The Kanshudo Blog - older posts

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

Posted: 2024-04-03, Tags: ai
We are very excited to announce the latest complement to Kanshudo's AI features: AI Sentence Correct! AI Sentence Correct is your personal Japanese language coach.
Type a Japanese sentence (in kana or kanji form), or click the Speak button and speak the sentence out loud. Kanshudo will analyze your sentence and determine whether it is natural Japanese, and will identify and correct any grammar, kanji or vocabulary mistakes. Additionally, Kanshudo will supply one or two alternative natural Japanese ways to phrase the sentence with equivalent meaning, and provide links to useful grammar points and dictionary entries for the words used.
The ability to get direct feedback on sentences you create yourself, learn from your mistakes (or gain confidence through knowing that there are none!), is a hugely important part of the language learning journey.
With Kanshudo's AI Sentence Correct you can:
  • Feel confident in your Japanese emails and social media posts
  • Prepare for job interviews with confidence
  • Keep a Japanese journal
  • Practice thinking in Japanese whenever you have a spare moment
Accessing Sentence Correct
AI Sentence Correct can be accessed from the STUDY menu, or from the GRAMMAR section of the site index at the foot of every page. As with most features on Kanshudo, you can also find it using search - just click the search icon at the top right of any page and search for 'correct' (or something similar). As with all Kanshudo features, if you forget where it is, just use Quick Search.
AI Credits and pricing
Along with AI Sentence Correct, we are also introducing a new system of credits for AI functions. AI credits can be used for any of the new AI functions we have planned, starting with Sentence Correct. All existing Pro subscriptions as of today now include 20 AI credits each month, enabling you to use Sentence Correct several times as part of your existing subscription.
Later in April, we will be introducing new pricing for all Pro subscriptions, and you will be able to subscribe to a new Pro + AI subscription plan, which will give you 60 credits per month. And, if you find yourself wanting to use Sentence Correct even more extensively, you will also be able to buy additional credits directly.
Lock in current Kanshudo pricing and 20 AI Credits per month: Go Pro!
Kanshudo's policy is to grandfather existing subscription pricing - in other words, if you subscribe today, you will lock in both current pricing for Pro access and current AI subscription credits. This means that you can lock in 20 AI credits per month today as part of existing prices. Once we switch to new pricing, a basic Pro plan will be more expensive, and AI credits will be additional - so this is an amazing opportunity. If you are not yet a Kanshudo Pro, why not go Pro today?
Here's a summary of AI credits under current and new pricing:
AI CreditsCurrentNew Pricing
Pro + AI-60
If you are not yet a Pro, now is the time to take advantage of this pricing!
Lock in current Kanshudo pricing and 20 AI Credits per month: Go Pro!

Posted: 2024-02-16, Tags: joy-o-kanji kanji
We've bundled 16 more Joy o' Kanji essays to show you the connections between kanji. Bundles 15 and 16 largely focus on water. The first collection presents the pleasures of bathing outdoors, the history of bathhouses, and the nuts and bolts of bathtub terms. Bundle 16 looks at the relationship between mounded-up earth (e.g., embankments and ridges in fields) and the water below (e.g., moats and flooded rice fields). Bundles 17 and 18 focus on intricate systems. The former introduces the way people have conceptually divided the hours in a day. The latter bundle examines hard-working animals that produce items that have boosted the Japanese economy.
In Hot Water
栓 槽 岡 呂
Bathing in Japan could mean communing with nature, following rigid procedures in a bathhouse, or soaking in water that other relatives have used. These essays cover all situations. They introduce practical terms for "bathtub," "turning on a faucet," and "overflowing." You'll learn where people bathed before owning bathtubs. You'll see how, in bathhouses, smaller, raised pools and larger pools below floor level respectively represent land and sea. You'll learn which "bathtub" term the Japanese associate with empty basins versus full pools at hot springs. And you'll discover how bathing has connected to religion, family bonds, prostitution, and a famous thief.
Corduroy Landforms
畝 堤 畔 堀
The Japanese have long corrugated the earth, mounding and trenching it with grand plans. Embankments (堤) rise above rivers to prevent floods. Dug-out moats (堀), whether empty or full, contrast with higher bordering land for castle defense. An agricultural field features ridges (畝) and furrows, with plants in raised areas, irrigation in "valleys." A footpath is just high enough above a flooded rice field (畔) that 畔also represents "causeway, a raised road across low or wet ground." See how the Japanese have gone to great lengths to create "corduroy" landforms.
Windows of Time
午 更 宵 旦
Rock around the clock with these four kanji. They might seem to represent mere points in a 24-hour stretch. But as 午 appears in terms for "morning" and "afternoon," it applies to a large chunk of the day. Then 宵 takes over, generally meaning "early evening" but also sometimes "evening." We find 更 in terms for the ancient Chinese system of night watches that ran from about 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. Night ends with dawn (旦). These multipurpose kanji also symbolize parts of the year, from New Year's (旦) to late autumn (更).
Intricate Systems
繭 桑 巣 蜂
These essays detail complex, interdependent systems, both natural and economic. Sericulture was once so essential to Japan's economy that mulberry (桑) fields are marked on maps, as silkworms eat only mulberry leaves. These animals laboriously spin cocoons (繭), producing filaments that become silk kimonos after many financial transactions. Similarly, Japanese apiarists oversee busy bees (蜂) that make not only hives and honeycomb but also honey to be sold and consumed in multiple ways. Animals build intricate nests and webs (both 巣) that inspire terrific Japanese figurative language. People even eat some nests!
Thematic Bundles are available for purchase at the discounted price of $8. (Four essays would normally cost $12.) You can also access bundles with essay credits, which are allocated as part of joint Kanshudo + Joy o' Kanji subscriptions.
Joy o' Kanji essays are a great way to deepen your insight into specific kanji, and bundles will introduce you to new connections and more profound meanings. Try a Thematic Bundle today!

Posted: 2024-01-30, Tags: joy-o-kanji kanji
We recently introduced Thematic Bundles, which enable you to make connections that you might otherwise miss among groups of Joy o' Kanji essays. We're back with a new bundle o' bundles! By reading Bundles 11 through 14, you can engage deeply with the natural world, from fruit trees and flowers to the hills of Japan, as well as with delicious foods from the fields and seas.
Flower Power
菊 丹 梗 藤
In this bouquet of essays, flowers represent far more than beauty. Those showcased here (including the Chinese bellflower of the 梗 essay and the tree peony of the 丹 essay) symbolize everything from the emperor, nobility, and wealth to honor, love, and feminine beauty. The Japanese also associate some of these flowers with hardiness or with grief. People celebrate them in family crests, at festivals, with dolls, and in a range of artistic creations. Supposedly, the flowers even confer health benefits—curing headaches, cooling and invigorating the blood, and removing phlegm.
Favorite Foods
芋 寿 麺 拉
Sushi comes in infinite varieties (as the 寿 essay shows). Noodles can take many forms and be made from a multitude of flours (as the 麺 and 拉 essays demonstrate). Sweet potatoes differ by region (as the 芋 essay makes clear). In Japan these favorite foods inspire not only cravings but also deep passion, nostalgia, arguments over origin stories, and hairsplitting about the preparation methods particular to certain locales. People also have strong beliefs about these dishes, eating certain noodles for longevity, treating sweet potatoes as guilty pleasures, and regarding uncut sushi as lucky.
Fruit Basket
桑 桃 梅 柿
This "fruit basket" has caused creative juices to flow in Japan. The trees and fruits connect to colors, haiku, proverbs, myths, folktales, and wordplay. People associate peaches with Shangri-la and instability, Japanese apricots with happiness, and persimmons with Mount Fuji and writing brushes. The Japanese fully use certain trees—the wood in furniture, the leaves in tea (and even in sushi!), and fruit, roots, and bark in dye, paper, and Traditional Chinese Medicine. The juice goes into drinks, alcoholic or tame. And the Japanese and ancient Chinese have viewed these fruits and their trees as warding off misfortune!
Ups and Downs
凹 丘 凸 岡
This essay collection about hilly topography focuses in part on the physical world: bumpy surfaces, volcanic cones, lens curvature, embossed paper, and especially flat abs! But such topics are also rich in figurative possibilities. One essay first examines objects that stand apart from the rest, then demonstrates how being separated from the main action affords a clear vantage point. That essay also touches on unrequited love. Another illuminates how it feels to be overwhelmed and slightly depressed. A third addresses the ups and downs of life. Uneven ground proves to be fertile!
Thematic Bundles are available for purchase at the discounted price of $8. (Four essays would normally cost $12.) You can also access bundles with essay credits, which are allocated as part of joint Kanshudo + Joy o' Kanji subscriptions.
Joy o' Kanji essays are a great way to deepen your insight into specific kanji, and bundles will introduce you to new connections and more profound meanings. Try a Thematic Bundle today!

Posted: 2023-12-08, Tags: sales offers
It's holiday season, and time to celebrate with a fantastic bargain: 50% off one year of Kanshudo Pro access!
2023 has been an exciting year for Kanshudo: we've added lots of new content to some of our core programs, including 20 Topic Lessons, 38 Joy o' Kanji Essays, 24 articles in the Grammar Library, and nearly 1000 example sentences. We've also added two very exciting new features - AI Sentence Correct which provides specific feedback and improvement suggestions for Japanese sentences you enter, and Thematic Bundles, which are linked sets of four in-depth kanji essays.
Take advantage of this very special holiday offer now: Give me 50% off!
Set yourself up for Japanese success in 2024. Kanshudo is the most effective way to learn Japanese:
Kanshudo will help you master kanji, hiragana, and katakana, along with Japanese grammar and vocabulary, as fast, effectively, and enjoyably as possible! Kanshudo is used by over 170,000 Japanese learners, with proven results. Act now and get Pro access for less than 10 cents per day!
Take advantage of this very special holiday offer now: Give me 50% off!

