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The Kanshudo Blog - older posts

Welcome to the Kanshudo blog! Here you can find older blog posts; the most recent ones are here.

Kanji Wheel improvements

Posted: 2019-04-11 | Tags: mastery kanjimastery kanjiwheel
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Kanshudo's Kanji Wheel is a unique way to visualize your knowledge of kanji. You can instantly see how well you know kanji of all levels of difficulty, and pinpoint what to study next. The Kanji Wheel is a visual representation of your 'kanji mastery', which is also presented as a single score to help you track your progress.
If you're new to Kanshudo's Kanji Wheel and your Kanji Mastery score, check out our detailed guide, or just visit your own personalized wheel to see it for yourself. You can reach your Kanji Wheel by clicking the icon wherever you see it in Kanshudo.
We're delighted to announce several improvements which make the Kanji Wheel even more useful:
  • Overall summary data
  • Simplified scoring mechanism
  • Detailed explanation of your current score
  • Graphical illustration of your progress over time

Overall summary data

Many people have asked for a summary of their overall progress - how many kanji have I fully mastered? How many do I have left to study? We've made this very easy: now, when you visit the Kanji Wheel, you will see an OVERALL PROGRESS panel which shows you exactly where you stand.

Simplified scoring mechanism

We've simplified the way your kanji mastery score is calculated to make it more transparent and easy to understand. Previously we used a 'weighted average' score - different mastery levels would contribute different amounts to your average mastery score for a ring. Now we've made that a simple average - your average mastery is what you would expect: the total of each kanji in the ring multiplied by your mastery of that kanji, divided by the number of kanji in the ring.
For a few users, this means that your score went down a few points. However, we've updated all your historical scores to use the new formula, and since you can now track your score over time visually, you can see your relative progress over time much more easily than you could previously.

Detailed explanation of your current score

To help see what you need to do to improve your score and why it changes the way it does, we now provide a summary of exactly how it is calculated. In the OVERALL PROGRESS panel, click CALCULATION DETAILS.

Graphical illustration of your progress over time

How fast is your kanji knowledge progressing? How long will it be before you have fully mastered the kanji? To help you understand this, we've added a graph showing your progress over time. You can see the most recent year's progress directly from your Kanji Wheel - in the OVERALL PROGRESS panel, click SCORE HISTORY. You can also see a summary of your progress since you began using Kanshudo - you'll find a link in the quick view, or you can reach the full view from your account index. Here's a direct link.
We hope you enjoy these great new features, which are intended to help your kanji studies progress faster and more enjoyably! If you have any feedback please let us know.

Reading Corner updates

Posted: 2019-03-01 | Tags: newfeatures read reading partners satori
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We've made some big improvements to the Reading Corner, Kanshudo's Japanese/English bilingual reading library.
  • We've doubled the number of readings to choose from
  • Readings cover all levels - we have pieces for absolute beginners, beginners, intermediate and advanced!
  • By popular request, we've added some non-fiction pieces, including news extracts
  • We have several pieces by some of Japan's most famous authors
  • The index page has a fresh new look, and you can now filter readings by difficulty level, genre, and your own reading progress
  • You can now create flashcards from the kanji and word lists for each reading
  • You can take a 'Quick Test' for the kanji & words to find out what you already know, and create flashcards only for what you don't
Visit the Reading Corner now to get started!
As always, through our partnership with Satori Reader, you have access to over 450 additional readings, and you can sync your Kanshudo progress.

Obligatory-Gift Chocolate

Posted: 2019-02-12 | Tags: valentine holidays chocolate
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Valentine's Day is a big event in Japan, but the customs are somewhat different to what you might be accustomed to. To help you prepare for a Japanese Valentine's Day, we've added a delightful new bilingual reading to our Reading Corner:
As well as Valentine's Day customs and vocabulary, this piece introduces you to the core Japanese grammatical concept of giving and receiving, covered in depth in our grammar point, あげる, くれる, もらう - giving and receiving.
The Kanshudo Reading Corner is the perfect way to practice your Japanese. It contains short bilingual texts of various levels and styles, designed to introduce you to useful words and grammar in real world contexts. Try to read each sentence in Japanese first, but then check the detailed annotations and grammatical notes to build your knowledge.
To find out more about Valentine's Day in Japan, you can also read our in-depth article, Valentine's Day in Japan.

How to read Japanese kanji

Posted: 2019-01-20 | Tags: studyaids kanji readings
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Ever since we started Kanshudo a few years ago, one of the most consistently requested features has been for help answering questions like this:
  • Which kanji readings should I learn?
  • Which kanji readings are actually important?
  • When a kanji has several readings, how do I know which one to use?
We're delighted to let you know Kanshudo now has the answers! Today we're announcing three major new features: together, they will give you all you need to know to understand how to read kanji.

A comprehensive step by step 'how to' guide: 'Kanshudo's guide to reading Japanese kanji'

Our new guide is a practical step-by-step introduction to kanji readings, with many examples, and simple rules of thumb for determining how to read any word you encounter.

Detailed data for each Jōyō kanji on how important each reading is

We have analyzed every common word for every Jōyō kanji, and created a comprehensive assessment of how useful each reading of each kanji is.
Now, whenever you click on a kanji to get the 'quick view', you will see a summary of usage of each reading.
Plus, you can click through to the kanji's details page, where you'll see a summary of all readings used in all words in Japanese!
To check this out, run a search for a kanji. In the search results, click the blue box to get the quick details, and you'll see the usage summary. For example, try:

Ability to search for words that use a specific reading of a kanji

You can now search for all words that use a specific reading of a kanji. Our new search syntax even lets you search for different variations of the same reading separately.
To use this function, enter a search of the form kanji:reading. For example, try this search for all words that use 本 with reading ほん: 本:ほん
Together, these new tools let you quickly find the most useful words for any reading, so you can get a sense of how important that reading is, and determine how important it is for you to learn.

The Kanshudo Holiday Sale!

Posted: 2018-12-18 | Tags: sales offers
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This has been another big year for Kanshudo, with several major new features and many improvements to the system. To celebrate, we are offering 50% off a one year Pro subscription for a limited time only. Make 2019 the year you master Japanese!
Here are just a few of the improvements we've made this year:
  • Kanshudo Challenge - the most sophisticated way to learn kanji and associated words
  • Inflections and Conjugations - our sophisticated new inflections system analyzes the complex inflections in our sentence reference library, and provides instant conjugation of any word in the dictionary
  • Word Quiz - a great new way to build your vocabulary
  • Reading Corner - a whole new section of the system focused on helping you practice reading, currently with 12 texts, and with 12 more on the way
  • Integration with Satori Reader - customize your Satori Reader experience based on your Kanshudo knowledge
  • Drawing Center - practice drawing hiragana, katakana, and the most common kanji components
  • Site Search - find anything on Kanshudo quickly and easily
  • Grammar Library - now up to nearly 500 articles, comprehensively covering JLPT N5-N3, and steadily covering more of N2 and N1
Kanshudo is *still* only 5c per day at the sale price of $15 for a full year. Kanshudo is unbeatable value given the huge wealth of knowledge and tools Kanshudo puts at your disposal. Here are just a few of the things Pro membership includes:
  • Kanji Mastery - a sophisticated way to track and visualize your entire knowledge of kanji
  • Lessons - suitable for absolute beginners and intermediate learners
  • Games and quizzes - Kanshudo Challenge, Word Quiz, Kanji Quiz, Kanji Builder and much more
  • Mnemonics - over 3500 kanji mnemonics
  • Unlimited flashcards - our flashcard system is the most advanced Japanese flashcard system available, and completely integrated with the whole system: create flashcards for any item with a click, and refer back from a flashcard to the item
  • Dictionaries - reference dictionaries of words, names, kanji, and example sentences
  • Grammar library - an integrated grammar reference library
Act now - we don't do sales too often, and this is the last opportunity to get Kanshudo at this unbelievable price.
Give the gift of Kanshudo! If you know someone who could benefit from Kanshudo, we are now offering gift certificates for one year of Kanshudo Pro access at the sale price of $15. Please contact us for details.

