WaniKani Content Overhaul Announcement

Hello children. Pull up a cushion next to the fire, we have something very important to tell you.

Over the last two years we’ve been working on a big update for WaniKani, and it’s finally time to pull back the curtain.

There are three main changes taking place.

1. Radical Names

All of the radical names have been reviewed and many have been renamed. Some will be closer to the “traditional” radical meanings, some will be a little different, but all of them should be easier to use and remember when it comes to kanji learning. There’s even a bunch of new ones in there!

2. Mnemonic Rewrites

Most of the pop-culture references and/or questionable-taste mnemonics have been removed and rewritten. Don’t worry, we didn’t kill Hard Gay, he’s here forever.

3. On’yomi first.

While most kanji were already taught with their on’yomi readings, we’ve moved some items around, and added some vocabulary, so more of the kanji follow this pattern.

Not all of them, though. You’re still going to have kanji that teach the kun’yomi/nanori reading for some reason or another.

All of these changes will go live on the site on Wednesday, December 5, 2018.

Because this is a large series of changes, the hope is that we can make the transition as easy for you as possible, so we built a tool that will be live along with it.

All of the old mnemonics using the old radicals will still be available as long as your account exists before Rebirth Day. Though we hope you choose to join us and step out of the past.

Edit: If you reset your account back to level 1 you will no longer be able to access the old mnemonics in your settings!!

We’ll share more about it on Wednesday, as long as all goes as planned. Feel free to speculate, ask questions, make a poll (or two, but no more!), etc., here.

:crabigator: :heart:

EDIT: Official thread is up with more details!



I will read it now.


IT IS TIME! SquirrelHeart


We had that topic like a month ago where someone was admamant that the update was a lie meant to appease complainers.


Well now it’s here, ha!


I only have two more radicals to learn anyway, so I probably won’t switch to the new names/mnemonics, but great to see you are still always trying to improve wanikani!


It is a lie. The WK team is just anticipating April’s fool.




My only concern would be recently learned items, but I suppose now is actually the best time to switch since I’ve just got the first lessons for the next level.

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Time to renew my subscription and reset to level 1 to check it out

Not really though :sweat_smile:


Haha, from my end it almost feels like I started one month and a little bit early, because I think it would probably be good for me to switch, but how many changes will have I to learn? O_o

Good thing I already planned to slow down this level because keeping my just under 8 days schedule (7 days 20ish hours) was a bit of a struggle if I also wanted to hit 0/0 at least once every level which I think is a good idea because it means I’ve gone through all vocab from previous level. (Probably going for a just under 9 day level.)

But now… I don’t know if I’ll need extra time checking out new radicals and stuff. :open_mouth:



Much excite!


The biggest thing I really think you guys should implement more is when a radical helps indicating the meaning of the kanji. This. Helps. So. Much. SRSly.

Like how the current radical tsunami is heavily connected with kanji that involve water. When I’m faced with 2+ visually similar kanji, I pretty much just look at the left side of it to get the clue of the meaning.

Adding an explanation or something to the description would do crazy good to your users.


I am scared…

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Are you trying to prove a point? Me too! I want to show that the new system is so much better without mentioning that I was once level 60.


Some questions:

  1. If you switch to the new version, can you switch back?
  2. If you switch, will you have to relearn radicals that have changed names?
  3. Can we get a preview of the new changes without switching officially?

marty i’m scared…

Q: If you switch to the new version, can you switch back?

A: There will be an option to view old mnemonics (containing old radicals) in your user settings. Then you’ll be able to toggle between them during lessons, reviews, and on item pages, if you’d like to see the new ones as well.

Q: If you switch, will you have to relearn radicals that have changed names?

A: It’s your choice whether you want to relearn them or not. We have a tool that will make this easier, and it will prioritize the radicals most important for you to relearn if that’s the case. For example, if you already learned all of the kanji associated with a radical, you can just choose not to relearn it. (We’ll explain this tool more on Wednesday!)

Q: Can we get a preview of the new changes without switching officially?

A: The “switch” will happen for everyone, but you’ll be able to go into your user settings and choose to see old mnemonics and explanations by default instead.


Will there be a grace period for people who change, where if you answer with the old radical name it’ll give us a wiggle, like when answering with the on’yomi instead of kun’yomi for kanji?