Posted: 2023-12-07, Tags: joy-o-kanji kanji
We are very excited to announce a new way to access in-depth kanji information: Thematic Bundles, from our partner Joy o' Kanji!
Thematic Bundles are sets of four kanji essays with a common theme. Just as a strong bond between two people produces a whole that's greater than the sum of its parts, the same applies to thoughtfully grouped kanji essays. Considering thematically related essays in one fell swoop enables you to make connections that you might otherwise miss. It illuminates the particular context for each individual essay and creates a structure for your kanji studies. Rather than casting about aimlessly for your next interesting read, you can now proceed systematically. In addition to adding new essays each week, we will be adding new bundles every month or so - a "flavor of the month."
  • If color captures your imagination, start with Bundle 1 - Color Me Surprised! Here you can find four color kanji, each of which provides a different set of larger related meanings.
  • If you're interested in the odd tipple, try Bundle 4 - Steeped in Saké. Learn about Japan's most famous drink, and various ways to measure and present it.
Thematic Bundles are available for purchase at the discounted price of $8. (Four essays would normally cost $12.) You can also access bundles with essay credits, which are allocated as part of joint Kanshudo + Joy o' Kanji subscriptions.
Joy o' Kanji essays are a great way to deepen your insight into specific kanji, and bundles will introduce you to new connections and more profound meanings. Try a Thematic Bundle today!

Posted: 2023-09-30, Tags: updates whatsnew topics jok
It's been a while since we've posted an update as we've been busy working on some very exciting new features! We will have more to share over the next few weeks, but in the near future we will be bringing you three major new improvements to Kanshudo:
  1. Some amazing AI-powered interactive features which will add a whole new dimension to your Japanese studies
  2. 'Thematic Bundles' from our partner Joy o' Kanji which will group and cross-reference kanji in ways that will make them much more meaningful. The first bundle will add 'color' to your studies (quite literally ...)
  3. A new JLPT-focused section of Kanshudo to help and support students for the JLPT
In the meantime, we've made many updates and improvements. A quick summary follows below, but first we'd like to highlight a very special milestone: Joy o' Kanji's essay on 徹 marks the 500th essay! While that means there are still 1636 to go (!), 500 in-depth, visually appealing and linguistically intriguing explorations of 500 kanji is a huge achievement. We're especially excited that the new Thematic Bundles will bring the essays to even more kanji students. Congratulations to Joy o' Kanji's founder, Eve Kushner!
Here's a summary of updates since our last post:
25 new Joy o' Kanji essays:
7 new Topic Lessons:
Holidays by Tsunomaki Watame
Hay fever Season
ころ vs ごろ vs ぐらい/くらい
Summer in Japan 1
Summer in Japan 2
13 new grammar points:
Additionally, we made updates to 23 grammar points - you can find the most recent here.
We also added 588 new example sentences and updated another 299!

Posted: 2023-03-02, Tags: updates whatsnew topics
We hope 2023 is off to a good start for you all, and your Japanese studies are progressing well!
Kanshudo's learning community has been growing fantastically, and we're not far off a big milestone in terms of users. So we're thinking of ways to celebrate by helping one or more lucky learners on their path to Japanese mastery! Stay tuned over the next few months for details.
In the meantime, here's a quick roundup of what's new over the last couple of months.
First, we've added nine new Topic Lessons:
Introducing yourself
Tie-in: introducing yourself, countries & occupations
Christmas in Japan
An introduction to Christmas COMING SOON!
Sushi Dining
Describing Symptoms
Body Parts
We've added another 9 new grammar points and POIs and updated 12 more. We've also made the Grammar library index much faster and easier to use.
Our partner, Joy o' Kanji, has published 12 new in-depth kanji essays:
Additionally, the founder and driving force between Joy o' Kanji, Eve Kushner, was recently interviewed on her personal kanji journey (which is more involved than most, as you can imagine). Check out the podcast episode Going Crazy for Kanji, with Eve Kushner ⇗.
Many of you already know we're steadily improving the audio on Kanshudo. Originally, we relied heavily on browser audio, and we still do for most of the system - with nearly 300,000 words and 160,000 example sentences, prerecorded audio is not practical. However, we are steadily implementing a hybrid solution - human audio for certain items, prerecorded high quality AI-generated audio for most, and browser audio for the rest. As part of this initiative, you'll see the ability to 'report' audio problems appear around the site - you can find an example on the details page for any example sentence. When audio for an item is reported, we'll create a prerecorded version for that specific item - that way we can prioritize improvement where it matters.

Posted: 2022-12-13, Tags: sales offers
It's the most wonderful time of the year ... and this is your chance to set up 2023 as a wonderful year for your Japanese, with 50% off one year of Pro access to Kanshudo!
Kanshudo is the most effective way to learn Japanese — for absolute beginners to seasoned learners. Live in Japan or would like to? Planning a trip or an armchair visit? Want to converse with friends or read Japanese novels? Whatever your goals, Kanshudo is your best option for learning Japanese.
Take advantage of this very special holiday offer now: Give me 50% off!
Kanshudo Pro access gives you unlimited access to:
Kanshudo is the broadest and most sophisticated online platform for learning Japanese. It will help you master kanji, hiragana, and katakana, along with Japanese grammar and vocabulary, as fast, effectively, and enjoyably as possible! More than 120,000 Japanese learners use Kanshudo with proven results. Act now and get Pro access for less than 10 cents per day!
Take advantage of this very special holiday offer now: Give me 50% off!
If you've been thinking about Pro access for awhile, now is the perfect time! You will not only get the sale discount on your first year, but you will also lock in current pricing. Our operating costs have risen dramatically this year and Pro prices may rise soon, so take advantage of this offer!

Posted: 2022-11-08, Tags: updates whatsnew topics flashcards
As rain and early evenings descend on our HQ in San Francisco, our Japanese team is looking forward to the next Japanese holiday, 文化の日, so we've put together a new Topic Lesson on it to help you join in! Since our last update we've added three new lessons:
We've added a new game, currently playable in the 和食 Topic Lesson: Sentence Sort! The goal is to drag sentences from a text into the correct order. This is very useful for helping you develop overall comprehension of a passage and its narrative flow.
If you enjoy testing yourself on our collections, you'll enjoy our new countries of the world collection, which includes the Japanese words for every country in the world!
We're steadily improving our grammar library - although it's only six weeks or so since our last update, we've added another 14 new grammar points and POIs and updated 59 more. We are working on a more structured 'path' through the library and some other improvements - stay tuned!
Additionally, our partner Joy o' Kanji has published 11 new in-depth kanji essays:
We've added several useful new features this month. First, in category searches (for example Word Search, Kanji Search and Grammar Search), you'll see a new flashcard button at the right of every search result, which will let you add a flashcard to the set of your choice immediately. Of course, you can still assign any flashcard set as your favorites bucket so that the favorites star enables you to add a card to that specific set immediately.
In the details page for a flashcard set, there's a new feature in the 'More actions' list which will let you create a study set with cards you have added to the set today - useful if you want to focus on learning material immediately after you've encountered it.
Finally on the flashcards front, you can now create flashcards for grammar points in the Beginner Lessons.
Happy Japanese studying!

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
The 23 wards of Tokyo
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!

Posted: 2022-02-08, Tags: flashcards updates whatsnew
We hope 2022 is treating you well so far! We've had a busy January, and we'll be announcing some big new features soon. In the meantime, here's an overview of several new features we've introduced recently.
Mastery heatmap
We've added a new way to understand your mastery scores for kanji / grammar / words, which will be especially useful to more advanced learners as it will help you identify gaps in your knowledge: your mastery heatmap. The heatmap shows your average mastery score for every usefulness level for kanji, words and grammar in the same chart.
Your personal mastery heatmap is a new section in your Dashboard (just after your Mastery map).
So now you have three ways to visualize your progress with Japanese:
  • The mastery 'wedge' graphic at the top of your Dashboard, which shows your progress with kanji / words / grammar and study points within your current mastery level
  • Your three mastery wheels (kanji, grammar and words). Each wheel has one ring for each usefulness level, and each ring shows counts of items by (your) mastery score
  • Your mastery heatmap (also in the Dashboard), which shows average mastery score for each usefulness level
Flashcard improvements
  • On the home page for any flashcard set, the colored counts of cards in your current study set, needing review, forgotten etc are now links, enabling you to view the actual cards with a single click.
  • We've added a new 'retention rate' section to the statistics page for each set, so you can track your current study rate.
  • In the main collections of words by usefulness level, there is a new button by each word enabling you to add a word to any flashcard set immediately. Very useful for picking up words you missed!
  • We've improved the home page for each set by grouping some of the buttons into 'more action' pop-up menus.
Kanji keywords level-appropriate word setting
Sometimes a reading for a kanji is only used in words that are much less common than other readings. We've now added a setting to Kanji Keywords, on by default, to test you only on words that are a similar level of usefulness to the kanji itself.
Toggle for example sentence English translations
We continue to add more flexibility to the user interface so that you can customize the display as your Japanese progresses. You can now set English translations for example sentences to be hidden by default wherever they appear on Kanshudo. It's in the study settings section of your account page.
Looking for beta testers!
We are hard at work on a couple of big new features for Kanshudo, and we are looking for beta testers of all Japanese levels. If you'd like to get an early look at the features, please let us know.

Happy New Year to you all! We wish you the best for your Japanese studies in 2022.
We have some exciting plans for 2022, including new games, new study modes, new lessons, and more. In the meantime, here's a quick summary of some small improvements we've made over the last few weeks to flashcards and the component builder.
Flashcards improvements
We've made a few improvements to the flashcards system, including:
  • Settings are now accessible in a popup on the details page for any flashcard set, so you can make quick changes without leaving the set
  • We've added two new automatic card creation options, accessible from the details page for any set: you can now automatically create kanji cards for any kanji used in word cards in the set, and you can automatically create word cards for the key words for each reading of any kanji card in the set
  • We've made the handling of forgotten (lapsed) cards more explicit: you now have a setting to prioritize forgotten cards, which is on by default. When you create a new study set, Kanshudo will choose any cards marked forgotten more than a day ago first, before continuing with your default study order choice (most useful items etc)
  • The status color code for each card is now included with the card statistics.
  • You can now remove a card from a set while studying (using a button on the card statistics popup).
  • Mature cards you forget now have a maximum initial review period of a week when you learn them. (In other words, cards with a long review interval - greater than three weeks - will come up again sooner if you forget them and then re-learn them.)
Component Builder improvements
Kanshudo's Component Builder is, we think, one of the most sophisticated ways to look up a kanji available. The ability to draw each component of a complex kanji one by one is often the fastest way to look up a kanji by far. Plus with Component Builder you can draw a component, look it up by name, or find it in a list.
We've added a very useful improvement to the Component Builder: when you have entered one or more components and get a list of possible kanji, you can now view all of the candidates in Component Search - just click the search icon at the end of the kanji list.
Meanwhile, in Component Search, you can then quickly view your results back in Component Builder. In other words, you can now 'round-trip' between Component Builder (a great way to enter any single kanji in a search field) and Component Search (a great way to view lists of all kanji containing any combination of components).
You can access the Component Builder wherever you see the icon, for example by clicking the Quick Search icon at the top right of every page. For detailed instructions, see our how-to guide.

Posted: 2021-12-14, Tags: sales offers
Save 50% on a Kanshudo Pro subscription!
It's that time of the year ... time to be merry, time to celebrate the successes (the end?) of 2021, and time to plan for how to improve your Japanese in 2022!
Kanshudo is here to help! Kanshudo is the broadest and most sophisticated online platform for learning Japanese. Kanshudo will help you master kanji, hiragana and katakana, along with Japanese grammar and vocabulary, as fast, effectively, and enjoyably as possible! Kanshudo is used by over 90,000 Japanese learners, with [proven results](/testimonials).
This special holiday offer gives you 50% off one year of Pro access - unbeatable value at less than 10 cents per day! Pro access gives you unlimited use of:
Every year Kanshudo gets better and better, and 2021 was no exception - we added pitch accent support, our new game Kanji Keywords, standalone Kanji Draw and Answer Type, and launched a revised and improved series of Intermediate Lessons, the perfect complement to our Beginner Lessons. For 2022 we have a long list of exciting improvements planned, all of which will be available automatically to Pro members.
Take advantage of this very special holiday offer now: Give me 50% off!

Posted: 2021-11-12, Tags: lessons newfeatures study
We are very excited to announce that our updated Intermediate Lessons are now officially out of beta*, and fully ready to use!
The new Intermediate Lessons provide the perfect stepping stone from beginner level Japanese through to high intermediate. Starting with a recap of all material covered in the Beginner Lessons, the lessons cover 1000 kanji. Additionally, the 55 lessons will introduce you to about 1500 of the most useful words using the lesson kanji. Each lesson also introduces a handful of critical grammar points, covering about 300 in total, illustrated with nearly 2500 example sentences. Completing the series covers all the material you need to pass the JLPT N2 (the second highest level).
You can study an intermediate lesson at any time by visiting the [lesson index](/ilessons). A link to the lesson index is in the top STUDY menu on every page. You can also find the lessons via the [Study index page](/study) in the INFORMATION AND HELP section of the bottom menu on every page.
The lessons use a great new format, with your mastery of the material clearly visible in the home page of each lesson. Each lesson includes a wide range of study activities, including a slideshow introducing all the material, flashcards and kanji drawing practice, as well as around ten fun and engaging study games. You can test yourself on the material at any time for study or revision, and if you know the material, you can take a 'Boost Test' to test up to the next lesson. This makes the Intermediate Lessons great revision material even for advanced students.
Key features of the new Intermediate Lesson series:
  • 55 lessons covering 1000 kanji, 1500 key words, and 300 grammar points
  • Covers all the material for JLPT N5 through N2
  • Introductory slideshow covering lesson content with 'points of interest' and notes
  • Flashcards, kanji drawing practice, 10 study games
  • Visual summary of your mastery of the kanji, words and grammar in each lesson
  • Three ways to finish a lesson - complete the lesson exercises, 'Test up', or just get your mastery of the content high enough using any of Kanshudo's study tools and games
If you are using the AI-generated study recommendations on your Dashboard to study on Kanshudo (the recommended way to study), you will automatically see recommendations for Intermediate Lessons as you progress. You can tell Kanshudo to focus your study tasks on the Intermediate Lessons by setting your lesson series to the Intermediate Lessons on your account page. You will start to receive intermediate lesson study recommendations automatically once your Japanese mastery level reaches 20.
* We removed the 'beta' tag from the lessons a few months ago once the lesson content and functionality were complete, but since then we have put a lot of time into improving [Grammar Match](/play/grammarmatch_first) to cover almost all of the 300+ grammar points in the lessons.

Posted: 2021-11-02, Tags: games kanji
We're very excited to introduce our newest game: Kanji Keywords!
Kanji Keywords brings together two of the most important learning techniques for kanji in a super fun and engaging game format: keywords and active recall.
Keywords: the best way to learn readings of a kanji reading is to learn the most important words that use them. Kanshudo introduces you to a kanji's keywords in various ways - for example, we display the keywords for each kanji whenever you click a kanji icon in search results; you can also access a collection of all the most important words for all the readings in the Joyo kanji. Kanji Keywords tests your knowledge of these keywords directly.
Active recall: the best way to learn a word is to actively use it. Second to actual conversation, the best way to actively use a word is to recall it from a definition or translation and then write it out. Kanji Keywords requires you to type out the reading of each keyword.
Kanji Keywords will help you learn kanji and important Japanese vocabularly in tandem. Best of all, your games will increase both your kanji mastery and your word mastery scores, and will earn you study points for free Pro access to Kanshudo!
Play a few rounds of Kanji Keywords today.

Posted: 2021-10-22, Tags: usefulness jlpt
Since we introduced the usefulness ranking for Japanese vocabulary four years ago, the most comprehensive analysis of Japanese usage available, we have made many improvements. We now use close to 30 ranking factors to determine how useful words are for Japanese learners in relation to each other, and which form of each word is most useful.
Words with a usefulness level of 9 or better are amongst the most useful 50,000 words in Japanese, and have a colored badge in search results, eg: .
Many useful words have multiple forms, and less common forms have a badge that looks like this: .
Of course, as we have added more data and analysis, the usefulness ratings of many words has changed somewhat. The badges update automatically, but our usefulness collections are a 'snapshot' of the list, and we have now updated the collections to reflect the latest data. You can still access the original collections if you need to. You can also search for words by usefulness level with the special ufn: keyword, for example: ufn:2.
The details of our methodology are set out in depth in our comprehensive how-to guide, How to prioritize Japanese words to study.
Finally, we have added a new 'shadow' JLPT badge. A standard JLPT badge indicates that a word appears in the Wikipedia JLPT vocab list, which in turn was based on the Tanos list. Standard badges look like this: .
However, in many cases, the word in the Wikipedia / Tanos list is not the most useful form of the word. We generally recommend that you learn the most useful form of a word first (and that form is most likely to be tested in the JLPT), so we have now added a lighter colored JLPT badge to the other forms of each word that appears in the JLPT list, which looks like this: .
See for example the entry for . The kana form is the one you will encounter most commonly, and the one we recommend you learn first. However, the kanji form 駄目 appears in the list for JLPT N3, even though the kanji 駄 is not one you would be expected to know until you reach JLPT N1 (the highest level).

Posted: 2021-07-30, Tags: pointsofinterest kanji joy-o-kanji
Chopsticks are among the most useful and important implements in daily life in Japan - you literally need them to eat! Learn about the history of chopsticks, as well as the Japanese words and kanji used for them, in our new Point of Interest, はし, 箸 and chopsticks. Also learn how to make sure you are not accidentally talking about something entirely different when you use the spoken word!

Posted: 2021-06-30, Tags: readings pointsofinterest joy-o-kanji
The crane plays an outsized role in Japanese culture, and we are delighted to present a number of new resources to help you become acquainted with this central theme of Japanese art and literature!
Learn more about cranes and what they symbolize in our new Point of interest,
 cranes in Japanese culture
. Then, work through the delightful fairy tale
(The Crane's Flute), our latest addition to the Reading Corner, with a new translation by our partner J.D. Wisgo. Finally, to really cement your knowledge of the kanji 鶴, read the Joy o' Kanji essay on 鶴.