Learn Japanese grammar quickly and easily

Posted: 2018-11-29 | Tags: studyaids grammar search flashcards
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The Kanshudo Japanese Grammar Library now contains nearly 500 articles, with comprehensive coverage of JLPT levels N5, N4 and N3, and growing coverage of N2 and N1. It's one of the best reference guides to Japanese available, and best of all, it's free to access!
Plus, we're excited to announce that your knowledge of each grammar point is now tracked by the Kanshudo system with a 'mastery score' in the same way as your kanji knowledge. You can view your mastery of all Japanese grammar at a glance from your personal grammar mastery summary.
Additionally a new 'usefulness' rating shows you how important every grammar point in the system is for you to learn, and lets you focus your efforts on your current knowledge level.
We've also expanded our grammar flashcards system: you can now create flashcards with one click for all grammar points in a JLPT or usefulness level. You can also create a new flashcard or jump straight to an existing one directly from a grammar point.
Our sophisticated inflections and conjugations analyzer links back to the grammar library, so when you study an example sentence, you can quickly read more about any of the inflections and conjugations it uses.
Find any of these pages and features quickly using Kanshudo Site Search:

Kanshudo Drawing Practice Center

Posted: 2018-09-07 | Tags: hiragana katakana components drawing
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Introducing the Drawing Practice Center: a new system which lets you practice drawing hiragana, katakana, and the most common kanji components quickly and easily.
Writing kana and kanji yourself is without a doubt one of the most effective ways to learn. Our system lets you work steadily through the three most important areas - hiragana (for writing grammar), katakana (for loan words), and components (from which all kanji are made up). You can show or hide each character as a reference, and view an animation to see the correct sequence. As you draw, your strokes 'snap' to their correct locations, and incorrect strokes are highlighted.
Best of all, the Drawing Practice Center is completely free! Visit the Drawing Practice Center to get started.

Introducing Kanshudo Word Quiz

Posted: 2018-08-28 | Tags: games study features quiz
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We are very excited to announce a brand new way to build and test your Japanese vocabulary: Kanshudo Word Quiz.
  • In high score mode, graded questions start easy and get progressively more difficult (more complex words, more similar alternative answers) to test your current knowledge.
  • In vocab builder mode, choose a difficulty level to focus on, and build your vocabulary.
  • On completion each quiz shows you all questions and answers for easy review, and one click study.
  • Works well on mobile as well as larger screens so you can study on the go!
  • Your quiz scores are used to customize your Kanshudo experience and help us understand how to help you learn Japanese more effectively.
  • Your past quizzes are also available for you to review and track your progress.
Take a word quiz now and build your Japanese vocabulary!

More flashcard improvements

Posted: 2018-08-09 | Tags: flashcards studyaids newfeatures
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We've made some more great improvements to the flashcard system recently. Here's a quick summary:
  • Snooze a set: you can now 'snooze' an entire set. Once snoozed, the set's totals won't appear in your overall summary or statistics. Sometimes a set just gets away from you, and now you don't have to get bogged down with material that's not core to your focus.
  • Sort sets and cards: you can now change the order of cards within a set, and the order of all your sets.
  • Move cards: move one or more cards to another of your flashcard sets.
  • Delete multiple cards: you can now select multiple cards for deletion at the same time.
  • Examples: you can already create flashcards for example sentences by tagging them as favorites (in the same way as kanji, words and grammar points). You can now create flashcards for all examples used in beginner lessons automatically!
Our goal is to provide the most effective Japanese language flashcard experience available, and we hope you like these improvements. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know.
Kanshudo flashcards are free to use - just log in (or register) and get started! Create flashcards automatically from beginner lessons, intermediate lessons, or kanji / word collections. Import your own kanji or word lists. Visit your flashcard home page to view your sets and statistics. Read the how to guide for many more options and features.

Japan's Marine Day holiday - umi no hi (海の日)

Posted: 2018-07-13 | Tags: featurearticles pointsofinterest customs
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Read our new point of interest article on the forthcoming 海の日, one of Japan's 16 annual public holidays!
As with all our feature articles, you can see vocabulary and kanji listed so you can quickly and easily tag any you need as favorites to study.

Introducing inflections

Posted: 2018-05-23 | Tags: tools newfeatures grammar
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Inflections - modified forms of verbs and adjectives - are one of the most complex parts of Japanese. Verbs alone have several basic conjugations, and many more complex forms, each of which can often be 'stacked' on top of each other. Understanding how a word is composed of these forms is one of the great challenges in learning Japanese.
Now Kanshudo has introduced several tools that make this much easier! You can now see inflected forms of any word with one click directly from search results. You can also now see what forms are used to make the inflected words in our over 150,000 example sentences, with links directly to the Grammar Library.
For more details on using these new features, see our new 'how to' guide, Understanding inflections and conjugations.

Read real Japanese with Kanshudo and Satori Reader

Posted: 2018-03-19 | Tags: newfeatures read reading partners satori
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We are delighted to announce some exciting new developments designed to help you with a critical aspect of learning Japanese: reading.
Our new Reading Corner showcases short extracts you can work through on Kanshudo, in a variety of genres. Clicking on each sentence in the extract provides you with the familiar Kanshudo view of words and kanji, as well as links to grammar points. Each extract also includes a short introduction, and a words and kanji section where you can study the material introduced in one place.
To really supercharge your reading practice, we’ve partnered with Satori Reader ⇗, the leading system for Japanese reading practice. Satori Reader has a sophisticated user interface focused on helping you to read effectively, which customizes the way each sentence is presented based on what you already know. The system includes over 300 articles, many of which are in series, so you can get to know the characters and themes, and reuse the vocabulary introduced.
We’ve set things up so your kanji knowledge on Kanshudo is automatically synchronized with Satori Reader! Best of all, Satori Reader has provided a coupon which will give you 20% off your first three months (save $5.40) or 15% off a full year (save $13.35)! For more information, see our how to guide for instructions.

The Kanshudo Nearly New Year Sale!

Posted: 2018-01-31 | Tags: offers
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To celebrate the launch of our exciting new Challenge feature, we are holding a 'nearly new year' sale: 50% off Pro membership for an entire year! Only $15 - less than 5 cents per day - gives you full access to the most sophisticated Japanese learning system available. Make a commitment to improve your Japanese today! Kanshudo Pro is incredible value at full price: this sale price offers unbeatable value.
Take advantage of this fantastic offer now:  Give me 50% off Kanshudo Pro!
The big news around Kanshudo is our new Challenge feature, which we have been working on quietly for many months. Challenges are an extremely effective way to master kanji and words, based on several years of research into the most effective way to teach Japanese. Each Challenge consists of a series of games and exercises built around a kanji, its most useful words, and examples that use the words in context. We are confident that Kanshudo Challenge is the most effective system available for students of Japanese at all levels.
Take the Kanshudo Challenge now!  Challenge
We have introduced a *lot* of new features and changes on Kanshudo over the past year. To help you get caught up, here's a quick overview:
  • Challenge (of course) - the most sophisticated way to learn kanji and associated words
  • Kanshudo for study groups - if you are a teacher or study with others, Kanshudo has discounts and other benefits for you (contact us for details)
  • Many improvements to flashcards, including visual statistics, flashcards from example sentences and grammar points
  • A whole new Kanji Draw system to help you practice drawing kanji - now with options to 'snap' correct strokes and eliminate incorrect strokes - try drawing to see it in action
  • Grammar library - a growing reference library of Japanese grammar
  • Kanji Builder - our most popular game
  • Sentence Complete - our second most popular game
  • Sentence analyze / translate - analyze whole Japanese sentences (and get English translations) or word lists in one go!
  • Vocab usefulness - a comprehensive ranking of every word in Japanese so you can prioritize your studies
  • Integration with Kanji Map and Joy o' Kanji
  • Lots more ...
Act now! Our sale is only available for a limited time, and as you know, we don't do sales or promotions too often.
Sign me up!  Give me 50% off!

Introducing the Kanshudo Challenge

Posted: 2018-01-24 | Tags: newfeatures studyaids
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Today we are delighted to introduce a major new feature on Kanshudo: the Kanshudo Challenge!
Kanshudo Challenge has been in development for many months, and is the result of several years of study into the most effective way to teach kanji and words. We are confident that Kanshudo Challenge is the most sophisticated system available for studying kanji and Japanese vocabulary. Not only is Kanshudo Challenge extremely effective, it is fun, and fast.
Take the Kanshudo Challenge now! Challenge
A Challenge consists of a series of games and exercises built around a kanji, its most useful words, and examples that use the words in context. The exercises are designed to use different learning styles to help reinforce your memory in different ways. Each Challenge is unique, with a different combination of material and tests, so you can take multiple different Challenges for the same kanji. A Challenge takes just a few minutes, so it is something you can do every day.
The best way to use Challenges is to choose a current study set - a group of kanji to focus on. On Kanshudo, kanji are divided into several key groups called rings, and each ring is divided into study sets. Choose a study set by reviewing the kanji yourself, or take the Quiz to let Kanshudo help you choose. Once you have chosen a study set, you can create a new Challenge any time just by clicking the Challenge icon in the main navigation menu at the top right of any page. Take a Challenge every day to make steady progress!
Even better: Challenges build your Kanji Mastery score, and generate Study Points!
For more information, see our detailed Challenge how to guide.

