WaniKani only requires one reading

So i’ve been interested in Japanese for a long time and i’ve dabbled here or there. I’ve learned a lot of bits and pieces over the years. I love the way wanikani teaches us kanji but I do have one concern. If I only know the one reading for the kanji wouldn’t that cause serious issues when i’m done? For example: 花 (flower). Kun: はな On: カ ケ. If Don’t learn the reading Hana then I would be calling flowers ケ all the time instead of はな. I’m no expert, this is just something that really threw me off as I started moving forward in the program learning my first set of Kanji. Am I misunderstanding this entirely or is this something i’m going to have to go back and relearn once I get done with the program?

Hey, here’s a very quick answer to what I think you’re asking:
Don’t worry. Once you’ve learned the on’yomi for the kanji, WaniKani will teach you some vocabulary words that use it. Often that will include the kun’yomi!

You just have to guru the kanji first to unlock the associated vocabulary items, just as you had to guru the radicals to get the kanji.

Make sense?


When wanikani first teaches a kanji, they teach the most commonly seen reading. Kanji are not words, they represent ideas.

Ex. Wanikani teaches you to read 花 as はな (kunyomi) and then gives you actual vocab words that use that reading like 花見 (はなみ)

Later on you do learn other vocab words that use the onyomi reading such as 花粉症 (かふんしょう) and you can gather that か is one onyomi reading.

You don’t have to worry - between kanji and vocab, you will learn many readings.


WK doesn’t only teach one reading. You just haven’t learned the others yet.

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Thanks for the great answers, that makes a lot more sense to me now. I’ll keep it up then!

I suppose it’s worth noting that you won’t learn all the readings… Some kanji have upwards of 10!

(I’m looking at you, 生.) But WK will teach you the most common/useful ones.


Why would you remember a reading, if there isn’t an associated vocab anyway?

WaniKani’s job is to teach Kanji reading – through 2 main ways

  1. initial introduction and mnemonic
  2. make sure you remember step 1 well, before going to the next step – remember the Kanji readings through vocab.

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