WaniKani Content Overhaul

WaniKani has gone through some ch-ch-ch-changes!

To reiterate the announcement from Monday:

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. There are still some in there though, we didn’t get to all of them. If there are names or mnemonics you think we should change, email us (hello@wanikani.com) with your suggestion of what we should change it to.

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. To help you out, here is a list kanji where the reading’s correct answer changed from kun’yomi to on’yomi:

Kanji Level Kun’yomi → On’yomi
2 ひだり
2 よん, よ
2 みぎ ゆう
3 かた ほう
4 いし せき
4 う, ぶ
5 あに きょう
5 かんが こう
5 かわ
6 ほし せい
8 じょう
8 いけ
8 とう
9 じゅ
9 ばい
9 もの ぶつ
10 はじ
11 ゆび, さ
11 つた, つて でん
11 よ, い りょう
12 あ, あい ごう
12 まつり, まつ さい
12 たい
12 き, つ ちゃく
16 とお えん
16 しゅ
16 よく
17 よろこ
17 ほそ, こま さい
17 かな
19 いそが ぼう
20 こま こん
22 ね, あたい
26 はり しん
30 あそ ゆう
32 ひさ きゅう
39 こう
45 たましい こん

Not all of them changed to on’yomi, though. You’re still going to have kanji that teach the kun’yomi/nanori reading for some reason or another. There was even one instance of an on’yomi reading being changed to a kun’yomi one. Alakazam! Here it is:

Kanji Level On’yomi → Kun’yomi
39 こう ひか

Q: How do I learn the new radicals?

Radicals that have undergone name changes can be re-added to your Lesson queue with our Lesson Tool. You can also find this form in the Menu under Tools.

Q: How do I know which radicals to relearn?

The Lesson tool breaks up radicals into 2 possible categories:

  • Urgent Radicals: You’ve learned these radicals once before. Now they’ve changed. These radicals are utilized in kanji from your current or next level. Relearning these now is highly recommended.

  • Upcoming Radicals: Want to get ahead of the curve? These radicals have new names but you won’t see them used in anything for a couple levels (or more).

Each radical will be shown with its new name, old name, and the number of kanji it’s found in, so you can better gauge what you do and do not want to take a closer look at.

Once you’ve selected which radicals you’d like to relearn, just click the “Relearn” button at the bottom left-hand side of the screen. They will then be added to your Lesson queue before all of your other lessons, in order of their level.

These radicals will also move on the Lesson tool page to a new category called Requeued Radicals.

Q: New content! I want to reset to level 1!

That’s great, but you don’t have to. Also, if you reset your account back to level 1 you will no longer be able to access the old mnemonics in your settings! WaniKani treats your account like a brand new baby durtle when you reset, so you’ll lose the ability to see the old content. Keep this in mind and reset to level 2 instead, if you want to keep that options available to you!

Q: But I don’t want to learn the new radical names!

You don’t have to! If you don’t want to relearn any radicals just ignore the tool. You’ll still be able to enter the old radical names and be marked correct by the system.

Q: I want to remember the old radicals as they were and use their old mnemonics for kanji!

You don’t have to switch over to the new system if you don’t want to! Go into your User Settings. Scroll down to Display Old Mnemonics and switch it from No to Yes.

Now you’ll see the old mnemonics for the old radical names (if there were any) by default in Lessons, Reviews, and on item pages.

Toggles and tabs, to make things nice and easy.

Q: I found a typo in the new content, can I post it in this thread?

Please don’t! Email any errors or typos you find in the new content to hello@wanikani.com. That way it will be easier for us to keep track of what’s gone wrong and what we’ve fixed already.

Q: I found a typo or an offensive mnemonic in the old content! Can you remove it?

Nope. While we’re letting accounts older than today at (looks at watch) 10:30 am PST have the option to view the old content, it is no longer being supported. We can’t edit or change it in any way.

Q: You didn’t change the radical name/mnemonic I don’t like! Can I ask you to change it now?

Sure, but show your work. By that I mean tell me what I should change said radical name/mnemonic to. Tell me why it’s better. Tell me how it works with all of the items it would touch. And tell me by email, not here. :wink:

Q: WaniKani broke!

Oh no! Send an email to us at hello@wanikani.com or use our contact form. Include as much information as possible: What OS are you using? What browser? Are you using any third-party apps? Does the problem change or stop if you disable those third-party apps? Take screenshots and attach them!


お疲れ様 ! :crabigator:


So cool! Thanks for this update!

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I will read it now.



I used Heisig’s before WK, so the nailbat radical was the first thing that came to my mind when the radical changes were announced :open_mouth:


“You have successfully reset 52 radicals. Look for them in your lessons!” Yay


Thanks for answering my question about typos :blush:

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Rip water slide



Almost seamless transition, great job guys!


It looks so much like a scooter! incredible

Awww, I liked the waiter radical :disappointed:


From a quick look at the vocab, it looks like “Reese’s pieces” is gone (now reeds), but “Tater Tots” is still there. That may be a slight oversight, since you wanted to make it less America-centric. えき does use 駅 now though, which is definitely way better than before.


So you substituted a word that I had to google (mullet) with another word that I will have to google (canopy)? さすが、鰐蟹ちゃん!Always contributing not only to my Japanese vocab but also to my English one! :rofl:


Mm, but ‘canopy’ is just a standard thing that doesn’t require knowledge of like, 80s fashion trends :stuck_out_tongue:


Thank you very much for your hard work!


And now to do my 100 lessons to commemerate Rebirth Day.


I see my current level has a new radical, will this affect my level up?
I have a very strict 7 day level up that has to be in their current positions, if I fall a day behind cause of this I’ll have to skip a whole week to get back to my schedule ^^;

That and, how do I learn it?

I looked in the tool with all the new radicals, both manually and searching:

68 for me. :+1:

Only the Kanji matter for a level up, so it shouldn’t unless there are more than 2 Kanji with that radical in the level which you haven’t unlocked yet.

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I think that you should avoid learning the new ones until you’ve unlocked the associated kanji. I think that they can’t be ‘re-locked’ once unlocked, but I’d imagine that doing the new radical lessons would indeed push back that timeframe.

Obviously Kristen can confirm :stuck_out_tongue:

It feels like there are a lot which have changed from names relating to how they look to being associated more closely with the meanings of their associated kanji / traditional meanings and so on. I’m sure they’ve done a fabulous job with the mnemonics, but I hope they haven’t lost too much individuality between the different items. A Cow God really sticks in the mind, you know?

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