What inspired you to start learning kanji & how's your progress going?

So this has potentially been asked a million times before but what inspired you to start using wanikani/start learning kanji?

Personally, I just got back from 2 weeks in Japan and I’ve been trying to learn Japanese for a year or so on and off. I’ve been to Japan before, last time I knew only hiragana, this time was armed with katakana as well (and some more vocab). The katakana was a huge help, but without kanji I was still so illiterate. Google image translate may work on small text, but you hit a street sign up in the forest in Fukushima, it won’t help you. You see a sign with a bear on it, and large kanji splashed over it while your walking along said Forest road… you stay alert but can only assume there could be bears about… you hear a roar in the distance… You wish you could read that kanji. You make it back to your ryokan safely, go to the onsen for the first time and wonder which way to go… Plus people are so helpful in Japan, I feel like I want to be able to converse better next time I go so I have 2 years to get good. I did my first 30 radicals last night and then saw the photo post with the onsen photo “which way do you go?” I knew it!! I could read woman already… celebrate the little achievements right!


I learned hiragana and katakana from tofugu and at the end of it all there was a link here. I wanted to get started with kanji as soon as possible since it is essential for reading. I figured I’d give it a shot and I loved Wanikani ever since.


I played loads of video games from Japan as a child and watched a little bit of anime. I learned hiragana and katakana but stopped when I encountered the scary wall of kanji. Many years later (last summer) I for some reason picked up learning the language again. I really can’t remember why…
I gave kanji a second try and realized that I could understand its concept a bit better so I just continued learning. Now I’m here… I guess my main driving force is that I enjoy reading things in Japanese.

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Despite the assumptions of most of the people who discovered that I’m learning Japanese, I have no plans to visit Japan (yet). I just find it fascinating and I love learning. And the motivation to maybe someday be able to watch my collection of Kurosawa films without having to read the subtitles and to read the Japanese side of my Teachings of the Buddha edition.


I taught myself hiragana and katakana about 8 years ago, and took 2 semester of japanese at college… i suposedly learned about 100+ kanji but by the time i begin here i could only remember the numbers and a few of the pictographic kanji. Grammar and vocab were already gone.

I knew that if I wanted to have any chance of learning this language I’d have to get through its biggest hurdle… which is kanji. But I was just too overwhelmed by the idea of actually starting to learn. Last year a lot of stuff happened and I realized that I was just not living life at full potential. I wanted to change that, and not end up full of resentment or grief…

I wrote down my new year resolutions, and as cliché as it might be i started all them on Jan 1st… WK included, (and this has been by far my most productive year ever) I already knew tofugu and always liked the deep analysis of things and the way of teaching, so i bet on WK to be my main tool for learning Kanji, and it’s been great so far.

I’m doing fine so far, i’m still on track to end WK in less than a year, (there’s still 5 months to go). Grammar speaking I think I could handle a N4 exam but there’s still too many holes to cover. I’d love to pass N3 by Dec… next month are the inscriptions, i’ll ponder if it’s realistic for me to pass the exam by then.

I want to encourage you to start this journey, it’s really worth it. Best wishes!!


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