Introducing Sentence Translate

Posted: 2017-11-16 | Tags: newfeatures search translation
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We are delighted to introduce a new tool on Kanshudo: Sentence Translate / Analyze.
  • Enter full sentences: Kanshudo will provide an English translation (using Google's latest neural machine translation engine), and break the sentence down into its constituent words.
  • Enter a list of words: Kanshudo will analyze each word independently and provide you with the details of each word and the kanji it uses all on a single page.
All results are displayed in Kanshudo's familiar format, with buttons to play audio, view data on the usefulness of each word, or add it to your favorites. You can also click any word or kanji to get more details and example sentences.

Major improvements to flashcards

Kanshudo's flashcard system has received a host of improvements in the last few weeks. We've made some big changes under the hood which have improved speed and responsiveness tremendously, and we've added a whole bunch of visible improvements too.
Here's a round-up:
  • Speed: flashcards are now much smoother and faster ... the new experience should be very pleasant.
  • Animations: a new flashing status bar confirms with color-coding how you scored each card.
  • Statistics charts: for individual sets and all your flashcards. See when cards will come up for review, and overall learned status of your cards.
  • Icon: we've made it bolder and easier to spot.
  • Answer type: a new study mode: type one of the readings of a word in either romaji or hiragana.
  • Anki import: many of you love Anki, and so do we, but you want the integration with dictionaries, games and study tools that Kanshudo provides. Now you can have the best of both worlds!
  • Smart Import: automatically match your imported cards with words in the Kanshudo system, so you can take advantage of example sentences, answer type mode etc.
  • Updated how to guide: our comprehensive guide covers all the various import options.
  • Saved preferences: save your preferences (for answer type mode, reverse study mode, and flip animation) so that each flashcard session starts the way you like it. Modify your default preferences from your account page, and your preferences for the current session from the flashcard page itself.
  • Download / export: any of your flashcard sets, any time.
We hope you like these improvements! Our goal is to make Kanshudo your constant daily companion as you learn Japanese, and flashcards are a big party of daily study for most people. We aim to provide the best Japanese language flashcard experience available.
Get started making some flashcards on Kanshudo today by taking a beginner or intermediate lesson, or automatically creating cards from a kanji / word collection. Read the how to guide for many more options. Visit your flashcard home page to view your sets and statistics.
Kanshudo flashcards are free to use - just log in (or register) and get started!

Create flashcards from example sentences!

Posted: 2017-08-31 | Tags: features favorites flashcards examples
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Today we've introduced a great new feature: you can now tag any example sentence in Kanshudo as a favorite (e.g. from example search, the details view when you click on a word in quick search, or from intermediate lessons). Then, from your favorites home, you can create flashcards for the sentences.
Flashcards display the sentence (without any furigana or readings) on the front so you can practice trying to read it. On the back, you'll see the full reading, the English, and the usual Kanshudo display for sentences, with details of each word used, and kanji in our cascading kanji format.
Studying sentences is a very powerful way to lock words and kanji in your mind. By seeing them in context, your mind has a lot more to associate them with, and the more you can link new knowledge to what you already know, the easier it is to remember.

Our guest article on Tofugu

Posted: 2017-08-28 | Tags: articles partners tofugu
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A guest article on studying Japanese by our founder, Jonathan Kirk, was published recently on Tofugu, one of the leading blogs on all things Japanese. Read about Jonathan's personal journey to kanji mastery!
"This one might be one of the most helpful of this series so far!"
Benjamin C.

Kanji component visualizations from The Kanji Map

Posted: 2017-08-10 | Tags: partners visualization
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We're delighted to announce another great collaboration: visualizations of kanji components from The Kanji Map. From the details pages of about 3000 kanji (including most Jōyō and Jinmeiyō), you can explore an interactive visualization of the kanji with its components. The great thing about The Kanji Map is that you can explore each component directly - clicking on a component transforms the display to show you kanji using that component. And, each kanji links back to Kanshudo, so you can move backwards and forwards between Kanshudo and The Kanji Map. Use Kanshudo for kanji and word lookup, bookmarking and flashcards, and use The Kanji Map to find more kanji to learn!
Here's a simple example. Check out the
/kanji/漢
details page for 漢 on Kanshudo
. In the components section, you'll see a link to The Kanji Map. Click on the link, and you'll see the representation in the image at the top of this post.
Clicking on 'the husband with the grass mouth' component, 𦰩, instantly shows you all three Jōyō kanji that use it. Clicking any of those three kanji gives you the details, along with links back to Kanshudo. As well as being visually pleasing, The Kanji Map gives you a sense of how many kanji really use a component - it's a great way to 'get a feel' for a component.
Pro tip: on Kanshudo, you can search for all kanji which use a component using the 'component search' feature in the quick or details view of any kanji. For example, here's a
/searchcg?q=𦰩
component search for 𦰩
.

Kanji Builder featured on Joy o' Kanji!

Posted: 2017-07-31 | Tags: partners kanji
Kanji Builder, along with a conversation with our founder Jonathan Kirk, was featured on Joy o' Kanji, the kanji 'deep dive' website. Joy o' Kanji's founder, Eve Kushner, writes about her thoughts on how Kanji Builder can help you learn kanji, and on learning generally. Here's a direct link to the article - Kanji Builder on Kanshudo.
Try Kanji Builder for yourself! It's a great way to help you learn kanji, and it's a lot of fun.
Visit our Joy o' Kanji kanji collections for direct links to Joy o' Kanji's essays, or explore their site directly.

Try our addictive new game: Kanji Builder

Posted: 2017-07-25 | Tags: games newfeatures addictive
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Warning: this is a highly addictive way to learn kanji!
Build kanji from their components: choose the correct components from the supplied list, and drag them to the correct places on the grid. Set your preferred difficulty level, and then play in study mode or high score mode. Kanji Builder is very challenging, but it is one of the best ways we have found to cement kanji in your mind!
Jump right in and play, set your preferences, or read the how to guide.

New game: Sentence Complete

Posted: 2017-06-27 | Tags: games
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One of our most popular lesson games, Sentence Complete, is now available to play standalone! Sentence Complete is a fun way to test and expand your vocabulary while practicing reading real Japanese sentences.
You are shown a sentence with a few blanks where kanji should be, and you're given a selection of kanji to choose from. Drag the correct kanji over the blanks to complete the sentence. You have five 'lives' - incorrect kanji choices; try to complete as many sentences as you can before you run out of lives!
If you are just getting started, try some simple sentences. Or try something more complex if you've been studying for a while. If you're up for a challenge, try something fiendish! You can set your difficulty range manually any time. Sentence difficulty is based on Kanshudo usefulness level - set your default usefulness preference in your account page.

How to prioritize Japanese vocabulary effectively

We are delighted to announce a key new component to the Kanshudo system: a simple and effective way to prioritize your vocabulary studies.
One of the keys to learning vocabulary is to focus on words that are most useful for you. However, this is not easy: if you look up a word, how do you know whether you should learn it or not? You may encounter many more words than you have time to learn - how do you know which ones to study?
Now Kanshudo can give you the answers. Based on the most comprehensive analysis of contemporary Japanese usage undertaken, we have classified all 260,000 words in our system by 'usefulness', and ranked each one with a score of 1-12. For every word with multiple forms, we have determined which form is the most useful, and for every word with multiple readings, we have determined which is most common. The details of our methodology are set out in depth in our comprehensive new guide, How to prioritize Japanese words to study.
Using the usefulness score, we can now help you focus on precisely the words you need to study. Now when you look up words, Kanshudo can automatically help you study flashcards for the most useful words first. You can use Quick Study to identify words at a specific usefulness level that you don't know, and create flashcards with one click. Or you can play Word Match as a fun way to identify words at your level that you don't know. If you prefer to get the big picture, you can view or download some or all of the most useful 10,000 words in Japanese (sorted into batches of 100, prioritized by usefulness) from our 102 new collections: The most useful 10,000 words in Japanese.
However you choose to study, Kanshudo's goal is to make it easy, efficient and fun for you to learn Japanese. Learning the most useful words first will give you a tremendous advantage.

