The Kanshudo Blog

How to prioritize Japanese vocabulary effectively

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

Change component list
By default the component builder shows the most common components (themselves joyo kanji, or used in at least 3 other joyo kanji). Select an alternative set of components below.

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