kanji shows up afterwards. If I get it wrong or I think I need more practice remembering how to write it, I’ll mark it as wrong so it comes up again. Just a small level above normal writing practice but it’s pretty helpful!


For me the Anki deck for Kanji Writing Practice helped a lot.
I also have the stroke order script to WK. When I learn new kanji in WK I write it ~20times. I sometimes also look up the stroke order when a kanji comes up in Anki and I don’t remember.
I find the Anki deck very difficult, even for kanji that I have not problem with in WK; I have trouble writing them. But since I started to use the Anki deck, my recall got much better. As a bonus, it also helps differentiating similar kanjis I always mixed up in WK.

oh that sucks ://

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