Weird stuff your brain does

Hi! I have been using (looooving) Wanikani for 6 months and doing my reviews once or twice a day.

Now, while reviewing, I have noticed something that blows my mind.

Sometimes, I see the Kanji and my fingers type right away the pronunciation before I am really aware of the meaning!!

So, the chronology of what happens is the following:

  1. I see the kanji
  2. I type without really thinking
  3. I look back at the Kanji
  4. I actually identify the kanji
  5. I look again at what I “unconsciously” wrote
  6. I realize it is correct
  7. I freak out.

Have you ever experienced something like this?


That’s the goal, to be able to recognise and read kanji instantly. Simply by exposing your brain to a kanji and it’s reading you start to form connections in your brain, which in time makes you able to read kanji effortlessly. This is not necessarily connected to your ability to recognise the meaning of the kanji. So in your case my guess is your brain was wired in a way that the reading could be extracted almost instantly, before you could identify it by it’s meaning. Based on my experience I often instantly recall one of either meaning or reading, and the other one comes a bit after. Sometimes the brain makes faulty connections though, especially with visually similar kanji. Not too rarely do I think I recalled the reading immediately, only to realise I was thinking of another very similar kanji.


The faulty connection thing that you mention happens very often to me, besides I have the bad habit of pressing enter without cheking what I wrote. So lots of easily avoidable mistakes.


便 shows up
-Oh I know, it’s し!
Quickly types し and hits enter
-Oh f**k that’s not 使 it’s 便 :man_facepalming:


Holy shit I did not realise those were different x) When reading I was like “yeah ofcourse that is “use””


This means it’s working! I experience it almost every time I have a review, either recalling the meaning or reading first (both, if I know it very well) ^___^ however, I have gotten a LOT better about not hitting enter immediately and taking a second to “look both ways,” so to speak.

1 Like

After being on this level for a while, I am FINALLY starting to not make that mistake every single time I see those 2… I think 未 and 末 are worse, though…


Somehow I never struggle to differentiate those two, they just feel more different to me.

1 Like

Yeah. I’ve experienced that. I find myself these days getting the reading more correct than the meanings :confused:

Another thing I would some times do is look at a kanji that should be easy, and for some reason maybe thinking too hard, or a change in font, it slips my mind… I get the answer wrong, see it flash red and suddenly it clicks and I once again remember. I did this recently with 久 i was looking at it a few minutes and like… I cant remember that Kanji from any where, got wrong and then i remembered long time/raptor cage, but before that i was like its not enter, not person etc.

Im starting to draw Kanji, at the start I wasn’t really interested in writing as it wasn’t my goal to write, but i’m hoping it will help me along the way in remembering.

1 Like

Up to date the worst for me have been 議 and 義, I had them wrong all the time.

1 Like

For 未 I remember not yet ready for the market for younger sister 妹、where elder sister 姉 is the girl at the market. 末 i just remember “the end”.

I remember it now thanks to a mnemonic I found on this forum. The bigger bar has “not yet” reached the top of the kanji, and/or the bigger bar has then reached “the end.”

Yes !! I learnt it just today thanks to @ambo100 who posted this in the thread "Wall of Shame Fortune Telling. It’s a great tip:


This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.