What was the idea behind the choice of vocab for each level?

I don’t really understand why the kanji and vocabulary words are sorted into the levels the way they are. Why do we learn words like genius, eyeball, skilled/unskilled at the beginning? Wouldn’t it make more sense to start off with basic, everyday vocabulary? My impression is that the selection of the words for each level is pretty random. Or is there some logic behind it that I’m not aware of?

The vocabulary is not chosen for its usefulness in everyday conversation, but for reinforcing the kanji you’ve just learned and adding new readings.

The kanji are chosen by their (visual) simplicity.


I’m assuming it’s to start off slow and easy. Easy, low-stroke, clear radicals with easy mnemonics until people get used to WK and the ins and outs of how kanji works.

“木 is a tree” is a clear concept.
“違 is “different”” becomes a lot more esoteric.

I’m assuming it’s to ease people in with shapes that are easier to remember. I know it took me like two months to kind of get used to trying to remember random shapes as words. As a complete kanji novice, I think I would have struggled quite a lot if they had started with more complex kanji, even if that would have led to knowing common words sooner.

That’s just my guess, though. I don’t recall them elaborating in the FAQ guide.


As @Omun said, it’s designed to ease you in with easier kanji shapes (since we can grasp more difficult meanings being adults(ish)). The vocab is there to reinforce, and illustrate how the kanji is used in actual words and phrases.


Also some common words will be -

  • a combination of multiple kanji (not ideal for a beginner)
  • typically written in kana (WK is mainly focused on kanji)

Which is a good reason to do some reading/listening outside of WK.


Cool, yeah that makes sense. Thanks for your answers :slight_smile: