Wanikani Fonts Update

We have just released a change to our font handling across Wanikani. Previously we used Google Fonts to deliver fonts to your browser, however there are privacy concerns when it comes to loading fonts from Google so we have taken the step to deliver the fonts from our own Wanikani servers.

As part of this change we consolidated our font stack to use Noto Sans for all text on Wanikani which will provide a more consistent experience for all learners.

As some people have wanted more information about the privacy issue mentioned:

This is a known GDPR issue that stems from court rulings in Europe.


Yeah, I noticed right away. It’s tripping me up. I liked the characters thicker. Thanks for the announcement.

Edited to add that I, too, applaud the less reliance on Google!


Thanks - I hate it.

Anyway to get back to the old thicc font?
This skinny one is a pain in the arse to read at speed.

Edit - Seriously though, skinny fonts are great for small characters in pages of text. But large characters written with thin lines are just unpleasant.


I’m also having a harder time reading the fonts. It may be a learning curve but I got really used to the old font. It’s tripping up my muscle memory and making me go slower with the new one.


Neat. I’ll gladly get used to a new font if it means less reliance on Google. Thanks. For others’ note about thinness with large characters, perhaps font-weight in the css could be adjusted slightly? Not sure how much of a solution that would be, but worth a try?


I would just like point out what you call the “old font” was only specific to your system and the fonts you had installed. I am not saying that one option is better than another, just want to point out the inconsistency.

For the more technically inclined user, the fonts are set using the css variable --font-family-default so can be easily overridden.


While I also appreciate the decreased reliance on Google, I am not a fan of having learned there is such a thing as font being so thin as to cause eye pain.

Time to install stylebot :stuck_out_tongue:


Did you actually use it. It is a terrible font at large size. Not just thin, but aesthetically ugly. It’s annoying when companies think ‘one font can fit all uses’. Large characters on announcements / signage all over Asia use thick weighted fonts for a reason.

  • I enjoy less reliance on google.
  • I am surprised by how much the font change is tripping me up. However, even if it’s a little bit frustrating, it probably means I am learning to read across different fonts better - that is, until I get used to this one.
  • Is there a “standard” kanji font?

changing the font weight font-weight: var(--font-weight-light) on the body may help those who prefer thicker fonts. This change also brought in the use of a variable font which supports multiple weights without the need to download more fonts.


So why was this not already done before the change was pushed to production?

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The font weight was chosen to match the images we use for radicals when the radical character is not available.


Also the characters are no longer centered in their boxes when displayed on the main page.

They’re all shifted down and to the right. It’s this way across the rest of the site too and not just on the main page. (however in the case of radicals shown on a kanji’s item page, the radicals appear to be shifted to the left instead?)



That makes sense. I always wondered why the images for non-character radicals were so weirdly thin. Perhaps it’d be wiser to make all the characters thicker, then, like they were before (at least for 90% of users).


I assume as you were relying on google fonts before, it was a default font across chrome browsers? It certanly looked the same to me across multiple systems (and I didn’t like using wanikani as much on iPad/safari)

Do you happen to know what that google font was called?

This also dosn’t change that you have now made a deliberate choice with your font, and it is a poor choice for characters displayed at large sizes.

A guide to restoring the font to the old Chrome standard font would be appreciated for less technically inclined users (me!).


For everyone who is struggling with thin fonts: this happened to me even before this change. The solution is to install Microsoft’s Meiryo font. It has all the nice thick-lined kanji. You can tell you don’t have it if the characters are serifed.

It’s part of the Japanese language pack you can download on system settings.


Gonna have to chalk this one up to “it just doesn’t affect me that much”. It’s not so large it’s annoying or aesthetically bad to me. Sorry it is to you and others, I guess? But even though I can get used to it without changes, there are at least ways it can be addressed. I don’t think it’s productive to approach this with such venom in the wording. It’s entirely possible to express one’s displeasure without it.


This doesn’t actually fix the problem. I have Meiryo installed and I am having the same issues as everyone else.


Noto CJK is the man with the plan

Included by default on Android phones and can be readily downloaded from here


Anyone using User CSS or a similar extension, you can try this out for the time being:

.character-header__content {
   font-weight: 600;

Or 500 for something not as thick.

Note: This is for lessons/reviews only.