Writing all of the kanji, radicals, and vocab down - good, or bad?

Whenever I do my lessons, I always write them down in a notebook, this takes a lot more time, but I feel it sticks better. I’m worried since I’m only level 1 right now, if I can keep doing this in the later levels. I can’t think of a good alternative at the moment.


I think writing them down is good… but I don’t necessarily recommend writing the radicals.

Just the kanji and vocabulary would be useful.

(Note: you may want to search the forums for other similar posts on this topic)


Extra practice is always helpful with remembering - wether it is a good time investment very much depends on you and your goals.


Yah, I kind of feel bad starting a new topic, I searched but I couldn’t really find one. Do you have one you could link?

It is a good idea to write them down while you’re waiting. As you progress, you’ll have more to do, so it doesn’t hurt to look ahead and write down at least the kanji for the next level. Then if you’re learning for the first time, they won’t be entirely unfamiliar to you.

The other thing I recommend is making flashcards. Sure there’s Anki and Self Study userscripts you can use to study on your downtime, but you can take a set of flashcards with you. I keep a set of the previous level in my car to review so I don’t forget them while learning new words. Your phone has limited battery and data, but cards don’t so they’re convenient!

And if you want to take it a step further, I recommend writing each kanji and word multiple times. It’s not only good for memory, but if you want to be able to write someday, it’s good practice.

For kanji writing, I suggest to pay attention to stroke order from the start. Once you learn the rules and patterns, the stroke order makes sense, and you will generally produce more natural looking kanji this way. Since more complicated kanji are often created as combination of simpler ones, starting writing in the beginning is a good foundation.

Tofugu has good but longish article on the matter: https://www.tofugu.com/japanese/kanji-stroke-order/

Jisho has animation for stroke order on kanji pages, for example https://jisho.org/search/%E6%9C%88%20%23kanji
and there is a userscript as well: https://community.wanikani.com/t/userscript-stroke-order-diagram/46724

Finally, you can print practice sheets per level on Kanji.sh | Download Kanji worksheets for all Wanikani levels


I write all of the vocab and kanji down and I have been doing it since about level 4! I have found it to be beneficial for a number of reasons: kanji stroke order has become much more intuitive (I can usually guess the stroke order of unknown kanji now), I am forced to pay closer attention to how the kanji looks (helpful for some of the very similar kanji), and my handwriting has gotten better. I also just enjoy handwriting Japanese! If you do decide to write everything down, I second using the stroke order script mentioned above.

However, this does take longer. I don’t mind because I have lifetime and I’m not worried about going fast, but you may want to consider this especially if you subscribe.


i think it’s great that you’re writing
i also think writing the radicals is actually a good idea because they are the building blocks of kanji but easier to remember
i only do the kanji and i write with my finger rather than on paper (extreme laziness)

at the very lease, it’s good for learning and if you plan on knowing how to write then it’s a head start.

What I basically mean, is I would also written the definitions, and mnemonics down. I just wonder if that’s too much almost

I’d advise against wasting your time writing the mnemonics.

aaahh, i see. well since the mnemonics are meant to eventually be forgotten, maybe that’s a bit much but everyone is different. for example, i know i don’t forget the mnemonics compared to most others here from what i’ve read. not as fast for sure.

it really depends on how you feel comfortable learning. it takes time to write all this so unless it is necessary to for you to remember the reading and meaning, you could try skipping writing that part and keep it to the rad/kanji/vocab with their meaning. you could have hint to mnemonics in pencil on the side maybe if it helps but i don’t think you should commit those to memory.

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Once I got to level 13 I had to write everything down or I forget everything. If I get a review wrong I write it down too.
It will take longer though.


Yah, I think that’s what I’ll do, I think after around, 2 days of starting I didn’t need the mnemonics. I’ll probably just write down the definitions, vocab, readings, and maybe, the radicals.

that’s interesting!

people learn differently. some people almost need to write to remember something, whether it’s a habit or a genuine brain thing doesn’t matter. i think whatever works should be the right thing to do at the individual level.

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