Kanshudo 'how-to' guides

Welcome to Kanshudo!
Here we present step-by-step guides to key aspects of learning Japanese, as well as key functions and principles of Kanshudo. Answers to common questions can also be found in the FAQ or by using Site search.
Check out our new how-to guide: The Kanshudo definitive guide to Japanese pitch accents. Supercharge your Japanese pronunciation and learn to speak like a native!
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How to use Kanshudo

Our comprehensive guide to Kanshudo, covering all key features of the system. Start here if you want to understand how Kanshudo works and how to get the best out of it.

Quick Start Guide: How to search & find things on Kanshudo

Kanshudo search gives you access to comprehensive and powerful Japanese dictionaries, and is a quick way to find anything on Kanshudo. Read this Quick Start Guide for details.

Your Kanshudo Japanese Mastery Level

This guide introduces the core concepts of Kanshudo: the Dashboard, Study Sessions, and your Japanese Mastery Level.

Getting started learning Japanese with Kanshudo

Designed for absolute beginners of Japanese, this guide provides the key information necessary to start learning Japanese, as well as comprehensive help for Kanshudo's Beginner Lesson series.

How to read Japanese kanji

In this comprehensive guide, we introduce you to the different ways that kanji can be pronounced or 'read' in words, and how to use Kanshudo to find words that use a specific reading of a kanji. We also give you simple rules of thumb to use to determine how to read words you are encountering for the first time!

How to master Japanese kanji

In this guide, we teach you everything you need to know to make your study of Japanese kanji successful. If you follow this guide, you will make your kanji learning efficient, effective, and fun!

Quick Start Guide: Automatic mastery

Kanshudo's AI tutor monitors what you learn, and can automatically set your mastery of items you are likely to know already.

How to prioritize Japanese words to study

Kanshudo's complete guide to prioritizing Japanese vocabulary will introduce you to the most useful words in Japanese, and Kanshudo's 'usefulness' rating of words, based on a comprehensive analysis of actual usage in the real world. We'll also show you how to set your learning goals, and how to use Kanshudo to absorb Japanese vocabulary as quickly and effectively as possible.

Understanding inflections and conjugations

In Japanese several forms can be combined into a single complex word, and understanding how that works is a challenge for learners. Kanshudo provides tools to conjugate verbs and inflect words for you, and to help you understand how inflections combine.

Kanshudo's complete guide to writing Japanese

In this guide you'll learn the standard strokes used to draw all Japanese kanji, how to determine the stroke order for a kanji, the differences between printed and handwritten forms of kanji and more! In addition there are plenty of links to our kanji drawing practice tool so you can perfect your own writing style.

The Kanshudo definitive guide to Japanese pitch accents

Correctly accenting Japanese words when you speak is essential for sounding like a native speaker, and in some situations essential for communication. In this guide, we'll introduce you to the way accents work in Japanese, 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.

How to use the Kanji Wheel to guide your Japanese studies

The Kanji Wheel, one of the components of your Japanese Mastery, is a completely unique way to visualize your entire kanji knowledge, and intelligently focus your Japanese studies.

Kanshudo Kanji Challenge: the most effective way to learn kanji and words

The Kanshudo Kanji Challenge uses a combination of learning games and tests to teach you kanji and words in the most effective way possible.


If you are just starting out with your Japanese studies, learning hiragana is one of the most useful first steps you can take. Our comprehensive guide shows you the characters, associated terminology, and will give you some insight into the history. You can also test yourself, practice drawing, and study flashcards.


Our comprehensive guide to the second syllabary in Japanese, katakana, shows you the characters, associated terminology, and will give you some insight into the history. You can also test yourself, practice drawing, and study flashcards.

Read real Japanese with Kanshudo and Satori Reader

This guide introduces the Kanshudo Reading Corner, where you can read a selection of graded texts, fully annotated and linked to kanji and words for easy study. Plus, you can read about our partnership with Satori Reader, the leading online reading-focused Japanese site, and find out how to synchronize your kanji mastery data to customize your Satori Reader experience.

How to use the component builder to look up kanji

The component builder is a very fast way to look up kanji. In this guide we describe how it works, and provide detailed instructions for using it.

How to use Kanji Builder to build your kanji knowledge

Kanji Builder is a fun and challenging game that will help cement your knowledge of kanji.

How to use spaced repetition flashcards to study Japanese

Learn about the most powerful way to memorize both Japanese kanji and vocabulary.

Tips for using flashcards to learn kanji

Get some insider tips for the most effective ways to use flashcards to study Japanese kanji.

How to create flashcards from imported word lists

You probably know Kanshudo contains the most comprehensive Japanese dictionary online. But did you know you can also import word lists from other dictionaries, or lists you create yourself? Use Kanshudo to help you learn Japanese words and kanji, and manage your progress with Japanese, alongside your favorite dictionary app!
Need a new 'how to' guide? Let us know!
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.