Wondering how you would memorize the pitch of a kanji? There is the sound of the kanji and also the pitch graphic

Just wondering a question about pitch,
I am using KaniWani and want to learn the pitch accent as I go. For a kanji like January, the pitch accent image shows I suppose is Odaka (with the last open circle being down). But the sound is Heiban.

The Apple Dictionary shows January (一月) is Odaka:

so I assume this kanji is Odaka. But when I memorize the pitch for this, I memorize the sound which is Heiban. But that last open circle is down and silent - so just wondering if you would mark this down as Odaka or Heiban?

I’m not quite sure why the last circle is open. I haven’t got to full sentences yet, so perhaps that last open circle that is down, is referring to what comes next in a sentence?

I’m wondering if I need to memorize 2 things:

  1. the sound of this kanji is Heiban _ - - -
  2. what comes next in a sentence is down (the open circle)

Thank you

Just to clear something up, where you are saying “kanji” you really mean “word”.

Now to answer your question, odaka words when pronounced in isolation do in fact get pronounced the same as heiban. But when read in a sentence, the particle that follows the word is low for odaka but stays high for heiban.


oh yes my bad, I mean word, like “January” “一月”

Oh interesting, thanks, so in isolation odaka words are pronounced heiban.

I don’t quite know what you mean by “when read in a sentence, the particle that follows the word is low for odaka but stays high for heiban.”
Perhaps could you give an example. I know I am jumping ahead of myself as haven’t got quite to sentences but it would make things more clear if saw an example of a word that follows an Odaka word (like January) that is heiban, and a word that follows that is Atamadaka maybe.


the empty circle is where you would put a particle (particles play into pitch accent),
i.e. odaka words will sound like heiban if there isn’t a particle after the word - if you put a particle after an odaka word, that particle will attach low.


ohh so helpful thank you to you and seanblue. I forgot about the Dogen vid but clears it up - when I learn particles, will be even clearer. Thank you! :slight_smile:


I’m just getting going as well and wanted to know what plug in or addition you had for WK that shows you pitch in conjunction with regular study. Thanks!

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It’s a separate site kaniwani.com, made by someone else, that connects with your wanikani account and is in reverse (and shows pitch and kanji drawing).


If you want the pitch diagram on WaniKani and not just on KaniWani, you can use this userscript:


That’s perfect thank you! Got it up and running


Actually, I really recommend the updated version of Dogen’s pitch accent basics video:


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