The Kanshudo Blog

Welcome to the Kanshudo blog! The most recent entries are displayed here; click on any headline to read the full post. Older posts are linked from the bottom of the page.
Search the blog using Site search. Enter 'blog' as one of your keywords to restrict your search to blog posts. For example: blog blog kanji blog grammar
You may also be interested in recent additions to our reference library of Japanese grammar and POI (points of interest).
Posted: 2022-09-26, Tags: updates whatsnew topics textbooks
We hope you are enjoying our new Topic Lessons! We're continuing to add new lessons, as well as new games and features to the lessons themselves. Since launch we've already added three new lessons:
Introducing yourself NEW!
The 23 wards of Tokyo NEW!
If you've tried the Topic Lessons, you'll have seen several new games featured: Image Match, Kanshudo Cloze, and Audio Spell, as well as the new multiple choice quiz format. We're working on several more new games, and we are aiming to have all the games playable independently, with Boost, and with flashcard sets. Stay tuned!
If you have any feedback or suggestions on our games, we'd love to hear from you. Additionally, we're prioritizing new Topic Lessons according to requests, so if there's anything you'd like to see a Topic Lesson on, please let us know.
Since our last update we've added 14 new grammar points and POIs and updated 56 more.
Additionally, our partner Joy o' Kanji has published 11 new in-depth kanji essays:
Although it's largely 'behind the scenes', we are constantly working on our library of Japanese example sentences, which now contains 156,500 fully parsed, de-conjugated, and translated sentences. Our ultimate goal is to have at least one sentence for every word, conjugation, and even meaning in our dictionary. We're already well on the way - we have examples for the vast majority of the most useful words in Japanese. So far in 2022, we have added 1059 new example sentences, and updated an additional 6583!
We've recently added a new feature in the 'details' display of an example: when an example is linked to a grammar point, we include highlighting of the word(s) relevant to the grammar point. See here for an example (no pun intended!).
Finally, we've added a new Textbook Companion to accompany two of the books in the excellent Practical Kanji series: Practical Kanji 700 I and Practical Kanji 700 II, for intermediate learners. We highly recommend these textbooks, as the readings they include cover a range of topical and useful material in depth.
Happy Japanese studying!

Posted: 2022-08-17, Tags: lessons topics games
We are very excited to introduce a huge new part of the Kanshudo system for learning Japanese: Topic Lessons. Lessons are available for all levels of learner, on topics of interest concerning the Japanese language, society, culture and geography.
Each topic lesson is unique, with a mix of video, audio, comprehension quizzes, readings and study games designed specifically to help you learn the lesson material effectively:
  • New video and audio tools add additional immersion to your study.
  • Our new instant search feature lets you look up any word or phrase without leaving the page.
  • Our new text, picture and audio multiple-choice quiz format will help you develop your ability to comprehend material quickly.
  • Three new games focus on key study techniques - Kanshudo Cloze challenges you to identify the correct word from similar alternatives, such as the right particle or the right counter; Audio Spell requires you to listen to words and phrases and then spell them out; Image Match asks you to match words with pictures that represent them.
  • Lessons also feature many of our other games, including Word Match, Sentence Builder, Kanji Draw and more.
We're launching with 16 topic lessons, including beginner topics such as directions, colors and particles; intermediate topics such as an introduction to a very popular novel,
, the plum blossom, and Japanese festivals. There are advanced level lessons on the tea ceremony, and on the tremendously popular manga / anime,
. We will be releasing new topic lessons regularly from now on, and we'd love to hear any topics you'd like a lesson for.
Topic Lessons are available in the STUDY menu by default along with the Beginner or Intermediate Lessons, or the Textbook Companion. (We've updated the lesson preference so you can now study as many lesson types as you like in parallel. You can edit your lesson preference in the new Lesson index, or in the study settings section of your Account page.) Topic Lessons will also appear in your study recommendations on your Dashboard. Additionally, you can simply search for lessons in Quick Search from the top right of any page - for example, try a search for directions.

Posted: 2022-06-28, Tags: flashcards updates whatsnew quickstudy betas topics
As usual we've been hard at work making improvements and adding features to Kanshudo. To make it easier to find them, here's a quick summary!
Topic Lessons beta
The biggest news is that a major new feature we have been working very hard on is now in beta: Topic Lessons. We have about 30 intrepid learners testing the new lessons and format, and we really appreciate their help. If you would like to try the beta yourself, please let us know.
Additionally, if you have any social media expertise and are interested in helping us develop our social media strategy for the lessons, we'd love to hear from you. Please reach out.
The new lessons are a huge upgrade for Kanshudo - they introduce audio, video, a new 'instant search' feature for text, a new multiple choice quiz format, several new games (Kanshudo Cloze, Image Match, Audio Spell), and of course lots of new learning material. The lessons use an extremely flexible format: each one can include any combination of study material / games / audio / video in a custom order, so each lesson can be uniquely tailored to the content and the intended study level. We're very excited about the new lessons, and we hope you will be too!
Quick Study
Quick Study is a great way to study on Kanshudo: you can create quick tests from almost anything in the system. You can use Quick Study to find what you don't know and need to work on, or you can use it to reinforce material you already know.
We've added a few more features that make Quick Study even more powerful:
  • You can now Quick Study cards in one or all of your flashcard sets based on date added (visit the Quick Study index and look in the flashcards section, or visit the details page for any of your flashcard sets and look in the Quick Study section).
  • When you use Quick Study for a flashcard set, you can now modify your settings directly on the page.
  • When you use Quick Study with words, you can optionally restrict by mastery level - this is a fantastic way to find words you don't know, or practice words you do.
Together, these features help you use the 'list-based' approach to study, which many learners find more effective than spaced repetition alone. (Kanshudo supports both learning approaches, as well as several other learning styles.)
Joy o' Kanji
We've made it easier to find essays from our partner, Joy o' Kanji. You can now search for essays directly within the Joy o' Kanji essay collection using any of the normal terms you use to search for a kanji. Additionally, when you click the JOK badge that indicates an essay is available, you will now see a new link to enable you to view the essay within the collection.
As usual, Joy o' Kanji has been very busy adding essays, and the following new essays have been produced since our last update:
More miscellaneous improvements
  • In the search options list (the list that appears below the search bar when you click the Quick Search icon on any page), there's now a link directly to your favorites.
    Try it now
  • We've updated the 'Starting Japanese level' (in your Study settings) to be consistent with usefulness levels.
  • The learn / review totals for flashcards are now consistent between the Dashboard and your flashcard index.
  • You can now view words tested in a round of Word Match without leaving the game.
  • Since our last update we've added 8 new grammar points and updated 40 more.
Happy Japanese studying!