Posted: 2021-06-10, Tags: games kanji
Drawing a kanji by hand is one of the best ways to truly cement it in your memory. We are delighted to announce that Kanji Draw is now available as a standalone game, so you can test yourself and practice drawing kanji as often as you like!
Our new standalone Kanji Draw game has a study mode (with infinite lives) as well as a high score mode so you can compete with yourself. You can draw on kanji with a specific usefulness level, or you can choose kanji from a specific study set. You can also optionally restrict the game by your own mastery, so you can focus on learning kanji you don't know well, or testing yourself on kanji you do.
As with all Kanshudo games, you will earn study points for every round you play, and every kanji you draw correctly will improve your kanji mastery score.
You can find Kanji Draw from the PLAY menu at the top of every page, as well as in the KANJI & KANA menu at the bottom of every page. You can also find it in the Play index page and the site index, or you could just do a Quick Search for 'draw' or 'kanji games' from any page.
Kanji Draw will also appear as a study task on your Dashboard, along with all of Kanshudo's games and learning tools. Let Kanshudo drive you on the road to Japanese mastery!

Posted: 2021-06-01, Tags: offers lottery
We're delighted to announce a special June promotion with our partner Joy o' Kanji! Just post something nice about both Kanshudo and Joy o' Kanji on your preferred social network, and let us know. You will be entered into a prize draw, and one lucky winner will receive a whole year of Pro access to Kanshudo including Joy o' Kanji's kanji essays (see here for more details on our joint subscriptions).
This is open to existing subscribers, as well as those of you who have been looking for a good opportunity to subscribe, so don't delay! More details in the attached image.

Posted: 2021-05-27, Tags: read literature
We're very excited to announce a new partnership with Japanese literature expert Bunsuke. Every few days we will be bringing you a short extract from a noted Japanese literary work, with translations and commentary by Bunsuke. The excerpts live in a new section of the Reading Corner which you can access from the front page. You can also access the Bunsuke section using the Quick Search function on the top right of any page - just search for , or , or etc. (This is often the quickest way to find any function on Kanshudo if you're not sure where it is in the menus.)
To start, we have extracts that will give you a flavor of the work of two of Japan's most famous authors - Haruki Murakami, and Natsume Soseki. We'll be adding a couple of new extracts per week. You can also subscribe to Bunsuke's email newsletter ⇗ for even more content - Bunsuke releases new extracts daily, and delivers them right to your inbox!
Here's a direct link to the new Bunsuke section of the Reading Corner so you can get started right away!

Posted: 2021-05-17, Tags: search counters
Learning to count in Japanese can be tricky, and we've added some new tools to make it as easy as 1-2-3!
Japanese uses a system of 'counters' - suffixes designated for counting specific objects. We've collected the most common counters in counters for objects and other things, and you can read more about the general approach in Japanese numbers and counting.
Knowing a counter is only half the story - you have to know how to read the combination of a number and counter. We've added a new special keyword "counter:" to enable you to search for all uses of a counter so you can quickly find out how the reading changes as it is combined with numbers. Try this search to see it in action: counter:本.
Dates and time are actually just special examples of the counter system. For details, see our overview articles, Japanese dates and telling the time in Japanese.
If you'd like to investigate counters even more thoroughly, you can use the following search to find all counters in Japanese: search for all counters.
If you're curious about the image attached to this blog post, you can read more in our Point of interest, counting with a そろばん (Japanese abacus).

Posted: 2021-05-11, Tags: pitch pronunciation
We're very excited to announce a major new addition to Kanshudo: support for pitch accents, a core component of Japanese pronunciation.
We've created a brand new how-to guide, the Kanshudo definitive guide to Japanese pitch accents. The guide provides a comprehensive overview of pitch accents. It will introduce you to the way accents work in Japanese compared to other languages, help you understand how to determine the correct accents of words and sentences, show you some commonly confused word groups, and show you how to look up accents in Kanshudo and Japanese dictionaries. The new guide also includes a wealth of fantastically clear native speaker audio samples recorded for us by a professional Japanese radio announcer.
Additionally, we've added pitch accent data and diagrams to over 150,000 words in the word dictionary - for example, try this search: .
The guide contains common examples of words with the same reading but different accents, and in addition, we've also added a new collection of all ~600 or so words within the most useful words in Japanese which have multiple accent forms. Click here to view the full collection.
We've also extended and improved our basic guide to Japanese pronunciation, and added native speaker audio samples to that too.
You now have everything you need to learn how to sound like a true native Japanese speaker!

Posted: 2021-03-11, Tags: udpates whatsnew
We've been busy over the last few months! We've been working on many different areas of the system, so even regular users will probably find some surprises in this roundup. Here's a quick summary of the new content and features on Kanshudo.
New icons!
We've updated several icons, including the trusty favorites star , usefulness , JLPT , mastery , flashcard edit , details view , and more.
We've made a major improvement to the favorites system: you can now designate a flashcard set as your storage location for favorites. This means that as soon you click the favorites star , you immediately have a flashcard in your preferred set!
You can change the location at any time, so if you switch to another flashcard set, any search result that has a flashcard in that set will show up with a shaded favorite star.
New Joy o' Kanji essays
We've added 11 great new in-depth kanji essays from our partner Joy o' Kanji:
Joy o' Kanji essay on 叔Joy o' Kanji essay on 湾Joy o' Kanji essay on 牲
Joy o' Kanji essay on 芯Joy o' Kanji essay on 京Joy o' Kanji essay on 巣
Joy o' Kanji essay on 丼Joy o' Kanji essay on 款Joy o' Kanji essay on 鋭
Joy o' Kanji essay on 午 Joy o' Kanji essay on 梅
16 new grammar points and points of interest
正の字(せいのじ)  the Japanese tally mark教える(おしえる)  teach, tell, showないでくれませんか  I would be grateful if you would not ~
たられば  what if ... ?べ particle  speculation, invitationuse of 京 in the いろは
温泉(おんせん)  Japanese hot springsfamily are people足(あし)  foot or leg?
particles から + の  fromごえん: 五円 and 御縁  luck, money and love!ちょっと  a little ... or a lot
次第だ, 次第で  depending onJapanese business terminology油を売る(あぶらをうる)  whiling away the hours
梅の花(うめのはな)  ume blossoms
Remember you can always access automatically-updated lists of recently-added and recently-updated grammar articles from the grammar library home page.
We've made a lot of improvements to the flashcard system, and we're still working on a couple more, so rather than summarize those here we'll put them all together in another blog post soon.
Intermediate lessons
The beta of the new intermediate lesson series is progressing very well - one tester even went so far as to say "I think the new intermediate lessons are the best thing to happen to this platform". The functionality is now nearly complete, and we are doing our third or fourth pass through the new lesson content! If you would like to try out the new intermediate lessons yourself, please let us know.
More miscellaneous improvements
  • You can now hide kanji and word 'quick views' after you've clicked on the kanji or word to show them
  • The Joy o' Kanji popup which shows when you click a JOK badge now contains helpful links to your previously downloaded essays and your available credits
  • You can now restrict example search by sentence difficulty
  • We've added a new kanji keyword search to help you identify key components by how frequently they are used: (this identifies all components that are used 1-100 times in Joyo kanji).
  • A new download button lets you download examples directly from quick view.
  • You now have the ability to ignore study tasks.
  • You can now override the system recommended kanji study set. The system will check whether you've done this before giving you the same recommendation again.
  • You can now see your mastery level for words, kanji, and grammar points directly in word search / kanji search / grammar search - you will see a mastery badge such as next to each result.
  • You can manually edit your mastery for kanji, words and grammar points wherever you see the mastery badge - just click it to pull up an edit view.
  • Search history now loads much more quickly, and uses an 'infinitely expanding' list rather than pages.

Posted: 2021-01-29, Tags: games vocabulary
We are excited to introduce our latest standalone game: Answer Type!
Answer Type is a great way to practice and test your Japanese vocabulary: simply type the readings of as many words as you can. Choose words based on your target usefulness level, and try to beat your high score! Click here to try it out.
Answer Type is one of several Kanshudo games designed to build your Japanese vocabulary in a fun and entertaining way - you can also try Word Match and Word Quiz as standalone games, and others Kana Search and Term Find which appear in Boost.
Answer Type will also appear from time to time as a study task when you work on your daily study session!

Posted: 2021-01-10, Tags: flashcards
If you have a lot of flashcards or a lot of flashcard sets (or both!), you may have noticed that the counts of cards to learn or review have gone up or down. Don't worry - this is not a bug! We just completed a major update to the way flashcards work, and it affects the counts.
Previously, when you added a flashcard for a word / kanji / grammar point / example to a set, a new card would be created, with new study data. Over time, this could lead to many copies of a card - in some cases 15+ for some of our most active users - each at a different stage. This was not efficient in various ways - for example, it could interfere with review cycles, or mean that you were doing more reviews than you needed to. Any notes you added to the back of cards were only visible on the card you added them to, not the copies.
We've now updated the system such that whenever you add a flashcard for an item to a set, you actually create a reference to an existing card if there is one - and the study data is shared. So if the card is ready for review, it will appear in the 'review' count for both sets. If it is unlearned, it will appear in the 'learn' count for both sets.
Another benefit of this change is that you no longer need to worry about managing duplicate cards yourself - duplicates within a set are automatically prevented, and duplicates between sets are not actually duplicates, just references to the same card. Any notes you added to your cards have been consolidated and will be visible whichever set you see the card in. (Note that cards created for Beginner Lessons often use the notes field to display different inflections of a word - those have now been consolidated as well.) You can use the new 'shared cards' function for any flashcard set to see and manage cards which are also used in other sets.
This improvement is part of several major updates to the flashcard system that are currently in progress - we are working on a new improved UI, and several great new features.

Posted: 2020-12-16, Tags: sales offers
Save 50% on a Kanshudo Pro subscription!
As this tumultuous year comes to an end, let's look forward to a fresh start and new challenges in 2021. How could better Japanese enrich your life next year?
The satisfaction of an impressive personal accomplishment ...
A magical trip (real or virtual) to the Olympics ...
An exciting new career opportunity ...
Greater access to Japanese people and culture ...
Kanshudo can help you realize your Japanese dreams! 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 2021: Kanshudo's holiday sale gives you 50% off Pro membership for an entire year! Only $30 - less than 10 cents per day - brings you full access to our AI tutor and personalized study sessions, the most comprehensive Japanese dictionaries online, unlimited flashcards, a wealth of learning games and exercises, and many more great features. Include access to in-depth kanji essays from our partner Joy o' Kanji, also for 50% off!
Take advantage of this very special holiday offer now: Give me 50% off!

Posted: 2020-12-11, Tags: flashcards favorites
'Favorites' are one of Kanshudo's most useful features - just click the icon next to any kanji, word, grammar point or even example sentence to store it in your 'favorites bucket'.
We've made it even easier to work with favorites:
You can now use any flashcard set to store your favorites, instead of the default favorites bucket.
Add (and remove) favorites in the same way, but now whenever you create a new favorite, it is immediately available in the flashcard set you choose.
You can change your storage location quickly and easily whenever you want. This provides a really useful way to switch between study sets, and makes it much easier to manage your flashcards. For example, you could designate one flashcard set for the novel you're reading, and another for your current lesson. When you change your flashcard storage location, the items in the set you choose will have a icon in search results, so you can easily identify what you already have in there.
To change your favorites storage location, use the link in your account page, or the link from your favorites home in the main menu. Here is a direct link.

Posted: 2020-12-03, Tags: newfeatures addictive studyaids games
We are delighted to announce our most advanced learning tool yet: Kanshudo Boost.
Boost is a fantastic learning aid as well as testing tool. It combines multiple learning modes using a wide variety of different games and exercises, and integrates your knowledge of kanji, words, and grammar. Boost is Kanshudo's most powerful tool for building and testing your knowledge of Japanese.
Boost is also incredibly flexible. You can take a Boost to help you learn almost anything in the Kanshudo system - individual kanji, words, grammar points, even example sentences. You can use Boost to test yourself on all content with a specific usefulness, and lesson content in our upcoming Series 2 Intermediate Lessons. You can also use Boost as a way to learn or test yourself on your own flashcard sets!
Most Boost types can be generated from the Boost home page, which is accessible from the main STUDY menu. You can also generate Boosts anywhere in the system wherever you see the icon. You will also start to see Boosts appear as study tasks on your Dashboard.
Try a Kanshudo Boost today and supercharge your Japanese studies!

Posted: 2020-11-21, Tags: whatsnew
Recently we've added several new grammar points, including negative + ようにする  try not to do, verb stem + ましょ  short polite volitional form, and ます form + ように  making a wish, as well as new 'points of interest' on 梅の花(うめのはな)  ume blossoms and the somewhat less cheerful topic of dying in Japanese, bringing the reference library to 817 articles on Japanese grammar.
We've also added several new in-depth kanji essays from our partner Joy o' Kanji, including Joy o' Kanji essay on 梅, Joy o' Kanji essay on 凡, Joy o' Kanji essay on 勘 and Joy o' Kanji essay on 怨. There are now 392 essays available, each one providing unparalleled depth and background on a single Joyo kanji.
The interface for viewing your Kanji Challenge status has got a whole new look, with key features closer at hand, and we've also updated the study sets themselves to improve the sequencing.
We are very close to formally launching Kanshudo Boost, our most ambitious learning tool yet. Boost combines games and exercises of varying degrees of difficulty to test and train you on almost any material in Kanshudo, including kanji, words, grammar, and example sentences. You'll start to see Boosts appearing in your study recommendations soon, and we're starting to add links around the site. The beta is now public, and you can try it out here. Please let us know what you think!
One of our biggest projects currently is a major overhaul of the Intermediate Lessons, with new content, more games and exercises, and a completely new user interface. We're excited to announce that the new lessons are now in beta, so if you are working through the current Intermediate Lessons or just completing the Beginner Lessons, let us know if you would like to join the beta program.

Posted: 2020-11-16, Tags: inflections grammar newfeatures search
One of the hardest aspects of Japanese for learners is that inflections can be combined to create complex forms. It is very common to see a word which combines two grammatical inflections, and not uncommon to see as many as three or four (for example, see the last search in the list below). Understanding how forms are combined can be a challenge.
For some time we have been including analysis of inflected forms in our example sentence library, and recently we introduced the inflection showcase to help you practice forming any inflection for any word. Today we are excited to announce another great new feature which will help you understand and use inflections:
Inflected forms are now included within search results
To see this in action, try the following quick search: . First, the search results show you the base form the word is derived from,
す (the 'dictionary form'). Next, you'll see an analysis of exactly how the inflected search term is built from the dictionary form, along with links to the relevant articles in the grammar library: first we make the progressive form (話しています), and then we put it in the past tense (話していました).
Here are a few more searches to try:
For more information on Kanshudo's tools for helping you learn and use inflections, see our 'how to' guide, Understanding inflections and conjugations.
For a visual summary of your personal progress with Japanese grammar, check our your personalized Grammar mastery wheel.
Our Grammar library is a searchable reference resource with about 800 articles on Japanese grammar, graded by usefulness / JLPT level, complete with many thousands of examples.
For practice, try our grammar games, including Grammar Match, Sentence Builder and Sentence Complete.
For study recommendations specific to your personal situation, check out your Dashboard.

Posted: 2020-10-23, Tags: quickstudy study flashcards features
Quick Study is one of Kanshudo's most powerful features: you can use it to quickly review material to identify what you need to work on, or to test yourself on material you already know.
What is Quick Study?
Quick Study is rather like 'disposable flashcards'. Quick Study presents material with all the same study options as Kanshudo's advanced spaced repetition flashcard system - you can view Japanese to English or the reverse, display furigana or not, and optionally type in your answers.
However, unlike flashcards, items in Quick Study disappear when you have learned them, and by default, won't affect your mastery scores. So if you like, you can use Quick Study without affecting anything in the system. However, you can customize Quick Study in various ways - for example, you can have it create flashcards for items you don't know, or update your mastery scores based on your answers.
What can I study?
Quick Study works across the entire system, so you can quickly study:
  • Kanji, kana, words or grammar points
  • Kanji components
  • Your favorites
  • Your flashcards - Kanshudo can identify cards you've recently forgotten, cards you are finding difficult to learn, or just create random study sets across all your flashcards
Settings and options
Quick Study is highly customizable. Some of the options you can modify include:
  • Automatically create flashcards for items you get wrong
  • Include a button to manually create a flashcard for any item
  • Include YES / NO buttons of the front of cards so you can very quickly jump to the next
  • Drop cards immediately or wait until you know them
  • Update your mastery scores based on your answers
  • Keep score of your correct and incorrect answers
Quick Study has two preset modes, Learn and Test, which automatically configure these options for you.
How to launch Quick Study
Quick Study is accessible from the main STUDY menu at the top of every page. You will also be prompted to do a Quick Test from time to time in your study recommendations. You'll also see Quick Study or Quick Test buttons around the system, easily identifiable by the icon. Here's a link to the Quick Study home page so you can check it out now.

Posted: 2020-10-19, Tags: reading
We are delighted to announce three new additions to the Kanshudo Reading Corner, which together comprise a delightful story by
(Ogawa Mimei), a prolific writer of short stories known in Japan as the founder of modern children's literature.
Ogawa's stories are excellent learning material for modern students of Japanese, as his use of language is varied but not overly complex, and he rarely uses constructions not used in modern Japanese. While billed as 'children's stories', the themes often deal with the passage of time and life, and provide appeal and interest for adult readers.
The story these three pieces are based on,
, The Life of a Musical Instrument, describes the life and times of a magical musical instrument. We've classified it as Intermediate, but the grammar is not too complex, and students of all levels might want to give it a try.
We are greatly indebted to J. D. Wisgo for allowing us to use his excellent translation of this story, and we hope to be able to bring you more material by Ogawa and J.D., so if you like this piece, please let us know! For more information on J.D.and his work, head over to the Reading Corner and look for the three new pieces - here's a direct link to the introduction of the first part.
If you are following Kanshudo's study program by working on the study tasks our Japanese teaching AI recommends for you on your Dashboard, you will automatically see suggestions to read these pieces.

Posted: 2020-09-22, Tags: games
We're pleased to announce that you can now play Kanshudo Sentence Builder for a specific grammar point, just as you can with Kanshudo Grammar Match! Currently you can play Sentence Builder with 103 grammar points at various levels of difficulty, and we are adding more daily.
Sentence Builder is a challenging game, because it tests your understanding of sentence structure as well as vocabulary. It's a fun way to solidify your understanding of grammar in context. Each sentence you build automatically affects your grammar mastery for all linked grammar points (not just the one you are playing for. You also earn study points for every sentence and every game you complete.
To play Sentence Builder for a specific grammar point, visit the grammar point in the grammar library, and then click the PLAY SENTENCE BUILDER link. For example, try it with the ので grammar point. To reset the setting, just choose another grammar point, or visit your Sentence Builder settings and click the RESET button.