New vocab collections: Routledge 5000

Posted: 2017-05-02 | Tags: vocabulary collections routledge
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Use Kanshudo to study and track your progress with the Routledge 5000 list! The Routledge frequency list of Japanese words is a set of 5000 of the most commonly used words in Japanese curated by Routledge, a respected British academic publisher.
If you are studying Japanese with any of the Routledge textbooks, you can now use Kanshudo alongside. As with all our kanji and vocab collections, you can quickly create flashcards, use quick study, tag favorites or download the data.
Access the 50 Routledge collections here: Routledge 5000.

Our comprehensive new guide to writing Japanese

Posted: 2017-04-19 | Tags: hiragana katakana strokes stroke_order
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We are delighted to introduce our new 'how to' guide to writing Japanese, which introduces you to the standard strokes used to draw all kanji, provides simple rules to help you determine kanji stroke order, and introduces the differences between different styles of writing. It's also available as a PDF! Check out our new guide here: The Kanshudo complete guide to writing Japanese.
Additionally, we have added a great new feature: you can now practice drawing any kanji (as well as hiragana and katakana). Access the new drawing practice tool with one click from any kanji. Our new drawing practice tool lets you overlay your drawing on a reference model, check your stroke counts, and lets you step back and delete strokes you need to fix.
We've also added drawing practice to our popular hiragana and katakana guides, to complement the free flashcards. Now you can practice both writing and recognizing hiragana and katakana.
You can access the drawing practice tool easily in two ways:
  • From the 'cascading kanji' view - whenever you see a kanji in cascading kanji format (the form that shows a kanji summary, with its components in rows below it), just click on the kanji. This will display some additional details without taking you to a new page, and you will see a Draw link.
  • From the kanji details view - you will see a new 'Draw' link in the top right, just next to the Favorites star.
Here are some direct links to kanji drawing pages to get you started:
/kanji/draw/漢
/kanji/draw/習
/kanji/draw/道

Study the most important Japanese words first!

Posted: 2017-03-17 | Tags:
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Continuing our theme of making it easier to learn Japanese vocabulary, we've made several great improvements to Search and Flashcards. It's now even easier to use Kanshudo as your primary Japanese/English English/Japanese dictionary, your primary Japanese flashcard program, or both!
  • One of the hardest challenges for Japanese learners is knowing which form of a word to learn. Some Japanese words can be written in as many as ten different forms, and the same form can often be read in different ways. Ordinarily when you look them up in a dictionary, you are just shown them all in a list. Not Kanshudo!
Kanshudo now includes frequency data on every form of each word, and frequency data for each reading. We prioritize the order of the forms and readings we show you based on frequency, and give you information on relative importance of each form. Now you can focus on learning the most useful forms of words!
  • You can tag any form of a word as a Favorite, enabling you to learn that specific form. If a word is commonly encountered in kana only, you can tag the kana form as a favorite.
A major problem with most Japanese dictionaries is that they force you to learn kanji you're not ready for, or all forms of a word at once. Kanshudo makes it much easier for you to learn words by letting you study the form you actually encountered!
  • Word definitions are now displayed in a much more dictionary-like form, with part of speech information, and different senses clearly separated.
  • Now when you click on a word, you see additional information and example sentences without leaving the search screen.
  • Search with romaji!
  • Results in Quick Search are now much better prioritized.
Check out these great new features in Quick search - run the examples provided, or try your own search.
In Flashcards, we've added a new option (on by default) to enable you to study flashcards in order of 'usefulnesss'. In other words, if you have a set of kanji, vocab or grammar flashcards, or any mix, Kanshudo will automatically choose the most important cards for you to study first.
This is an incredibly valuable feature if you are picking up words to study from things you read. It's not uncommon as a Japanese learner to have to look up tens or hundreds of words in a newspaper or magazine article - even thousands of words for a novel. How do you decide which of those words to learn? If you learn the less common ones, you're much more likely to forget them. Kanshudo now handles this automatically for you - enabling you to study the right words for your level of Japanese.
Plus, creating flashcards from your Favorites has been improved greatly, with a new wizard which lets you choose what type of favorites to import, select a set to import to, and automatically clear your favorites once the import has finished.

New scientific study shows superiority of mnemonics for memorization

Posted: 2017-03-10 | Tags: mnemonics memory
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A new scientific study1 showed that using mnemonics, the main memory technique underlying Kanshudo's approach to teaching the kanji, a group of ordinary people became as skilled at remembering information as competitive "memory athletes". The study, published in Neuron by scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Germany, analyzed the brains of competitive memory athletes using fMRI brain imaging, and then compared the brains of a group of 'normal' individuals before and after training with mnemonic memory techniques. After six weeks of training, their test results were dramatically improved (in some cases almost doubled2), and their fMRI results showed distributed organizational changes in their brains matching the memory athletes. It's official: mnemonics not only improve memory; they can literally improve your brain!

Mnemonics - one of the oldest memory tools known

Mnemonic imagery as a learning aid was in use as far back as Ancient Greece3. Cicero wrote of a legend in which the poet and wise man Simonides was fortunate enough to step out of a banquet hall just before the roof collapsed, and was afterwards able to identify those who were not so lucky by consulting a mental map he had made of their faces. In Roman times, the technique evolved into the 'method of loci' 4, in which objects to be remembered are placed at loci (places) in a mental map of a physical location. In modern times this technique is often referred to as the 'memory palace' 5.
For most people, mnemonics are more familiar in the form of simple acronyms to help remember commonplace sequences, such as Every Good Boy Deserves Favor to illustrate the notes of the lines of the treble clef, E-G-B-D-F. More generally, a mnemonic is a means of encoding information to be remembered within something - an image, a phrase, an existing memory - that can be more easily remembered.

Using mnemonics to learn kanji

In Kanshudo, we apply this technique to learning the kanji. One of the hardest aspects of the kanji for learners who grew up with an alphabetical native language is the sheer number of symbols to be memorized - the Jōyō kanji ('daily use kanji') is a list of 2136; most Japanese adults know 3000 or more. This is a daunting task! But mnemonics make the task much simpler.
Most kanji are formed from a combination of simpler elements ('components'). Many of these components are very simple, very common, and very easy to learn - for example, 一 ('one'), 丨('stick'), or 口 ('mouth'). As you study, you will rapidly get to the point where you know many components, simply because they come up so frequently.
Kanshudo takes these simpler elements and combines them into a mnemonic - a simple, easy-to-remember phrase that ties together the meanings of the components with the meaning of the more complex kanji. So now when you learn a new kanji, you get a double benefit: you know the new kanji, and you have also refreshed your memory of the components that form it. This technique is extremely powerful, because the more you know, the easier it becomes to learn more.

Get started!

To read more about the use of mnemonics in Kanshudo, see our system overview, or read our detailed guide How to learn the kanji. When you are ready, take a Beginner Lesson, or if you already know some kanji, try the Quiz. You can also study kanji components directly using Kanshudo - see our collection of the 50 most common or our comprehensive collection of all components used in the Jōyō kanji.

Japan's annual doll festival - hinamatsuri(雛祭り)

Posted: 2017-03-01 | Tags: featurearticles pointsofinterest customs
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Read our new
/poi/hinamatsuri
feature article on the forthcoming 雛祭り
, one of Japan's great annual festivals.
As with all our feature articles, you can see vocabulary and kanji listed so you can quickly and easily tag any you need as favorites to study.

New vocab collections: iKnow! Core 6000

Posted: 2017-02-27 | Tags: vocabulary collections
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Next in our series of new vocabulary study features: the iKnow! Core 6000 vocab list. You can now use Kanshudo to study and track your progress with the iKnow! list of 6000 of the most useful words in Japanese. Use flashcards, quick study, tag favorites or download the data.
The iKnow! list of 6000 core Japanese words is a great framework for focusing your vocab studies. The series is designed to give you vocabulary from absolute beginner to relative expert level. In Kanshudo the list is divided into an ordered series of 60 collections so you easily prioritize. If you are studying the iKnow! list, you can now use all the power of the Kanshudo system to make your studies more effective and enjoyable.
Access the 60 iKnow! collections here: iKnow! Core 6000.

