WaniKani Content Movements: Wednesday November 22 - Wednesday December 13 2023

Hi everyone! :wave::blush:

Hope everyone’s having a good November!

From November 22nd to December 16th, 2023, we’ll be making some more adjustments to item levels. As in the past, we’ve carefully considered various factors, like frequency, difficulty, and visual simplicity to make your studying more efficient and enjoyable.

As usual, there won’t be any downtime. You don’t have to take any additional steps either. All the items you’ve already started studying will remain in your review queue, so you can continue making progress without any interruption.

Below, you’ll find a list of the changes we’ve made. Keep up the fantastic work, and happy studying!

Wednesday, November 22, 2023 - Posted


  • Level 2: 円い (vocab) - moving up to level 8
  • Level 15: 整理する (vocab) - moving down to level 14
  • Level 39: (kanji) - moving down to level 19
  • Level 39: 埋める (vocab) - moving down to level 19
  • Level 41: 埋め合わせる (vocab) - moving down to level 21
  • Level 43: 埋まる (vocab) - moving down to level 23
  • Level 41: 埋もれる (vocab) - moving down to level 30
  • Level 33: (kanji) - moving up to level 35
  • Level 33: 漠然 (vocab) - moving up to level 35
  • Level 33: 砂漠 (vocab) - moving up to level 35
  • Level 13: 整然 (vocab) - moving up to level 36
  • Level 36: 依然 (vocab) - moving up to level 39


  • 円い (vocab): Based on user feedback, we’ve recognized that teaching 円い and 丸い on the same level can cause some confusion. To address this, we’re moving 円い to a higher level since it’s less common, so that 丸い can be learned first.
  • (kanji), 埋める (vocab), 埋め合わせる (vocab), 埋もれる (vocab), and 埋まる (vocab): On review, it makes sense to teach the 埋 kanji and its related kun’yomi vocabulary earlier because they are better suited to lower levels in terms of difficulty and frequency. Additionally, we wish to teach the more common 埋める before the slightly more formal 補う (level 25), as the two can be used in similar contexts, such as in 足りないものを埋める (or 補う). To minimize confusion between similar terms and to promote better retention, we are spreading the vocab out across levels in a way that reflects their frequency, and are also adding explanations on the differences between similar words.
  • (kanji), 漠然 (vocab), 砂漠 (vocab), and 依然 (vocab): The 漠 kanji, and 漠然 and 依然 vocab are more advanced, so we’ve decided to move them into the latter 30s based on their relative frequency. Since we’re moving 漠, we’re also moving 砂漠.
  • 整然 (vocab), 整理する (vocab): 整然 is a more advanced word, so is better suited to a higher level. To help consolidate the on’yomi せい reading for the 整 kanji, we’re bringing 整理する down by one level.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023 - Posted


  • Level 5: 外来 (vocab) - moving up to level 16
  • Level 10: 外来語 (vocab) - moving up to level 17
  • Level 20: 防火 (vocab) - moving up to level 25
  • Level 20: 防水 (vocab) - moving up to level 25
  • Level 20: (kanji) - moving up to level 31
  • Level 20: 妨害 (vocab) - moving up to level 31
  • Level 20: 妨げる (vocab) - moving up to level 33
  • Level 6: 年次 (vocab) - moving up to level 33
  • Level 38: (radical) - moving up to level 39
  • Level 48: 脅し (vocab) - moving up to level 51
  • Level 48: 首班 (vocab) - moving up to level 60
  • Level 32: 込む (vocab) - hiding


