What's the damn problem?

So I’ve been having real trouble memorizing this current batch of kanji, namely
In some cases it’s the meaning, in some the reading, and sometimes both.
I read all the mnemonics thoroughly and they somehow work sometimes, but then I look at them and ask myself if I’ve even ever seen them, just a few hours after their review.

I mean, this is almost Alzheimer level, really unprecedented and weird.

I now made a drill deck for them, but I’d like to find a way to get this done in a better way, because I don’t want to drill 50% of every new batch of kanji for the rest of my levels.

Any idea what to do?


Maybe use the self-study script?
I would just say repetition :slight_smile:

I know you don’t want to drill things over and over again but sometimes imo it’s necessary.

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yeah, i made a drill set on quizlet for them now, because i really have no clue what else to do.

i’ll do it every few hours till they stick. i’d just love to find a better way to make them work. i tried writing by hand, but no dice. mnemonics don’t do anything for them - they seem fine, and a few minutes later they’re just gone.

interestingly, it all works out fine for the other items this level, such as 環, which was new, too, and is not really easier than the things above.


Hmm I wonder if this is your brain’s way of telling you that’s it’s starting to experience some burnout, this had happened to me a few times along the way

If that’s the case, maybe take a little time to slow down a bit and not do too much at once and give your brain a chance to breathe a little, easing down even just for a bit can work wonders for your mind and memory ^^


Well, I don’t know which ones you are struggling with the reading vs meaning. But at least a few of those have phonetic components. So maybe check out the Keisei script and see if that helps.

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I don’t want to be nitpicky but I don’t want you to make a mistake :sweat_smile:
For 視 you’ve put the reading as “しょう” but it’s “し” :slight_smile:

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hmm i don’t think burnout is the problem - i’m actually eager to progress and looking forward to every review and lesson.

maybe it’s the lack of sleep. i’ve been really busy with work lately. but then, why only these kanji, and not the others?
seriously, i have no clue what’s going on. :frowning:


you’re right, i’ll fix that :slight_smile:


You of course know yourself best, but I just want to add to what MissMisc said.

I’ve had one or two times where I felt as eager and motivated as ever, but the words just wouldn’t stick in my brain. I had no problem finding the will to do lessons, but my ability to retain was slashed quite abruptly.

My brain, at least, seems to have an ebb and flow to it. Certain things will mean learning becomes a struggle every so often, despite my efforts remaining the same.

In the past, even the smallest measure of pulling back had a refreshing effect as I otherwise kept muddling through with my dailies.

In conclusion: pffff~ brains, right? I feel ya. Don’t let it get you down!


how did you solve the problem? just stuck to it and fought through?

At the time, I was going hard on the grammar while also doing WK at full speed. I ended up cutting down on the 3+ hours of grammar a day, and mostly kept up with WK at the same speed, though I decided to be strict for a while about not going over 100 in my Apprentice queue.

Reducing my workload a bit helped me - things started sticking better again, and a week or 2-3 later, I felt fine about adding more learning workload again.

So I’d definitely say to stick with it, but see if there are any areas you’re willing to give yourself some slack without breaking the daily study habit.


i’m not doing any other studies. what i do is get up, go to work, get home, take a bath, walk the dogs, eat dinner, sleep. i do wk when i go to work and come home, and whenever i find time in between. i don’t even have huge reviews, the highest i had these days were 112, of which most were vocab, which is easy.

maybe i need the weekend :confused:
the ebb and flow seems to have some merit, because i’ve observed that phenomenon, too, but never like this, with utter refusal to pick something up.

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Backing off a bit like others have said might be a good idea, but beyond that, wanna give some more general and specific thoughts on this batch of kanji.

For me, knowing what the radicals actually are helps a lot of the time. I’ll still use wanikani’s sometimes anyway, don’t get me wrong, but. For example, 祝 is a shrine on the left, not a pelican, so I think about celebrating at a shrine because my brother has accomplished something (or maybe he’s leading things?), because shrines are where you celebrate. Aside from that, make your own combinations and mmemonics. I don’t know wanikani’s mnemonics for these kanji because I’m not that level, but I do know the kanji, and I think of 触 as gently touching the corner of a bug (butterfly specifically) because they’re so delicate and you don’t want to damage the scales on their wings. And as for creating my own ‘radicals’ I tend to think of the part in 展 as a deformed 表, which also helps with the meaning in this case.

As for readings, I don’t use too many mnemonics for readings, but you aleady know quite a bit of Japanese right? Have you leveraged that by looking at what words you already know that use these kanji? For example, you’re probably familiar with 無視 (ignore), and that makes it easy to remember the reading of 視, right?

That’s all my advice. Good look.

I remember having trouble on that exact same level. Some levels just stick and others don’t. I’ve also found that occasionally a level will be populated with kanji that, for example, I can guess the reading for because I’ve seen radicals with the same sound over and over, whereas other levels, I just can’t seem to find the ‘hook’ anywhere.

Repetition and, like others have said, taking a breather always gets me over the hump eventually.


That’s a good point - getting vocabulary from an outside source (grammar studies, reading, etc.) can sometimes result in knowing a word and the general look of its kanji before getting to it in WK, which makes it way easier to remember that kanji when you do get to it, since you already have a chain to link it to.

Also results in some mind blows. Cannot tell you how shook I was after learning all the kanji for 吸血鬼. The world makes sense now! \(^o^)/


no, i haven’t. that’s actually a good idea. i didn’t get any vocab for these yet, because they’re still apprentice :slight_smile:

maybe there’s something that hinders the stuff from clicking properly. lvl 23 kanji were still fine - the expected trouble after learning them, then they improved a lot and were no problem anymore when they reached guru and their vocab came in.

maybe i’m too worried. i’ll just do my drill set till it all fits properly, and see if the next level is easier.

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I sometimes find that certain kanji just really don’t stick with me until I start seeing them in words. You might find that it all gets a bit easier once you get that layer of consolidation.


I didn’t recognize half of those in your post :frowning:


let’s see what the next levels will look like. i assume it’s not gonna get easier, that’s why i’m trying to find ways to improve my learning process.
maybe it’s just this particular set of characters, i’ll keep an eye out and see if i can make it easier.
my hope is that this is more due to a lack of sleep, even though that’s difficult to fix.