Build your Japanese vocabulary with Kanshudo

Posted: 2017-01-31 | Tags: vocabulary newfeatures flashcards jlpt
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This year Kanshudo will be introducing a series of features to help you power up your Japanese vocabulary. Today we're announcing the first big improvement: the JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) vocabulary collections, covering a total of 8,183 of the most useful words in Japanese.
As with all our collections, you can use quick study, tag favorites or create flashcards automatically, or just download the data.
The collections are ordered into five sets, corresponding to the five levels of the JLPT - N5 (easiest) through N1. Within each JLPT set, the words are further ordered by 'usefulness' - the most useful words coming higher. So if you study the words in the order presented, you know for sure you are learning vocabulary that will be most valuable to you first. (We'll be explaining more about usefulness soon ... stay tuned!)
We now tag all words in the collections with JLPT badges when they appear in search results, so you can quickly see which variant of a word is needed for the JLPT.
Access the vocab collections here: Kanshudo's JLPT vocabulary collections.

New Core Collections

Posted: 2017-01-03 | Tags: kanji collections reference
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We're excited to announce a new set of kanji collections on Kanshudo: our 'core' collections. We've collected and organized full sets of:
  • Kyōiku (the 1006 kanji taught in Japanese school grades 1-6, organized by the grade in which they're taught)
  • Secondary (the additional 1130 kanji taught in middle & high school)
  • Jōyō (the full set of 2136 'daily use' kanji - the Kyōiku + Secondary)
  • Jinmeiyō (the additional 862 kanji allowed for use in Japanese names)
  • JLPT (the Jōyō kanji organized by the 5 levels of the JLPT)
  • Jōyō added in 2010 (helpful for anyone who began studying kanji before that!)
  • Kyōiku to be added in 2020 (get a head start!)
Kanji in most sets are organized by frequency, so you can study the most useful first. For the first time ever, the Jinmeiyō kanji have been ordered by actual frequency of use in Japanese names - so if you have mastered the Jōyō and are ready for the next challenge (such as the Kanji Kentei), you can prioritize your work effectively.
For each collection, we have introduced several standardized study features:
  • Quick Study - jump right in and study a set
  • Create Flashcards - create cards for organized ongoing study
  • View my Mastery - a new feature: view your mastery for all kanji in the collection in one easy place!
  • Download - download kanji data in tabular format for export to another flashcard program such as Anki
Study the Kanshudo Collections now!

The Kanshudo Holiday Sale!

Posted: 2016-12-16 | Tags: offers
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Save 50% on a Kanshudo Pro subscription!
What could better Japanese bring you in 2017?
A new job in Japan?
A magical travel experience?
Deeper relationships with Japanese friends?
Kanshudo can help you realize your Japanese dream. Kanshudo is the fastest and most enjoyable way to learn written Japanese. Master kanji, hiragana and katakana, along with Japanese grammar and vocabulary. Kanshudo is effective, fast and fun.
Act now to set yourself up for success in 2017: Kanshudo's Christmas sale gives you 50% off Pro membership for an entire year! Only $15 - less than 5 cents per day - brings you full access to our beginner and intermediate lessons, our textbook companion, unlimited flashcards and many more great features.
Take advantage of this very special Christmas offer now: Give me 50% off!

Introducing the Kanshudo Japanese Grammar Library

Posted: 2016-12-12 | Tags: newfeatures studyaids grammar search
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We're excited to announce another major new element of the Kanshudo system for learning Japanese: a searchable grammar reference library.
Currently the library contains about 200 articles, covering all grammar used in the JLPT levels N5 and N4, with a smattering of N3-N1. We are adding more articles every day.
You can browse various overview articles listing grammar by category, and the library is searchable in either English or Japanese.
Best of all, you can 'favorite' grammar articles in the same way as kanji or words. Grammar articles you've favorited appear in your favorites list, and can be used for Quick Study or Flashcards just like your other favorites.
You can also provide instant feedback, or let us know if anything doesn't make sense, using the quick link at the bottom of every grammar article.
Grammar search can be accessed from both the SEARCH menu and the STUDY menu for easy access.
Check out Kanshudo's Japanese Grammar Library today and let us know what you think.

New from Kanshudo!

Posted: 2016-10-26 | Tags: newfeatures summary
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A lot has happened on Kanshudo in the last few months. We've added many new features to help you master Japanese kanji even faster, and to make Kanshudo even more fun for studying written Japanese. This post is a summary so you have everything in one place. Check out the list below, and feel free to contact us if you have any questions.
Textbook Companion
' target='_blank'>https://d3mn0rm7t2z33v.cloudfront.net/images/companion.png' style='width:100px' width='100' /> ⇗ Use Kanshudo with your favorite textbook! Get the best of both worlds: all the power of Kanshudo, with your existing course. We currently support Adventures in Japanese, Genki, Minna no Nihongo, and Japanese for Busy People. Click here to try the companion now, or read the blog post first.
Beginner Lessons
' target='_blank'>https://d3mn0rm7t2z33v.cloudfront.net/images/learning-tree_470.png' style='width:100px' width='100' /> ⇗ Our 20 Beginner Lessons are designed for absolute beginners: a fun and engaging introduction to the first 100 kanji, along with about 200 words, and about 50 basic grammatical constructions. Take a lesson today, or if you are ready, move on to our Intermediate Lessons, which cover the first 1000 kanji. You can also start with our guide, Getting started learning Japanese.
The Kanji Wheel
' target='_blank'>https://d3mn0rm7t2z33v.cloudfront.net/images/kanjiwheel3.png' style='width:100px' width='100' /> ⇗ The Kanji Wheel is a personalized visual summary of your entire knowledge of Japanese kanji. Divided into 7 rings representing different levels of difficulty, the Kanji Wheel shows you at a glance what you know, and gives you intelligent study recommendations. Check out your personalized Kanji Wheel now, or read our detailed 'how to' guide, How to use the Kanji Wheel to guide your Japanese studies.
Study Points
' target='_blank'>https://d3mn0rm7t2z33v.cloudfront.net/images/study-points.png' style='width:100px' width='100' /> ⇗ Earn free Pro access to Kanshudo! Every time you interact with Kanshudo (study a lesson, learn a flashcard, play a game, tag a kanji as a favorite etc.) we reward you with study points. As you accumulate study points, you are automatically awarded coupons for free use of the system. Check out the Study Points you've already earned!
Quick Study
' target='_blank'>https://d3mn0rm7t2z33v.cloudfront.net/images/lightning.png' style='height:100px' height='100px' /> ⇗ Use any spare five minutes to study! Quick Study lets you create a study set with just a couple of clicks from your favorites, any flashcard set, or cards you forgot or are finding hard. Just five minutes extra study per day can dramatically improve your Japanese over time. Get started here.
Example Search, Name Search and more
' target='_blank'>https://d3mn0rm7t2z33v.cloudfront.net/images/searching-eyes.png' style='width:100px' width='100' /> ⇗ We've added a lot to our search functionality:
  • Quick search provides the most common search results in all categories one place
  • Example search - search over 150,000 Japanese / English example sentences.
  • Name search - search over 600,000 Japanese names.
  • Kanji mastery level - our Pro users can search for kanji based on how well you know them. Visit your Kanji Ring, click on any ring, and click VIEW.
  • The list of improvements is even longer - we've added several more games (we now have six in total: Kanji Match, Word Match, Sentence Builder, Sentence Complete, Phrase Builder and Reading Match), we've added a new mobile-friendly navigation system, we've extended the formats you can use to import flashcards, and we've added keyboard shortcuts to flashcards. We have more great new features coming in the next few weeks and months, so check back again soon!

    Introducing the Textbook Companion

    Lessons and games that correspond with your textbook content
    Now you can use Kanshudo with your Adventures in Japanese, Genki, Minna no Nihongo, or Japanese for Busy People textbook!
    For all of you studying Japanese in school or university, or with a private tutor, you can now get the best of both worlds: the power of Kanshudo for making your studies more fun and effective, along with all the benefits of your existing textbook.
    The Kanshudo Textbook Companion is similar to our standalone lessons, except that the words and kanji correspond to the lessons of your textbook. You can review words and kanji introduced in each lesson, practice drawing the kanji, play kanji and word games, and automatically generate flashcards for each lesson.
    Each lesson is fun and engaging, and will help you learn the material faster and more effectively. Kanshudo tracks your progress, and presents your kanji knowledge in your personalized Kanji Wheel. Best of all, as you study the lessons in the Textbook Companion, you earn Study Points which count towards free Pro access!
    The Kanshudo Textbook Companion supports the latest editions of four popular textbook series: Adventures in Japanese, Genki, Minna no Nihongo, and Japanese for Busy People. We have more books in the works, so if yours is not listed, please register your preference so we can prioritize it for you.
    Get started with the Kanshudo Textbook Companion today!

    Improvements to the Kanji Wheel and flashcards

    We're delighted to announce some very useful improvements to the kanji wheel and to the flashcard system. Our flashcard system gets some great advanced management tools, including keyboard shortcuts, merge sets, and duplicate identification. For Kanji Mastery, those with high enough Quiz scores can now mark whole rings as mastered or partially mastered, and you can now manage your mastery score for individual kanji.
    Improvements to flashcards:
    • Keyboard shortcuts in study/review mode (click on the help icon for details - the keys use the same mapping as Anki, which our Anki users will find very convenient)
    • Merge flashcard sets, with automatic de-duplication (click the icon which appears above your flashcard sets when you have more than one)
    • Duplicate identification between sets (the merge tool identifies duplicates for you)
    • Duplicate identification within a set (a new option towards the bottom of a flashcard set details page)
    Improvements to the Kanji Wheel and Kanji Mastery:
    • See the rationale for your current Kanji Mastery score in a kanji details page (this information will update automatically as you work with kanji going forward)
    • Edit your own Kanji Mastery score for an individual kanji (in the kanji details page)
    • Flag your mastery of entire rings based on your overall mastery level (this new option will appear in your 'study recommendations' if you achieve suitably high quiz scores)

    Kanshudo Beginner Lessons

    Posted: 2016-09-09 | Tags: newfeatures studyaids beginners
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    We are very excited to announce a brand new series of lessons created especially for beginners and early students of Japanese: Kanshudo Beginner Lessons.
    Our Beginner Lessons take you step by step through the very early stages of learning Japanese, assuming no knowledge whatsoever. Over 20 lessons, you will cover about 50 basic points of grammar, the most important 100 kanji, and about 200 words. Once you have completed the Beginner Lessons, you will be ready for the written part of the first level (N5) of the JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test).
    Kanshudo's Beginner Lessons are specially designed by Japanese linguists to be a fun and effective way to get started with Japanese.
    • Each lesson starts with a clearly written introduction to the kanji and readings, including plenty of example sentences
    • Concise grammar points illustrate the grammar introduced by the examples
    • Practice drawing each kanji with a new animated drawing tool
    • Play a selection of five games for each lesson, designed to cement your knowledge in a fun way
    • Automatically create flashcards for later study and review
    • Use a computer, a tablet, or a mobile - or several; Kanshudo will remember your progress
    We've prepared a detailed new guide, Getting started learning Japanese. If you are completely new to Japanese, this guide is all you need to make a successful start.
    Take your first step towards mastering written Japanese today. Take a Kanshudo Beginner Lesson!

    Introducing Quick Study

    Posted: 2016-09-02 | Tags: newfeatures studyaids flashcards usability
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    Quick Study is a great new way to learn Japanese effectively on Kanshudo. Now you can use a spare few minutes to focus on anything that needs attention!
    Quick Study enables you to choose a set of words or kanji with one click and get started studying them right away. You can create a Quick Study set from your favorites, or using learned/unlearned cards from existing flashcard sets. Or you can use some really effective study options: choose cards you have had most trouble learning, or cards you've recently forgotten.
    Once you've chosen a set, you can study it at any time by choosing QUICK STUDY from the main menu. If you don't yet have a Quick Study set, this will first help you create one.
    You can also create a new Quick Study set (and discard your current one) by going to the STUDY menu (or the Study index) and choosing Create a Quick Study set. You can go directly there by clicking here.
    Anything you do in Quick Study does not affect existing flashcard statistics, so you can use Quick Study to get an extra review of words and kanji you are worried about forgetting!

    More ways to create flashcards on Kanshudo

    Posted: 2016-07-06 | Tags: newfeatures studyaids flashcards usability
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    Did you know that Kanshudo can automatically create word or kanji flashcards for you from a variety of popular dictionaries, or even just word lists you create yourself? Any flashcards you study on Kanshudo, however you create them, count towards your study points! Plus - any kanji flashcards you study will improve your kanji mastery score, and help Kanshudo provide better study recommendations.
    Kanshudo supports several key formats for vocab lists:
    • Simple text - write cards yourself, or copy/paste from eg Excel
    • Midori - a popular iPhone dictionary
    • imiwa? - another popular iPhone dictionary (Kanshudo supports two separate imiwa? formats)
    Additionally, Kanshudo can create kanji cards for you from any Japanese text - you could just paste an entire paragraph of text and Kanshudo will select the kanji.
    We've increased the import limits - Kanshudo Pros can now import up to 50,000 character vocab lists, which enables you to quickly import your entire vocab collection for study.
    Any flashcards you create can go into a new set, or an existing set. Plus, as with all Kanshudo flashcards, any kanji included are shown in cascading kanji™ format to refresh your memory of the components and mnemonics. Kanshudo intelligently remembers your progress and shows you cards to learn or review using the spaced repetition algorithm invented by SuperMemo and used in the popular Anki flashcard program.
    See our detailed 'how to' guide, or just experiment with cutting and pasting text into the importer yourself - try the importer now.
    If you have cards in other formats you want to import, or you are not sure how to import your cards, we'd be happy to help you - just send us a message.

    Awesome search improvements

    Posted: 2016-06-20 | Tags: newfeatures usability search navigation
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    Study Japanese on Kanshudo more easily than ever! We've introduced a bunch of improvements to our search functionality. Now you can search for names and examples as well as kanji and words, see common results for any search in a single page, and get much better prioritization of most useful search results.
    Here's the detail on the improvements:
    • Quick search, accessible from the link at the top of any page (or the main nav screen if you're on mobile), now provides all common search results in a single view.
    • Name search - now you can search from a comprehensive library of over 600,000 Japanese names, in English or Japanese. Plus, we've flagged the most common 10,000 surnames, and the most common given names (1000 each). Where your search is for a common name, we will show you the most common readings - this helps solve one of the hardest challenges in learning Japanese (figuring out how to read a name).
    • Example search - now you can search directly in our library of over 150,000 example sentences, automatically displayed with furigana. Explore each one in depth by clicking on the item in the search results, as with kanji / words / names.
    • Kanji and word search are improved - now you can search directly in either using the actual kanji/word, the Japanese reading in hiragana, or the English meaning.
    • Search switching - now you can run the same search quickly and easily in any of the key search functions in Kanshudo (quick, kanji, word, name or example) using easy links right above the search bar.
    Here are a few example searches to demonstrate the new functionality in action:
    • Quick search:
      /searchq?q=漢習道
      漢習道
    • Name search:
      /searchn?q=佐藤
      佐藤
    • Example search:
      /searcht?q=日本語
      日本語

    Great new vocab game: Word Match

    Posted: 2016-05-21 | Tags: games newfeatures
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    Introducing Word Match, an incredibly fun new way to expand your Japanese vocabulary.
    Match each word with its correct reading, in the same way as our very popular Kanji Match. Choose words based on their frequency, or based on the kanji ring of the kanji they use. Quickly study any words you don't know after each round.
    Word Match is a fun and effective way to extend your vocabulary quickly with words useful and appropriate for your current level.

    Study Points and the Weekly Study Update

    Posted: 2016-05-05 | Tags: newfeatures kanshudopro benefits
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    Earn free Kanshudo Pro access just by studying!
    We want you to master Japanese. We want you to succeed in your dreams, whether they be top grades in Japanese at school, studying or working in Japan, reading Japanese novels, or building deep relationships with Japanese speakers. We want to help you get there by studying effectively and efficiently.
    So today we are announcing an amazing new benefit on Kanshudo: earn free Pro access to Kanshudo ... just by studying! That's right: the more you study, the more free Kanshudo Pro access you get! Here's how it works.
    • Every time you interact with Kanshudo, you earn 'study points'. You can earn study points from studying flashcards, taking lessons, taking the quiz, playing games and more.
    • The study points you've earned can be viewed at any time by clicking the new study points link in the main navigation at the top right. You can also click here.
    • Your study points screen also lets you see view your detailed study history - you can find out what kanji you've studied, and you can see how your studies affected your kanji mastery score for that kanji.
    • As you pass defined thresholds, you will automatically see coupons appear in your study points screen. Just click on any coupon to apply it to your account. Once applied, coupons never expire, and are automatically applied to subscription payments.
    • You will also receive a weekly study update, with a summary of your study points, along with your kanji mastery score , and our top intelligent study recommendation. You can manage your preference for the weekly study update any time from your account details page, or directly here.
    We sincerely hope this awesome new benefit makes the full power of Kanshudo accessible to every student of Japanese. Study on Kanshudo today and accelerate along the road to kanji mastery!

    New navigation

    Posted: 2016-04-14 | Tags: usability navigation ease-of-use
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    We're delighted to introduce our new navigation system, which makes accessing Kanshudo even easier and more accessible! The new nav:
    • Maintains the color scheme and general feel of the previous nav to aid your visual memory!
    • Includes 'quick search' - you can now search for kanji and words without leaving your current page
    • On larger screens, shows all key options in an overlay when you select an item
    • On smaller screens, shows the full menu when you click on the navigation icon in the top right of the screen
    In addition to the new nav system, we've modified the design of Kanshudo so it now works across all screen sizes. Whatever device or devices you want to use to access Kanshudo, you can use all features of the system, and all your favorites and flashcards etc will be automatically available. We're still ironing out a few stylistic kinks, so if you run into any problems please let us know!

    The Kanji Wheel and your Kanji Mastery Score

    Posted: 2016-03-23 | Tags: studyaids revolutionary
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    We are very excited to announce the most powerful tool available for studying Japanese and the kanji: the Kanshudo Kanji Wheel™, and your Kanji Mastery score.
    The Kanji Wheel is a huge step forward in Japanese learning. The Kanji Wheel:
    • Summarizes your entire knowledge of the kanji in a single chart
    • Shows you instantly where to focus your studies
    • Gives you tools to see and study kanji you know at different levels
    • Provides intelligent study recommendations
    • Is completely personalized for you!
    • Evolves in real time as your studies progress
    • Summarizes your progress in a single Kanji Mastery score
    The Kanshudo Kanji Wheel is free and available now for all users of Kanshudo at:
    The Kanji Wheel includes interactive help, but we've also prepared an in-depth how-to guide, How to use the kanji wheel to guide your Japanese studies

    Two great new flashcard features

    Posted: 2016-03-21 | Tags: flashcards
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    Today we released two great new features for our flashcard system:
    • You can now just paste any text, and Kanshudo will automatically create a flashcard for each kanji in it! Paste text from any website, e-book, email etc - or just a list of kanji you want to memorize. Create a new set with your cards (go to Flashcards home and select the option called 'From any text containing kanji'). Or, add cards to any existing set.
    • From the details page for each of your flashcard sets, there is now a convenient summary of all cards in the set, including the spaced repetition data so you can see how well your studies are progressing. Just go to any set details, and click 'Edit' next to Cards. To read more about spaced repetition, see our how-to guide, 'How to use spaced repetition flashcards to study Japanese'.
    The Kanshudo flashcard system is unbeatable value for students of Japanese. You get all the benefits of a dedicated flashcard system such as Anki (unlimited cards, spaced repetition, multiple platform support) - but with the added benefit of Kanshudo's focus on Japanese (automatic kanji card creation, the cascading kanji display format, support for imports from several standard Japanese dictionaries).
    Plus, a year's subscription to Kanshudo only costs the same as some flashcard applications cost for a *single platform* - and those applications come with no cards, no Japanese support, and none of the other amazing benefits Kanshudo provides for your Japanese studies (lessons, games, kanji and vocab search and more).
    GO PRO today to unlock the full benefit of Kanshudo and speed your way along the road to mastery of the kanji and the Japanese language!
    PS: if you don't know the word in the image, click here for details!

    Katakana collection

    Posted: 2016-03-17 | Tags: studyaids collections
    We've just added the companion to our Hiragana collection, the new Katakana collection. Now you can study both of the basic 'alphabets' (the technical term is 'syllabaries') of Japanese in one place. Read the outline, then quickly and easily create free flashcards for study!

    New interactive kanji slideshow in lessons

    Posted: 2016-02-29 | Tags: newfeatures studyaids graphics usability
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    Today we've added a really useful feature to Kanshudo lessons: an interactive slideshow which provides details of every kanji in the lesson.
    Most fun: the slideshow includes a new tool enabling you to practice drawing the kanji yourself! This helps to cement your knowledge of the kanji in an entirely different way from visual learning, through 'motor memory'.
    To access the new slideshow, just go to lessons via the STUDY menu at the top of any page, and click TAKE NOW next to any lesson. Then click on the row of kanji at the top of the overview page.
    To access the drawing tool, just click on PRACTICE DRAWING at the top right of any kanji page within the slideshow.
    The kanji slideshow is a 'carousel', so you can swipe (from a phone) or drag each slide to move forwards/backwards (or you can click on the dots underneath to jump to any slide).
    Note: kanji lessons are available to all registered users of Kanshudo. Kanshudo Pros have access to all lessons in the system. For more details, see Go Pro!.

    Reading improvements

    Posted: 2016-02-24 | Tags: newfeatures usability
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    We've made a bunch of improvements to kanji readings which make them much easier to understand and learn! Here's a summary:
    • On (音) readings are now shown in katakana, per convention.
    • Hiragana kun (訓) readings now distinguish between the reading of the character itself and okurigana used for verb endings etc. For example, see
      /kanji.html?k=出
      .
    • Each kanji now has a single key meaning, which is prominently displayed at the top of the kanji details page, and at the top of kanji flashcards.
    • For kanji used in names, their name readings are displayed together with their on/kun readings. For example, see
      /kanji.html?k=行
      .
    • Common on/kun/name readings are now distinguished from rarer 'additional' meanings, to make it easier to know what to learn first. For example, see
      /kanji.html?k=生
      , which has a total of 45 readings! In cascading kanji view, we continue to show only the common on/kun readings.
    • Kun readings in kanji details view are now clickable, taking you to a word search for the reading.
    • On/kun/name readings in kanji details view now have help buttons for ready reference.
    We've also increased the total number of kanji in Kanshudo to over 13,000! That should keep even the most advanced masters among you busy ...

    Kanji animations

    Posted: 2016-01-26 | Tags: newfeatures studyaids graphics usability
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    We are on the move! More specifically, our kanji are now on the move: in the details page for any kanji, you can now see an animation of the kanji being drawn. This will help familiarize you with a kanji's stroke order, and will help cement your 'visual memory' of the kanji.
    To see the animation for any kanji, just click on the kanji in the search results to go to the details page, and then click the 'Animate' button at the bottom right of the large kanji image. Here's an
    /search?q=漢習道
    example search
    .
    Here are some direct links to the same kanji:
    /kanji?k=漢
    /kanji?k=習
    /kanji?k=道
    And, for fun, here's the kanji with the highest stroke count in the Jōyō:
    /kanji?k=鬱
    . It has 29 strokes! This kanji has a frequency of 1803, so if you already know this, you are well on your way to kanji mastery!

    Introducing the component builder

    Posted: 2016-01-12 | Tags: search newfeatures components
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    The new Kanshudo component builder is one of the fastest ways there is to look up kanji.
    Quickly and easily build any kanji by selecting its radical or other common components. A very cool and unique feature is that you can just start typing the names of components to see them highlighted.
    To get started with the component builder, just go to Kanji search and click the new '部 Components' button.
    You can also read a detailed how to guide, and review a comprehensive collection of all components used in the Jōyō kanji as well as the standard radicals, with their names.
    We are super proud of our new system - we think it's the best one out there, and we hope it will really speed up your kanji studies. Let us know what you think!

    Major improvements to word / vocab search!