Posted: 2020-06-26, Tags: tools newfeatures grammar
Have you ever wanted to check how an irregular verb conjugates? Or quickly see how an inflection differs for two Japanese verbs? Or just wanted a quick refresher on the inflections of an adjective or verb?
Our new Inflection showcase makes it extremely easy to look up standard inflections. You can select a given part of speech such as a class of adjective or verb, and see either basic or advanced inflections with a single click. You can then jump to articles in our Grammar library on any of the inflections, or look up all words in Japanese tagged as the part of speech you've selected.
The Inflection showcase makes it super easy to learn and test your knowledge of both standard and advanced conjugations for verbs, adjectives and more.
Kanshudo's tools for helping you learn Japanese grammar
For a visual summary of your personal progress with Japanese grammar, check our your personalized Grammar mastery wheel.
For more information on Kanshudo's tools for helping you learn and use inflections, see our 'how to' guide, Understanding inflections and conjugations.
Our Grammar library is a searchable reference resource with about 800 articles on Japanese grammar, graded by usefulness / JLPT level, and complete with many thousands of examples.
For practice, try our grammar games, including Grammar Match, Sentence Builder and Sentence Complete.
For study recommendations specific to your personal situation, check out your Dashboard.

Posted: 2020-06-18, Tags: pricing sales
In the five years since Kanshudo was founded, we have become one of the leading Japanese language learning platforms. Tens of thousands of students study Japanese kanji, words and grammar with Kanshudo, and our platform provides the most sophisticated, comprehensive, and enjoyable approach to learning Japanese available online.
In all that time, we have not increased our prices once! However, our costs have risen dramatically as we have added functionality and users, and the time has come to bring our prices back in line.
Before we do, we are announcing a very special opportunity. We will not be increasing pricing for current Kanshudo Pros. So, if you are already Pro, or you go Pro any time before the end of July, you can 'grandfather' (lock in) our current pricing for as long as you maintain your Pro status!
Lock in current Kanshudo pricing of $30 per year or $3 per month!   Go PRO
Our 'beta pricing', $30 for a year or $3 for a month, was set when we were focused exclusively on kanji, before we had a comprehensive grammar library, a custom AI for personalized study plans, a reading library, Challenges and most of our games, or any of the other great features we have introduced over the years. In the meantime, our costs have increased as the complexity of the system and the demand have grown. So, in the next month or two, we will be increasing our prices to bring them back in line with costs, which will be around double the current level.
Lock in current Kanshudo pricing of $30 per year or $3 per month!   Go PRO
Our competitors have not held back on price increases - a recent survey showed us that many popular Japanese apps cost over $100 per year, and some cost several times that. Some claim to be free and then charge when you least expect it ... Kanshudo offers more value and functionality than any of them, including completely free access to most features of the site with usage limits, and study coupons that reduce costs greatly. A whole year costs less than a single textbook or classroom lesson could cost!
If you act now, you will maintain the incredible value our current pricing provides - indefinitely.
Note: if you would prefer to go Pro with PayPal, please let us know.

Posted: 2020-06-06, Tags: games
One of the best ways to practice your understanding of Japanese grammar is to actually build sentences yourself. As its name suggests, Kanshudo Sentence Builder lets you do just that!
Sentence Builder has been available as part of lessons and Challenges for a while, but now you can play it whenever you like directly from the PLAY menu.
You can choose the difficulty level of sentences to play with, so you can focus directly on your level. Each sentence you build will automatically affect your grammar mastery for any linked grammar points. You will earn study points for every sentence and every game you complete. Additionally, you can track your high scores!

Posted: 2020-05-13, Tags: vocabulary kanji collections reference
The best way to learn Japanese kanji readings is to learn the most useful words that use them. In the same way, it is easier to learn words when you can tie your knowledge of the word to the kanji used to write it.
We're delighted to introduce several new vocabulary collections which address both of these issues at once, and are ideal for building both your kanji knowledge and vocabulary: the most useful word for every reading of every kanji.
See the new collections [here](/collections/vocab_kanji_useful)
There are 2136 Jōyō kanji, which in total have 4266 official readings (an average of 2 readings per kanji), so the collections present 4266 words. Learning these words is the best way to ensure you know all key readings of each of the 2136 Jōyō kanji, and a great way to learn 4266 of the most useful Japanese words.
Additionally, we include the subset of 3319 words which are 'level-appropriate' - i.e., the words most useful to learn when you first encounter the kanji. (Some readings of kanji are much less common, and not worth learning until you reach a higher level.)
Use these collections to create flashcards, add favorites, test yourself with Quick Test, or play study games!

Posted: 2020-05-01, Tags: examples search usability furigana
Regular users of Kanshudo will know that clicking any kanji or word in search results will bring up a 'quick view' with key information, enabling you to answer most questions you might have without clicking through to the details view on its own page.
Now, example sentences have something similar: click any word in an example sentence's short form view, and a new section we call 'dynamic details' will load containing all information pertinent to that word: for example, any grammar points that touch on that word, inflections, word details, and details of any kanji it contains.
Additionally, we're delighted to announce a feature that has been requested many times: the ability to toggle furigana for example sentences! You can now click the icon to the left of any example to turn furigana on or off. You can modify your default preference in your Account page.
Let's look at an example (no pun intended!):

People often say that Japanese is a difficult language.
First, go ahead and click the furigana icon - notice how the furigana (kana characters that show you how to read/pronounce kanji words) appear / disappear.
Next, click on 言われる: you'll see the 'dynamic details' view appear with details of the inflection being used, the word 言う, and the kanji 言. There's a SEARCH link so you can search for 言われる in Quick Search, and if you want similar information for all words in the example at once, you can click the DETAILS link.

Posted: 2020-04-24, Tags: navigation
We know ... Kanshudo can be hard to navigate! It is a complex system, and there is a lot to find. We hear you, and we've made some improvements that should make it a little easier! Here's an overview of all the various ways to find things on Kanshudo. If you already know your way around, jump to the Index pages section to see the new guides. If you're just getting started, read on.
First, just a reminder that you can let Kanshudo do the navigating for you: visit your Dashboard any time by clicking the logo in the top left of the screen, and follow the study recommendations. The study recommendation AI is designed to introduce you to all Kanshudo's key functions, which will help you become familiar with the system.
Site search
If you know the name of the feature you're interested in, but you don't know where it is in the menus, you can search for it using Site search. Site search results are included in quick search results, so you can just click the quick search icon at the top right of any page.
Top menu
The top menu provides quick access to Kanshudo's main functions organized by activity:
Index pages
You can get a more comprehensive list of functions organized by activity from the four index pages. All four of these are in the INFORMATION & HELP menu at the bottom left of every page:
We've just reworked all four of these index pages - they are now much more comprehensive and easy to follow.
Bottom menu
In addition to the four key index pages, the bottom menu includes links to most of Kanshudo's key features organized by content area: kanji & kana, words, grammar, as well as more search options and admin functions.
How-to guides
Finally, Kanshudo includes several in-depth guides covering how to use the system, as well as how to learn Japanese generally:

Posted: 2020-03-31, Tags: components componentbuilder search
The Kanshudo Component Builder has been a key feature of Kanshudo since very early on in Kanshudo's history. Its core function is the ability to look up a kanji based on any combination of its components - the standard 'radical' used in traditional dictionaries, or any other component or combination of components. Since it is much easier to identify components than to find a kanji in a long list, this approach to looking up kanji is very efficient.
The original Component Builder introduced a key innovation which made the process even faster: the ability to identify a component just by typing its name. Once you know the names of standard components such as 'tree' (木) or 'sun' (日), you could simply type the name rather than searching for the component visually.
Today we are delighted to introduce another leap forward: the ability to look up any of the 400+ components used in Joyo kanji simply by drawing it. Just fire up the Component Builder, identify the components in your kanji, choose the easiest, and draw it in the drawing area! Drawing a component is much easier than drawing a complex kanji, and our system, which is built on a custom neural net designed by Kanshudo, will recognize any of the components used in Joyo kanji.
To get started, click here to open up the Component Builder in Quick Search.
For more details, read our detailed how-to guide to the Component Builder.

Posted: 2020-03-17, Tags: flashcards favorites
As we write this, the whole world is struggling with the covid-19 pandemic. Cities (including our own San Francisco) and countries are locked down, and people everywhere are suffering from the virus itself or its after effects, including economic hardship. Our hearts go out to everyone particularly affected by this, and we wish everyone who reads this our very best as we all battle this common enemy. Stay safe!
We're writing this post to let you know about two small but valuable additions to Kanshudo: an item view for flashcards, and a list view for favorites. Read on to find out what these are and how useful they can be!
First, we've added a new view to complement the standard favorites view. In the (original) standard view, each of your favorites is presented in the same way it appears in Kanshudo search results, along with the ability to click each item and see more detail, view a kanji's components quickly and easily etc.
The new favorites list view provides a short form text summary of each of your favorites, and allows you to select each favorite with a checkbox. You can then selectively add your checked favorites to a flashcard set of your choosing, which gives you much finer-grained control.
The new item view for a flashcard set essentially gives you the opposite. Until now, the only view of your flashcards in any given set was a summary view which gave you your learning statistics and rough data. Now, we've added an item view for your set cards, which shows you each of the cards in standard Kanshudo format. To see the item view, visit your flashcards index and click VIEW for any set.
Note that any flashcards you have imported as plain text (ie, without using smart import) will not appear in the item view. If at all possible use smart import - Kanshudo flashcards are far more useful when you use them to study kanji / words / examples / grammar that the system recognizes, as Kanshudo uses that to measure your Japanese Mastery Level.

Posted: 2020-02-22, Tags: drawing kanji
We're delighted to announce several improvements to the Drawing center.
Drawing kanji yourself is a great way to cement them in your mind, as it invokes multiple learning styles. For example, the physical act of moving your fingers to shape the strokes creates 'muscle memory'.
Plus, drawing kanji requires you to call to mind aspects of the character that you may not have focused on when you were trying to learn it visually. For example, you need to remember the correct stroke order, and you need to have a sense of what each stroke looks like individually.
Kanshudo's Drawing center is here to help! We've added several new features:
  • Practice drawing the kanji in any of your flashcard sets. For any flashcard set that contains kanji, Kanshudo will automatically identify the kanji cards, and turn them into a list for you to draw.
  • Practice drawing any of the components used in the Joyo kanji.
These great new features complement the original functionality:
  • Practice drawing hiragana or katakana.
  • Practice drawing the 50 most useful kanji components.
We're also working on a kanji drawing game and another exciting drawing-related feature. If you have any comments or suggestions, please let us know!

Posted: 2020-02-06, Tags: flashcards howto kanji
Flashcards are a great learning tool, and with the modern convenience of phones and computers, more accessible than ever. Kanshudo includes a powerful flashcard study and management system with built-in spaced repetition, and provides many ways to create flashcards - for example, lessons, collections and favorites.
But how do you use flashcards for kanji in particular? Read our new guide, Tips for using flashcards to learn kanji, which provides key tips for maximizing the effectiveness of flashcards for your kanji study.

Posted: 2020-01-04, Tags: pointsofinterest names
Alert: as of the 1st January 2020, all Japanese names have changed!
More specifically, the English translations of Japanese names are now officially written in the same order as the Japanese, with the family name first. So, the official English translation of the name of Japan's prime minister at the time,
, is now Abe Shinzō . This is the opposite of the conventional order of Western names, so for many years the standard translation has followed the Western convention - Shinzō Abe.
The primary motivation for this change is convenience for Japanese people - why should they be forced to say their names backwards when talking to non-Japanese? In practice, the key question will be how long it takes foreign media to adopt the new convention, since that is how most people develop a sense of the 'right' way to say a Japanese name.
This blog post is based on the Japanese name reversal point of interest. For more points of interest, see the point of interest library.

Posted: 2019-12-20, Tags: sales offers
Celebrate the end of 2019 by locking in a year of the best online Japanese learning platform available: one year of Kanshudo Pro access for $15.
2020 will be a fantastic year to learn Japanese: Japan will host the Olympics, which will put it on the world's center stage. 2020 is the first full year of the new Reiwa era, following the ascension of Emperor Naruhito in May. And Japanese continues to be one of the world's most interesting languages, offering unparalleled access to one of the world's most unique cultures.
Whether you are looking for a new career opportunity, a fascinating travel experience, or simply to enrich your life, learning Japanese is one of the best investments in yourself you can make.
Become a Kanshudo Pro today and get 12 months of Pro access to the world's most sophisticated online Japanese learning platform Sign me up!
Kanshudo brings an extraordinary range of benefits to supercharge your Japanese studies:
Take the most important step towards mastering the Japanese language: become a Kanshudo Pro! Sign me up!
And here's one more great reason to become a Kanshudo Pro now. Kanshudo pricing has not changed since we were founded nearly five years ago - and in that time the features and content in the system have multiplied tenfold. In early 2020, we will be putting our prices up for new subscribers.
However: existing Kanshudo Pros will continue on current rates! So now is the best possible time to lock in the unbelievable value that Kanshudo Pro brings for anyone serious about learning the Japanese language!
Give me unbeatable value: $15 for a year of Pro access Sign me up!

Posted: 2019-12-16, Tags: games grammar jlpt
We're thrilled to announce our very first grammar game! As requested by many of you for a long time, Grammar Match makes it possible to learn grammatical constructions directly in the context of example sentences. Grammar Match uses a fun and intuitive game format, similar to our Sentence Complete game, as well as to one of the most common exercise types on the JLPT: choose the correct construction from several similar ones to fit the blank(s) in a sentence.
Kanshudo's huge grammar reference library
The Kanshudo reference library of Japanese grammar now contains nearly 750 articles, which between them include nearly 50,000 words! It is fast becoming one of the most comprehensive resources on the Japanese language available. You can search and bookmark articles, and even study them as flashcards. Our unique Grammar Mastery Wheel helps you visualize your knowledge.
However, until today, the grammar library has been largely 'read only'. There was no way to directly test your knowledge of Japanese grammar in a fun and engaging way.
Introducing Grammar Match
Now there is!
Use Grammar Match to test yourself on what you already know, to identify new constructions at your current study level, as well as to reinforce your knowledge. Grammar Match currently covers around 80 core grammar points - the most important 10-15 for each JLPT level - and we are adding more daily.
Play Grammar Match with over 100,000 example sentences!
One of the best things about Grammar Match is that it draws on a huge array of available material. Gone are the days when you could only quiz yourself on a couple of examples of a construction. To create Grammar Match, we have indexed our entire collection of nearly 160,000 example sentences for grammatical constructions, so as you play Grammar Match, you can work with sentences of almost any difficulty level, and an almost inexhaustible supply of fresh material. The grammar points included so far draw on nearly 115,000 sentences, and that number is also increasing as we include more grammar points.
Earn points and Pro access
And of course you benefit from all the usual Kanshudo features: as you play, you earn study points, which in turn give you coupons for Pro access. Playing Grammar Match will help you increase your Japanese Mastery Level and your Grammar Mastery Score.
Play now!
Click here to play Grammar Match now. You can also find Grammar Match any time from the main PLAY menu in the top right of every page.

Posted: 2019-11-19, Tags: mastery kanjimastery howto deepdive kanjiwheel
In this post we're going to dive a little deeper into the relationship between your kanji mastery score and your Japanese mastery level. Long-time users of Kanshudo will be very familiar with the kanji wheel and kanji mastery score - how exactly do they tie up with our new comprehensive Japanese mastery level?
Your kanji wheel and kanji mastery score
The kanji wheel is a visual summary of your progress with all kanji. We divide kanji (and kana) into sets, and visually represent those as rings in a wheel - the hub of the wheel represents kana, and the most frequently occurring and useful kanji are nearer the center.
We shade the rings in the wheel based on our assessment of your knowledge of each kanji individually. We rate your mastery of a specific kanji from 0 (no knowledge) to 4 (fully mastered). Each ring of the wheel shows you how many kanji you have with each score.
Your kanji mastery score then sums up your knowledge of all these kanji by assigning weights to each ring - rings nearer the center are given more weight, because the kanji are more important. A score of 95 means you have fully mastered all 2136 Joyo kanji. (To get to 100, you also need to know kanji outside the Joyo, such as the Jinmeiyo.)
Your Japanese mastery level
Your Japanese mastery level is a number from 1 to 70 which represents your overall Japanese progress - not just kanji, but also vocabulary, grammar, and general experience.
In your [dashboard](/dashboard), the graphic at the top represents your progress through your current mastery level. The number in the center is your level - here, 24. Each 'wedge' is shaded to show your progress through that element.
So in this example, the wedge on the left (kanji) is fully shaded - it shows you have completed the kanji requirement for mastery level 24. The top wedge (vocabulary), is about 80% shaded; the right wedge (grammar) is about half shaded; the lower wedge (experience) is about 20% shaded.
So how do my kanji / word / grammar mastery scores relate to my Japanese mastery level?
Each set of ten mastery levels corresponds to one ring in each wheel. So for example, mastery levels 10 to 19 (each of which starts with a '1') corresponds to ring 1 - the first actual ring in each wheel. (In the kanji wheel, the central circle is for kana.)
Mastery levels 20-29 correspond to kanji / words / grammar with usefulness level 2. If your mastery level is 24, you are working on the second ring in each wheel.
The rings show you how many items you need to study, and what your mastery score is for each item. From those numbers we calculate an average - your 'average mastery' for the ring. We require you to reach average mastery of 3 (out of 4) to progress from one ring to the next. In other words, to complete one set of ten mastery levels, we require you to get your average mastery for the kanji / words / grammar in that set to 3.
So to progress from one mastery level to the next, you need to accomplish 10% of that - you need to increase your mastery of kanji / words / grammar by 0.3.
We require you to make progress in all dimensions in parallel. Even if you increase your kanji mastery by more than 0.3, you won't progress to the next mastery level until you also increase your grammar and vocab mastery by 0.3, and accumulate a certain number of study points.

Posted: 2019-11-06, Tags: mastery
We are delighted to formally take the wraps off our comprehensive new approach to learning Japanese, the most exciting update and significant update in Kanshudo's history.
Our new approach brings five significant improvements:
Your Japanese Mastery Level
Your Japanese Mastery Level is a single number from 1 to 70 which represents your progress with Japanese. Kanshudo now tracks your knowledge of kanji and kana, grammar, and vocabulary separately, and presents you with an overall progress assessment as well as your progress in each area individually. Read more about Japanese Mastery Levels.
Your Dashboard is a new central location accessible from anywhere on Kanshudo with a single click, showing your Japanese Mastery Level, your current study session, and other key status information. Visit your Dashboard.
AI Study Recommendations and Study Sessions
Our new AI examines your study history and Japanese Mastery Level, and develops custom study sessions just for you. Study sessions can be as long or short as you like, and you can take them as often as you wish. Each session consists of one or more study tasks which are customized to focus on the knowledge most useful for you to acquire next, as well as on making your study time as effective and fun as possible. View study recommendations on your Dashboard.
Your Japanese Mastery Map
Your Mastery Map is a visual indicator of your progress through the 70 mastery levels, represented as a physical journey through Japan's islands, culture and history. The Mastery Map helps bring your Japanese to life, as well as giving you practical and useful knowledge of life in Japan. Visit your Mastery Map.
New Navigation
We've completely redesigned our navigation system, putting key study tasks in the top menu, and a comprehensive list of key system functions in a new bottom menu. You can access your Dashboard and Study Session from the top of any page, and you can take advantage of a sophisticated new search switcher which will help you find anything on Kanshudo quickly.

Posted: 2019-10-28, Tags: kanji usefulness ring
As part of our transition to the new Japanese Mastery system, which tracks your progress with grammar and vocabulary as well as kanji in your Dashboard, we're introducing a 'usefulness' rating consistent with the usefulness rating already used for vocabulary and grammar points. This replaces the old 'ring' designation of kanji.
Kanji usefulness levels start with 'K' for kana, and then go from 1 - 8. Usefulness levels 1 - 5 represent the Jōyō kanji, and map directly to the former rings 2 - 6. In other words:
  • kana used to be 'ring 1', but are now 'usefulness K'
  • the most common kanji used to be 'ring 2', but are now 'usefulness 1'
  • etc.
What used to be ring 7 contained 'everything outside the Jōyō'. With the new system this is now more clearly broken out into separate usefulness levels:
This new system makes it much easier to see the study requirements for your Japanese Mastery Level. For example, if you are studying mastery levels 10-19, you can see at a glance from the first digit (the 1) that you should be focusing on kanji with usefulness 1, grammar points with usefulness 1, and vocabulary with usefulness 1.
You can find kanji by usefulness level with the special ufn: search keyword. So for example, to find all kana, you would run a kanji search for ufn:K. To find all kanji with usefulness level 3 (formerly ring 4), you would run a kanji search for ufn:3.
You can combine the ufn: keyword with the mymastery: keyword to find kanji with a specific usefulness that you have mastered to a specific level. For example, ufn:1 mymastery:4 will show you all kanji with usefulness 1 that you have fully mastered.
Your kanji mastery wheel looks just the same, and still has the name number of actual rings - all that's changed is how we describe them!

Posted: 2019-09-06, Tags: features mastery updates
It's been a few months since we've posted an update, because we've been hard at work on some very exciting improvements to Kanshudo. We're delighted to announce that beta testing is coming to a close, and over the next few weeks, we're going to start rolling out the new features and updates. Here's a quick preview! You can try any of these features today by joining the beta program - details below.
  • Our biggest update is what we're calling Japanese Mastery Level. This new measure tracks your Japanese knowledge across several dimensions in parallel - kanji, vocabulary, grammar, and overall experience. This is a big step forward from the kanji mastery score, and comes with some great new visualizations such as the Mastery Map (a visualization of your progress as a literal journey around Japan), as well as word and grammar mastery wheels (building on the kanji wheel you know and love!).
  • New navigation: we've redesigned the navigation to provide quick access to key functions (at the top) and more comprehensive access (at the bottom) on every page.
  • The Dashboard: your new 'home page' on Kanshudo. Once you move to the new navigation system, the Dashboard will be accessible from any page on Kanshudo, and will summarize your mastery progress, your lesson status and other key data.
  • Our new AI study recommendations! We are delighted to announce big improvements to our AI - the system that tracks your Japanese progress and provides recommendations for what you do next. The new AI tracks more dimensions of your progress, and offers broader recommendations based on what's available on Kanshudo. It now takes into account how long learning tasks might take you. Plus, study recommendations are now presented in the form of study sessions, which include a set of tasks with a defined time limit, so you can easily manage your study time.
  • We're very pleased to introduce Boost, an entirely new study mode on Kanshudo, which is very effective for learning, but has all the fun of our games - because it builds on them! Rather like our Kanji Challenges, Boost presents you with a series of games and exercises for the material you're working on. However, Boost works with any material - words, grammar points, kanji, collections etc.
  • Grammar Match is our first grammar-focused game. For those of you studying for the JLPT, this will be extremely helpful, as it will let you really drill into how grammar is used in real sentences. Unlike other Japanese grammar sites out there, Grammar Match comes with a huge array of material - we've built a rules engine to let grammar points draw on our full database of 160,000 example sentences.
  • Our Travel Collection is a set of useful words and phrases designed for your first trip to Japan. The Travel Collection comes complete with a range of study methods, including flashcards, our new Boost, and more.
  • Quick Test is a great new study mode which lets you quickly work through any collection of material and identify what you know and don't know for focused study.
If you would like to help beta test any of these features, please drop us a line via our support page.

Posted: 2019-04-13, Tags: studyaids studypoints kanjimastery textbooks
Kanshudo's Textbook Companion enables you to use all the features of Kanshudo with your favorite textbook. Similar to our own lessons, you can review the words and kanji introduced in each lesson of your textbook, practice drawing the kanji, play kanji and word games, and automatically generate flashcards. Kanshudo tracks your progress, updates your Kanji Wheel, and gives you study points!
Today we've introduced a new companion for the Basic Kanji Book series by Bonjinsha. The Basic Kanji Book series focuses on kanji, covering around 250 per volume.
In addition, the Kanshudo Textbook Companion supports the latest editions of several other popular textbook series: Genki, Minna no Nihongo, Japanese for Busy People and Adventures in Japanese.
Get started with the Kanshudo Textbook Companion today!

Posted: 2019-04-11, Tags: mastery kanjimastery kanjiwheel
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.

Posted: 2019-03-01, Tags: newfeatures read reading partners satori
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.

Posted: 2019-02-12, Tags: valentine holidays chocolate
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.

Posted: 2019-01-20, Tags: studyaids kanji readings
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.

Posted: 2018-12-18, Tags: sales offers
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.

Posted: 2018-11-29, Tags: studyaids grammar search flashcards
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:

Posted: 2018-09-07, Tags: hiragana katakana components drawing
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.

Posted: 2018-08-28, Tags: games study features quiz
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!

Posted: 2018-08-09, Tags: flashcards studyaids newfeatures
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.

Posted: 2018-07-13, Tags: featurearticles pointsofinterest customs
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.

Posted: 2018-05-23, Tags: tools newfeatures grammar
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.

Posted: 2018-03-19, Tags: newfeatures read reading partners satori
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.

Posted: 2018-01-31, Tags: offers sales
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!

Posted: 2018-01-24, Tags: newfeatures studyaids
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.

Posted: 2017-11-16, Tags: newfeatures search translation
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.

Posted: 2017-10-27, Tags: flashcards studyaids newfeatures usability anki
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!

Posted: 2017-08-31, Tags: features favorites flashcards examples
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.

Posted: 2017-08-28, Tags: articles partners tofugu
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.

Posted: 2017-08-10, Tags: partners visualization
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
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
component search for 𦰩

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.

Posted: 2017-07-25, Tags: games newfeatures addictive
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.

Posted: 2017-06-27, Tags: games
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.

Posted: 2017-06-13, Tags: vocabulary collections newfeatures efficiency howto
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.

Posted: 2017-05-02, Tags: vocabulary collections routledge
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.

Posted: 2017-04-19, Tags: hiragana katakana strokes stroke_order
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:

Posted: 2017-03-17, Tags:
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.

Posted: 2017-03-10, Tags: mnemonics memory
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.
1 Mnemonic Training Reshapes Brain Networks to Support Superior Memory: Neuron ⧉2 Scientists show how anyone can improve memory ⧉3 Ancient Imagery Mnemonics ⧉4 Method of loci - Wikipedia ⧉5 Mnemonic - Wikipedia ⧉

Posted: 2017-03-01, Tags: featurearticles pointsofinterest customs
Read our new
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.

Posted: 2017-02-27, Tags: vocabulary collections
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.

Posted: 2017-01-31, Tags: vocabulary newfeatures flashcards jlpt
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.

Posted: 2017-01-03, Tags: kanji collections reference
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!

Posted: 2016-12-16, Tags: offers sales
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!

Posted: 2016-12-12, Tags: newfeatures studyaids grammar search
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.

Posted: 2016-10-26, Tags: newfeatures summary
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
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
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
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
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
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
We've added a lot to our search functionality:
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!

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!

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)

Posted: 2016-09-09, Tags: newfeatures studyaids beginners
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!

Posted: 2016-09-02, Tags: newfeatures studyaids flashcards usability
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!

Posted: 2016-07-06, Tags: newfeatures studyaids flashcards usability
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.

Posted: 2016-06-20, Tags: newfeatures usability search navigation
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:
  • Name search:
  • Example search:

Posted: 2016-05-21, Tags: games newfeatures
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.

Posted: 2016-05-05, Tags: newfeatures kanshudopro benefits
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!

Posted: 2016-04-14, Tags: usability navigation ease-of-use
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!

Posted: 2016-03-23, Tags: studyaids revolutionary
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

Posted: 2016-03-21, Tags: flashcards
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!

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!

Posted: 2016-02-29, Tags: newfeatures studyaids graphics usability
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!.

Posted: 2016-02-24, Tags: newfeatures usability
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
  • 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
  • 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
    , 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 ...

Posted: 2016-01-26, Tags: newfeatures studyaids graphics usability
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
example search
Here are some direct links to the same kanji:
And, for fun, here's the kanji with the highest stroke count in the Jōyō:
. 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!

Posted: 2016-01-12, Tags: search newfeatures components
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!

Posted: 2015-12-12, Tags: studyaids newfeatures search
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
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
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
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
    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
    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!

Posted: 2015-10-14, Tags: studyaids newfeatures
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!

Posted: 2015-09-28, Tags: studyaids usability newfeatures
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.)

Posted: 2015-09-18, Tags: studyaids usability
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!

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!

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.

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.

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.
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.