  • 外来 and 外来語 (vocab): 外来 is usually used in hospital contexts or to talk about species of plants or insects brought into foreign countries, so is fairly advanced for its current level. As a result, we’ve decided to move 外来 up to level 16, and 外来語 to level 17.
  • 防火 and 防水 (vocab): Currently, four vocab words that use the on’yomi reading for the kanji 防 are taught on level 20. Taking vocab frequency into account, we’re moving 防水 and 防火 up by five levels, after 防犯, to spread reinforcement out a little more and create a more natural progression.
  • (kanji), 妨害 and 妨げる (vocab): The 防 and 妨 kanji are currently taught on the same level (20). However, they are visually similar and have the same “prevent” nuance, which could possibly cause some confusion and interference in learning. Between the two, the vocab which use 妨 are less common. Because of that we’ve decided to move the 妨 kanji along with the on’yomi vocab 妨害 to level 31, and are moving 妨げる, which uses the kun’yomi reading, to level 33.
  • 年次 (vocab): 年次 is mostly used for formal business contexts and is often seen compound words like 年次報告書, 年次休暇, and 年次有給. As a result, it’s more appropriate for a higher level. Moving 年次 up also lets us update the Common Word Combinations and Context Sentences with expressions (like the ones above) that use kanji from higher levels.
  • (radical): Based on a suggestion made on this forum (thanks!), we recognized that it would make sense to move 空 up to level 39, since the only kanji that uses it, , is on that level.
  • 脅し (vocab): We’re moving 脅し to a higher level to avoid confusion with 脅迫, which is similar in meaning, and to introduce vocab in the 脅迫 (level 48) → 脅す (level 50) → 脅し (level 51) order to better scaffold learning. We’ve also updated the meaning explanation for 脅し with a note on the difference in nuance between 脅迫 and 脅し.
  • 首班 (vocab): 首班 is a reasonably obscure word, so we’ve decided to move it to a much higher level.
  • 込む (vocab): We have decided to hide 込む because it’s usually used as an auxiliary verb in compound words, as in 申し込む (level 34), 詰め込む (level 34), 書き込む (level 34), 踏み込む (level 38), 吹き込む (level 42), 駆け込む (level 42), etc., and is rarely seen as a standalone word. When used standalone, it can mean “to be crowded,” but this is usually written 混む (level 22) instead. As a result, we think it ultimately makes the most sense to teach 込む through the kanji and through compound vocab words in order to reflect its real-world usage, and plan to add more 〜込む words in the future. We’ve updated the meaning of the kanji from “crowded” to “into” in order to better reflect the essence of the kanji in its most common nuance, with the 人込み vocab teaching the “crowd” nuance instead. So don’t worry, with the update to the kanji meaning and the compound vocab that we teach, you won’t be missing the opportunity to learn how 込む works! If you’d like to learn more about 〜込む, you can also check out our article on the Tofugu blog here.

Wednesday, December 6, 2023 - Posted


  • Level 5: (vocab) - moving up to level 13
  • Level 5: 大会 (vocab) - moving up to level 13
  • Level 34: (kanji) - moving down to level 19
  • Level 34: (vocab) - moving down to level 19
  • Level 34: じゃが芋 (vocab) - moving down to level 19
  • Level 34: 焼き芋 (vocab) - moving down to level 19
  • Level 6: (vocab) - moving up to level 25
  • Level 28: 処置 (vocab) - moving up to level 30
  • Level 34: 里芋 (vocab) - moving down to level 33
  • Level 5: 光年 (vocab) - moving up to level 45
  • Level 17: 薬方 (vocab) - moving up to level 51
  • Level 17: 内因 (vocab) - moving up to level 51


  • and 大会 (vocab): To better contextualize the nuances and uses of 会 as an independent noun and as a suffix, we’re moving it and 大会 up so that they are taught alongside 飲み会, 運動会, and 協会.
  • (kanji), , じゃが芋, 焼き芋, and 里芋 (vocab): To better reflect the relative difficulty and frequency of these potato-related vocab words, we have decided to move them and the 芋 kanji down to lower levels.
  • (vocab): 地 by itself is usually used in formal or literary writing, so we’ve decided to move it up to level 25, so that it is taught after 土地 (level 6), 地面 (level 16), and 地域 (level 22), but before 沼地 (level 28), to better reflect its relative difficulty and frequency.
  • 処置 (vocab): 処理 and 処置 are currently taught on the same level, but can be similar in nuance and use. So to avoid confusion, we’re moving 処置 up by two levels and updating its meaning explanation with an explanation of the difference in nuance.
  • 光年 (vocab): Just like “light year” in English, 光年 is not commonly used in daily life, so it’s better suited to a higher level.
  • 薬方 (vocab): The word most commonly used for a prescription is 処方箋, whereas 薬方 is more obscure. So we are moving 薬方 to a high level and have added the kanji 箋 and vocab 処方箋 to a list for future additions.
  • 内因 (vocab): 内因 is most commonly used in medical contexts, as in 内因性. As a result, it’s a more advanced word that’s better suited to a high level.