    Posted: 2015-12-12 | Tags: studyaids newfeatures search
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    Today is a big day: we are delighted to announce several major improvements to word search! Helping you learn the kanji is our central focus, but our goal is to make Kanshudo the most useful system for learning Japanese. Being able to search for vocabulary, tag the words you want to learn, quickly create flashcards from those words, and then learn the kanji they contain are core functions for successful study. Today we are announcing a whole series of improvements to how Kanshudo helps you with this process!
    First, you can now tag words as 'favorites'! The little green star appears next to words as well as kanji. Most importantly, when you create flashcards from your favorites, flashcards are created for the words as well as the kanji. This basically allows Kanshudo to be your constant companion - look up words whenever you encounter them, tag them as favorites, and then study them in flashcards whenever you have a free moment. See for example this search for
    /search?q=漢習道
    漢習道
    .
    Next, as you can see from the search above, vocab entries are now bigger and bolder, and they are clickable just like the kanji in search results. When you click on a word, you will now go to its details page, where you can find additional information, links to external sources, and examples. See for example the details page for
    /word?w=日本人
    日本人
    .
    Search capability has also been greatly improved.
    As before, if you enter a word in kanji search, any exact matches (ie words in the dictionary which match your search exactly) will be displayed above the kanji, as in the search above for
    /search?q=漢習道
    漢習道
    .
    In addition, there is a whole new search page specifically for vocabulary, which does much more. Depending on what you search for, the new system will run various searches, and combine the results:
    • Exact matches - the same results that appear at the top of kanji search.
    • Words beginning with your search term.
    • If you enter a search consisting of multiple kanji, Kanshudo will search for words contained in your search. So for example running the search for
      /searchw?q=日本人
      日本人
      in word search finds additional words.
    • If your search looks like a conjugated form of a verb, Kanshudo will try to identify the dictionary form. For example, if you enter 話しています, the present participle of 話す, Kanshudo will show you
      /searchw?q=話しています
      the words
      it thinks could fit.
    You can access the new word search here, and you can find it any time from the advanced search page.
    With these improvements, when you cut and paste words from anything you read electronically (such as web pages, Kindle e-books / iBooks), or type any word out, Kanshudo will help you find the words, and let you store them for reference. Then, you can review your favorites list and create flashcards to study whenever you have the chance.
    Let us know what you think about these improvements, and what other features you would like to see Kanshudo introduce to speed you along the road to kanji mastery!

    Hiragana flashcards now available

    Posted: 2015-10-14 | Tags: studyaids newfeatures
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    If you are just beginning your study of written Japanese, learning hiragana is one of the most useful things you can do.
    By popular request, we have created an overview of the hiragana, and we have made it very easy for you to create hiragana flashcards on Kanshudo. With one click, you can create your personal set of hiragana flashcards!
    As with all Kanshudo flashcards, Kanshudo intelligently shows you cards you are finding harder more frequently, and will prompt you to review cards you've learned at intervals to help you remember them.
    All registered users of Kanshudo can use flashcards for free. Start your Japanese studies today by learning the hiragana!

    Introducing spaced repetition flashcards

    Posted: 2015-09-28 | Tags: studyaids usability newfeatures
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    We are delighted to announce some major improvements to our flashcards system, along with a new 'how to' guide with all you need to know to use flashcards for your studies.
    Here's an overview:
    - Spaced repetition: flashcards now automatically include built-in spaced repetition. Cards you have studied will come up for review at increasing intervals to ensure they stay memorized!
    - New limits: we have simplified the limits. Pros still have unlimited cards, but can now have up to 2500 cards in a single set! You can put the entire joyo kanji in one flashcard set :-) Registered Users can have up to 150 cards, which gets you through the first few lessons in our graded lesson series. There are no longer any monthly limits on how many cards you can create or study.
    - Edit any card: you can now edit any card, including kanji cards, which lets you add your own notes or memory hints.
    • Import or manually add new cards to any set: you can now add cards to lesson sets, kanji sets, or any set!
    • Bigger, clearer buttons! Plus, now cards have 3 buttons instead of 2 (the new button is an 'only just' button which tells the spaced repetition algorithm to show you the card more frequently).
    • New set details screen shows you the study / review status for each set
    • Any set can mix and match kanji and vocab
    • All existing flashcard have been migrated to the new system. If you had already completed studying a set, we have marked the cards as ready for review in one week!!
    We've put together a new 'how to' guide showing you how spaced repetition works. Here's a link: How to use spaced repetition flashcards to study Japanese.
    Our goal is to make Kanshudo flashcards your one-stop-shop for managing your Japanese studies. You can now keep all your kanji and vocab flashcards in one place, and study whenever and wherever you like. If you like these improvements, please let us know! (And if you have more suggestions, we'd love to hear from you.)

    How to master the kanji - our step-by-step guide

    Posted: 2015-09-18 | Tags: studyaids usability
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    Whether you are just setting out on your journey to kanji mastery, or you are steadily climbing the mountain, it helps to see the 'big picture' of what you need to accomplish.
    We have put together a step-by-step guide which shows you the whole story from beginning to end, and illustrates how the pieces fit together. With our guide, you can see what you need to do first, and then how you need to progress.
    For the first time, you can get a comprehensive overview of the entire process of learning the Japanese kanji, all in one place!
    To put your kanji studies on a sure foundation for success, read How to master the kanji today!

    Introducing 'how to' guides

    Posted: 2015-09-01 | Tags: studyaids usability
    Today we are introducing the first of a series of step-by-step guides to the more advanced features of Kanshudo, focused on one of the most useful: how to create vocab flashcards.
    Kanshudo enables you to create flashcards for words you want to learn, and automatically presents any kanji in the words in the 'cascading kanji' view used in search results, enabling you to learn or re-learn the kanji in the word while you study the word. This is an extremely effective way to improve your Japanese ability.
    To see the detailed guide, visit the new How to guides index. The index is also linked from the top STUDY menu, and from the footer. We will introduce more guides based on demand, so if there are functions you would like explained, please contact us!

    Site index

    Posted: 2015-08-20 | Tags: navigation usability
    By popular request we have added a site index! This is mainly to make it much easier to find pages that can be hiding in different sections, but we've also heard of users running into pages and features they didn't know existed, and the site index should help you find those sooner!
    You can access the site index directly here, but it's also linked from the top of the Tour, and a link appears at the bottom of every page in the footer navigation area.

    Introducing lessons!

    Posted: 2015-06-18 | Tags: studyaids
    One of the most requested features on Kanshudo so far has been a structured way to learn the kanji, enabling even absolute beginners to get started. So we've introduced lessons, which are designed to be a fun and friendly way to take students from a very early stage (knowing only hiragana) through to the second highest level, N2, of the JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test), the standard metric of written Japanese, which requires about 1000 kanji.
    Each lesson in the series is structured as a series of fun games and exercises - Kanji Match, Jukugo Match, Sentence Complete, and finally Flashcards. We call the series '53 stages of the Kanshudo', after the famous series of ukiyo-e by Hiroshige (and like the picture series, there are actually 55 - there's a beginning and an end!).
    The first few lessons are available to all Registered Users of Kanshudo. All 55 lessons are availabled to Kanshudo Pros. To get started, go to MY LESSONS.

    The Japanese for Busy People kanji collections!

    Posted: 2015-04-11 | Tags: studyaids kanji collections
    For those of you actively studying Japanese, we have great news: a set of 42 collections of all kanji used in the very popular Japanese for Busy People textbook series!
    Now you can see the kanji introduced in each chapter at a glance, investigate each one in detail, and create flashcards for study on your computer or smartphone.
    The Japanese for Busy people kanji collections include 2 for Book I, and 20 each for Books II and III. A total of about 400 kanji are included. All 42 collections are available to Kanshudo Pros. Registered Users can access the first five, and new users can access the first collection.
    To view the collections, click STUDY in the top right navigation area, then select COLLECTIONS from the purple study navigation bar. Or just click here.
    ×
    Change component list
    By default the component builder shows the most common components (themselves joyo kanji, or used in at least 3 other joyo kanji). Select an alternative set of components below.



    Full details of all components and their English names can be found here.
    Help with the component builder
    For detailed instructions, see the Component builder how to guide.
    To find any kanji, first try to identify the components it is made up of.
    For any components you recognize, if you know the English meaning or name, start typing it in the text area. Full details of all components and their English names can be found here.
    Alternatively, count the strokes of the component, and scan the list to find it visually.
    Example
    To find the kanji :
    • Notice that it is made of several components: 氵 艹 口 夫.
    • 氵 艹 口 all have three strokes, so you could look in the list in the 3 stroke section. 夫 has four strokes.
    • Alternatively, you could start typing 'water' (氵), 'grass' (艹), 'mouth' (口) or 'husband' (夫) in the search area, and the components will be highlighted in yellow.
    • Keep adding components until you can see your kanji in the list of matches that appears near the top.