Why Does WaniKani Stop at Lvl60?

I was just curious why WaniKani stops at level 60? There are plenty of Joyo kanji still to be learned, so why not throw another ten levels in there? From a business perspective it seems obvious, and from the perspective of someone trying to learn all the Joyo kanji it’s hard to see why not. just curious what the reasoning was behind this.


I think i heard a reasoning before from someone which i believe is right. Wanikani as it is and there’s less than 1% who actually finished and reached level 60. And beyond that kanjis are either too uncommon or you can learn them on your own.


Your time spent on here becomes more and more inefficient the more you learn. Kanji get more and more rare and learning them in isolation really provides no benefit over learning them from the few words they are actually used in.

Honestly I think 60 levels is already too many.


So what alternative would you suggest for learning them?


WK’s benefits diminish the higher level you get. By the time you’re in the mid-upper 50s you’re learning some pretty obscure kanji, and it gets hard to justify the amount of time spent doing WK over other forms of study. At 60 the time I spend doing reviews feels like a waste when I could be reading books instead, which I would get a lot more out of.


Reading, really. Find words that use it and SRS that shiet. If there are no words that you come across that use it, well then no reason to learn it.


See, that’s where I see it a little differently. Those kanji do exist, and while many of them are certainly obscure knowing them is what matters because they will come up sooner or later, so I feel it’s better to be familiarized beforehand rather than having no clue and having to look them up every time you run into them.

The thing is that you won’t be running into them all that often, because they’re obscure, so you wouldn’t be doing that much looking up for kanji. There’d be a lot more looking up for new vocab anyway. So as Vanilla suggested you could SRS the word or two they pop up in individually.


I think most of them show up in names though, so that’s where it gets tricky. I do get what you’re saying, but I think the argument that Wanikani should stop at 60 for this reason seems moot. Why not offer it and let people choose for themselves whether or not they want to keep learning? No one is making people go to 60 obviously, but some people choose to do it, and I’m sure people would choose to go to 65 or 70 as well if they were implemented.

The other big thing is that WK could go on forever, but you need to leave the SRS nest eventually.


True but I think all the Joyo kanji seems to be a logical stopping place.


Ok so we have a cost to implement it vs the chance that someone who has already reached level 60 who doesn’t have a lifetime membership will continue to use WK. Cost vs revenue don’t seem very good here. I’m sure if it was they would have already done it by now.

I find this to be a common mindset amongst beginners.

Picture this:

You spend time learning a kanji in isolation. You spend time reviewing that kanji over a year. You don’t come across that kanji for a year and a half. You could have spent all that time learning other more useful stuff that would have benefitted you throughout the past year

When you finally come across the kanji, you kinda remember it, and you finally learn a word which still requires effort and possibly a reading you didnt learn.

Person B never learned the kanji and comes across that word and just learns the whole word as one thing…They have a slightly harder time but they didn’t spend the past year reviewing the kanji.

At the end of the day, person B was more efficient with their time than you.


That’s basically it. This isn’t a software you’re learning, its a language you’re adding the building blocks to your memory. It’s impossible to be prepared for every eventuality (= kanji) you will ever encounter. Training wheels have got to come off sometime, might as well be at level 60.


You can take a look at this thread to see what kind of word are fairly obscure but pop up from time to time and thus would appear in those > 60 levels. Basically tons of words using unique kanji that appear only in a few words.

It would be quite a waste of time to learn them following WK formula, spending time and effort learning several individual kanji and their reading, only to be used in only one word.

Actually, there is already one vocab like this in WK. At some point we learn 挨 “push open” with and 拶 “draw close”, only to learn one single word 挨拶 which mean greeting. It’s arguably an important vocab but by learning it WK style, it means spending lot of effort trying to keep in mind the “push open” or “draw close” meaning, reciting mnemonics, maybe fail those card from time to time etc. All of this quite useless because 挨 and 拶 are never used anywhere else but in 挨拶.


I think this is pretty irrelevant in the context of wanikani.

Leaving the SRS nest is an inevitability, but its so far down the road that its way beyond level 60. You can do it earlier if you want, but with all the vocab you need to read books and not be looking stuff up, SRS is definitely something to stay for a long time if you so choose.


I’m a native English speaker, but I don’t know every word in the English language either. I read a book in English a few months ago and had to look up a few words, and that’s okay! Obviously there’s a lot more to learn in Japanese since it’s not your native language (or a language you’ve had years/decades of exposure to), but that doesn’t mean you have to learn everything ahead of time. You say they will come up sooner or later, but that’s not necessarily true. Depending on what you read, it’s likely there are some kanji (even jouyou kanji) that you’ll rarely, if ever, see. After you have a good base, I really don’t see the value in learning kanji out of context, because it becomes increasingly likely that you won’t see those kanji on a regular basis when reading. You’re better off learning these after seeing them a few times in the real world, in the context of the word(s) you saw the them in.

I’ve been thinking the same thing. When I was a low level on WaniKani I also asked why more kanji weren’t covered. Now nearly two years after finishing WaniKani and reading Japanese books regularly, there are still many kanji from the last several levels of WaniKani that I have never seen. Or if I have seen them, I didn’t remember them from WaniKani anyway, and they often used readings different from the one WaniKani taught.


Yeah its pretty funny how it ends up being the opposite of what you expect.

Not to say you won’t get any benefit out of completing the last 10 or 15 levels of WK, but just in terms of efficiency you definitely start to get a drop that you really don’t become aware of until further down the road.


Plenty? There are only 155 Joyo kanji not on Wanikani (also Wanikani teaches some Jinmeiyou kanji) and if you want to learn them you could just search around and find some topics with already made mnemonics for them.
I mean do you really want to learn all kanji used for plants, fishes and birds? :smile:


Cause then you’re learning Chinese instead. (Just kidding! Don’t come at me!)


Can’t lie, the discussion has made me a bit less eager to spend time completing the final 10 levels :sweat_smile:.
Nonetheless, cake awaits.