What Is This "Core 10K" I Keep Hearing Mentioned?

It’s a way to learn the supposedly 10k most common words in Japanese. I don’t have the Anki deck, but there’s a version on https://kitsun.io/ that’s updated with corrections and improvements regularly.


10K is what I am addicted to after finishing WaniKani.

I’m finding it immensely helpful for reading. It’s also a lot easier to do it now that I already know the kanji.


I’m almost finishing it. Tbh, there’s so many useful words low levels could learn. @Tbilzie I would just go with @seanblue’s suggestion of using Kitsun and suspend/hibernate the words with kanji you don’t know as you go with lessons. You can later awaken those cards once u know the kanji and learn them.

EDIT: Meanwhile you can start with the 4500 Katakana words’ deck on Kitsun. Knowing katakana words is more useful than most people think :grin:


If memory serves, weren’t the Core 2/6/10K decks originally swiped from smart.fm? Or am I crazy?

You’re right, smart.fm being now iKnow and having 6k.

I did the first 2k or so on iKnow, and honestly I’m not sure it was that valuable.

You don’t enjoy awkwardly sounding out katakana words until you (sometimes) can guess what it is?


Indeed, there’s a lot of the “most frequent list of words” for japanese. Thing to know is where those words came from and if they will be as frequent in the material you’ll be consuming.

For what I know Core10K get’s their frequency numbers based on repetitions appearing in newspapers, and while maybe the first 2K or even 6k would be more or less in sync with the actual frequency of the word in mostly any given place, reaching to 10K you can really start to notice that the words aren’t necessarily appearing in your immersion so often.

I found making use of the cards and adding them to my SRS only if I actually encounter the word in the wild was a much better approach for me. Saved me a lot of time in the beginning, and provided with good material when I didn’t have much clue on how to produce my own cards on Anki.

That been said, I got mine from the wiki on Kanji Koohii.
And like I mentioned, I would suspend every card from the start and only unsuspend it when bumping into a new word either reading or watching a show.
Now I create most of my cards, though the process it’s relatively automated, and I’m finding Yomichan with both the Innocent Corpus frequency list (coming from novels) and another frequency list coming from Anime and Drama to be extremely useful for deciding what goes into my SRS.

There’s even a frequency list based on Netflix material (based on subs from Netflix Japan) coming soon for what I’ve heard :wink:. And that would probably actually reflect much better the real frequency of the content I’m consuming now :sweat_smile:


What makes you say that? I ask since I’ve been debating iKnow for awhile (probably after finishing WK) and am generally interested in people’s opinions on various vocab resources.

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In my case I’d guess I already knew at least 500 of the 2000 words, and I’m just not sure how many of the words I did learn have stuck long term. From my time using both WaniKani and iKnow, I think that more targeted learning toward things you like to read (after you have a base) would be most useful.


Hmm I’ve been thinking of what to use the time that will open up this summer when I reach level 60 this summer (level 42 right now)…About how long does has taken to complete (or nearly complete, or get half way through…etc)?

I’m assuming you go at a faster pace then wanikani? maybe 50 - 100 new words a day? Or for someone with less time like 20 - 30 a day?

Also, can these decks do English to Japanese, too? And if so, is it good idea to mix them, learn them together, later, or what?

So one last question…I know Kitsun has the core 10K but I’m annoyed that they don’t have an offline option or a phone app. Is there an anki deck or other offline app that has the Core 10K?

If Kitsun doesn’t work for you here is a link to the Anki deck it’s based off of.

[ Complete 10k ]


Have you tried Kitsun using the phone browser? It works very smoothly. Kitsun’s creator is also currently developing apps for both android and iOS and offline mode seems to be in the plans.


I actually downloaded that deck on Anki and it had a bunch of sentences, which I’m not ready for. It’s there a way to disable sentences and just do kanji recognition? I wanted 10,000 Kanji not a bunch of sentence.s

Yes, you can search by tag for Sentences or by Note type for Sentences in the Card browser. You can suspend,bury, or delete them in bulk there if you wish.



Thanks. Can anyone walk me through how to do this? I’m an Anki noob lol

Another way to do the Core10k without using Anki is to use Torii Torii - SRS learning application for vocabulary it’s setup to be a lot more like WaniKani than Anki so easy to use.


Oh, so Torii is the same 10K characters as the core 10K? Good to know.

If you choose the 10K mode, yes.