Posted: 2022-04-08, Tags: flashcards updates whatsnew
Here's a quick round-up of new features and improvements we've made over the last couple of months. Of course, one of the biggest was covered in our last blog post – the new Kaneko Misuzu section of the Reading Corner, along with the new feature article on her life and works. However, we've also made a host of other improvements, so here's an overview.
Study recommendations and betas
We've added a few new features to our flashcard system:
  • More options for forgotten cards: you can now create sets with only forgotten cards, and can now add forgotten cards directly back to review instead of study
  • Create word flashcards by usefulness + your mastery level: now you can instantly pinpoint words you don't know or want to review
  • Copy flashcards from one flashcard set to another
  • Review flashcards across all sets: in the 'My flashcards' table (below the 'My flashcard sets' table in your flashcard index), there is now a review option, which will enable you to review all your cards without going through them set by set
  • Reprioritize reviews: reviews piling up can be very disheartening, and we can now take care of that for you! The reprioritize function will adjust timing of your reviews so you have a manageable number each day. The reprioritize function will appear automatically on your consolidated flashcard view (accessible underneath the list of sets on your flashcard home page) if needed.
Suitability analysis
We've added a very useful feature to readings in the Reading Corner: a personalized analysis of the words and kanji in a reading, showing you precisely what you know and don't know, and enabling you to create flashcards or a Quick Study session based on your selection. The new 'suitability analysis' is in the 'Kanji and Vocab' section of each reading.
Joy o' Kanji essays
As always our partner Joy o' Kanji continues to produce high quality in-depth essays on individual kanji. In the last few weeks, the following new essays have been added:
Study recommendations and betas
Our AI study recommendations continue to improve, and we are working on a number of features related to how recommendations are chosen, as well as some new recommendations. If you have any suggestions about your study recommendations as you work on your study sessions on your Dashboard, please let us know.
We have several new games and a major new addition to the system approaching beta stage, so if you are interested in helping to test any of our betas, please let us know.

Posted: 2022-03-08, Tags: readings poetry kanekomisuzu kaneko misuzu
We are delighted to announce a major new addition to Kanshudo – the poems of Kaneko Misuzu, one of Japan's most famous and enduring children's poets. Kaneko's poems are a fixture in Japanese schools, and a wonderful way to study Japanese. We are very pleased to have partnered with the creators of Are You an Echo?, a bilingual anthology of Kaneko's works, to bring you some of her works on Kanshudo.
To learn more about Kaneko, start with our detailed feature article on her life and works, Welcome to the magical world of poetry by Kaneko Misuzu! When you're ready, visit the new Kaneko section of the Reading Corner, which features eight of her best-loved poems. As with every study piece in the Reading Corner, you can follow the Japanese at your own pace, with or without furigana or English, and you can quickly tag any words or kanji as favorites for later study.
In addition, you can now watch videos that are automatically synchronized with the poems. Following each sentence in Japanese as you hear it spoken is a great way to improve your listening comprehension and speed up your reading. Videos are currently available for two of the poems: Are You an Echo? and Bee and God.
Because reading material tends to incorporate kanji and words of all difficulty levels, we have added another great new feature: personalized suitability assessments. At the top of the 'kanji and words' section of each reading, you'll see a new table with a summary of the kanji and words used. The table shows you totals of kanji and words that you already know and that are new to you, as well as an assessment of how difficult the material you don't know is compared with your current level. This will help you decide which readings to focus on. We also use these suitability assessments when deciding which readings to show you in your study tasks on your [Dashboard](/dashboard), so you can just sit back and let Kanshudo choose readings for you automatically!
We hope you enjoy these wonderful short pieces by Kaneko Misuzu, and we'd love to hear your impressions!

Kanshudo is your AI Japanese tutor, and your constant companion on the road to mastery of the Japanese language. To get started learning Japanese, just follow the study recommendations on your Dashboard. You can use Quick search (accessible using the icon at the top of every page) to look up any Japanese word, kanji or grammar point, as well as to find anything on Kanshudo quickly. For an overview, take the tour.