Wednesday, December 13, 2023 - Posted


  • Level 10: Ice (radical) - moving down to level 3
  • Level 23: (kanji) - moving up to level 24
  • Level 23: 規律 (vocab) - moving up to level 24
  • Level 23: 規則 (vocab) - moving up to level 24
  • Level 25: 規模 (vocab) - moving up to level 26
  • Level 24: 規準 (vocab) - moving up to level 28
  • Level 24: 法規 (vocab) - moving up to level 29
  • Level 26: 不振 (vocab) - moving up to level 33
  • Level 25: 律動 (vocab) - moving up to level 50
  • Level 25: 律動的 (vocab) - moving up to level 51
  • Level 23: 不文律 (vocab) - moving up to level 51
  • Level 26: 従業 (vocab) - moving up to level 51


  • Ice (radical): We updated the radical combination of the kanji to “ice” + “stick” + “spoon”, so have moved “ice” to level 3 to match the level of 北.
  • (kanji), 規律, 規則, 規準, and 法規 (vocab): 規準 and 法規 are slightly more advanced words that are better suited for a higher level, and we also wanted to put some distance between 基準 (level 23) and 規準 to avoid confusion between the two, as they are both read きじゅん. Also, 規律 is a more advanced word than 法律, so we wanted to move it up a little. Given this, we’re also moving up the 規 kanji, 規律, and 規則 by one level so that the vocab aren’t spread too far apart to promote better consolidation and retention.
  • 規模 (vocab): To reduce possible interference and confusion, we’re moving 規模 (きぼ) up by a level to level 26 so that the も reading for the kanji can be learned first in 模型 (もけい) and 模様 (もよう) before moving on to the ぼ reading. This move also lets us introduce 規模 right before 大規模 and 小規模, which are in level 27.
  • 不振 (vocab): We’ve decided to move 不振 up because it’s an advanced word that’s also often used in compounds, as in 業績不振 and 食欲不振. To account for this, we’re moving 不振 to level 33, right after the and kanji are taught in level 32, so that the meaning explanation and context sentences can introduce these common expressions that use the term.
  • 律動, 律動的, 不文律 (vocab): 律動, 律動的, and 不文律 are not commonly used words, and are better suited to a higher level as a result.
  • 従業 (vocab): While seen in compound words like 従業員 and 従業者, as a standalone word 従業 is not very common, so it’s better suited to a higher level.

I’m sorry, I must be missing something, but the phrasing implies that 補う is a slightly more formal version of 埋める, and yet those two seem to be completely different verbs…



Or can they have a similar meaning under some circumstances?

Anyway, as always, huge thanks for the great work on maintaining and updating WK!


From how I’ve seen 埋める used, it’s often metaphorically similar in meaning to 補う - like “filling in” a gap in knowledge or an area you’re deficient in!

And as always, thank you for the updates, WK team!


Good question! Totally makes sense why they might not seem related on the surface. As @lyricaluck says, in addition to its literal meaning, 埋める can be used figuratively as well. When used figuratively it can mean “to make up for” (like filling in a figurative “gap” or “hole”), which is similar to the idea of compensating for/supplementing something to make up for a lack that 補う has. For example, in addition to the 足りないものを埋める/補う (“to make up for what’s lacking”) example above, another situation where either can be used is 赤字を埋める/補う (“to cover/make up a deficit”). In either example, the main difference between using 埋める versus 補う is a difference in the formality/tone.

Seems like it would be helpful to state that 埋める can be used figuratively in its explanation and add a Common Word Combination or two, and to also bolster 補う with more examples as well. Thanks for bringing this up, I’ll put it on my to-do!



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@TofuguSayaka FYI, for 埋めあわせる WK won’t accept ‘to make up for’, even though it’s in the example sentences.

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Oh no! Sorry about that, it’s been added as an alternate meaning now. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

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I feel like by the time you get to level 45, you no longer need reinforcement of either the 光(level 5) or 年(level 4) kanji, so does this vocab word serve any purpose at that level?

Forgive me if there are actually a lot of vocab like that appearing at higher levels and so it’s not actually out of place, but it just seems unusual.

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Thanks for the speedy reply!

Hi everyone! Just a heads-up that we made an unscheduled movement today. We’ll add it to the list for tomorrow’s movements, but it should already show up as of today. The movement is:

  • Level 5: ice (radical) - moved down to level 3

The reason for this movement is that we updated the radicals used in the kanji 北 (Level 3) and it now uses the radical “ice”. :slight_smile: