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KANJI WHEEL

Your Kanji Mastery Score and Personalized Kanji Wheel

How to use the Kanji Wheel to guide your Japanese studies

The Kanshudo Kanji Wheel visually illustrates your entire knowledge of Japanese kanji and kana, and provides you with intelligent study recommendations based on your progress. It is the most effective intelligent learning system available for visualizing your Japanese knowledge and guiding your Japanese studies.
Visit your personal kanji wheel now by clicking here: . You can also reach your wheel directly at any time from the STUDY menu at the top of any page. Alternatively, visit your Dashboard and click the Kanji quadrant of your Japanese Mastery.
Contents
1. Kanji usefulness rating: the seven rings of the Kanji Wheel
The Kanji Wheel enables you to visualize your entire knowledge of Japanese kanji and kana in one place. The wheel consists of seven rings, each of which represents a set of characters with the same 'usefulness' rating. The usefulness rating of a kanji is a measure of how useful it is for you to learn.
The center of the wheel represents hiragana and katakana. These are the most useful characters for you to learn in Japanese, and we recommend that you learn them thoroughly as a first step. Kana have a usefulness rating of 'K'.
Moving outwards from the center, the next five rings correspond to the Jōyō Kanji - the set of 2136 'daily use' kanji defined by the Japanese government and taught in Japanese schools. This is the set that is required for the JLPT exams. The second ring from the center contains all kanji with a usefulness rating of 1, then 2 etc. These ratings also correspond directly to the N5 - N1 respectively of the JLPT (note that in the JLPT, N5 is the easiest level, and N1 is the hardest).
The outer ring, represents 'everything else' - all kanji with usefulness ratings of 6 and above. The kanji wheel tracks your progress with up to 1726 kanji outside the Jōyō (ie a total of 4000 kanji), including all 862 Jinmeiyō kanji (used for names) and kanji used as components in the Jōyō.
Usefulness Contents Characters
K Hiragana + katakana 138
1 Basics: JLPT N5 80
2 Essentials: JLPT N4 170
3 Progress: JLPT N3 370
4 Intermediate: JLPT N2 380
5 Advanced: JLPT N1 1136
6+ Expert: Beyond the Jōyō 1726 (including the 826 Jinmeiyō)
  Total 4000
For a quick view of all kanji in ring, you can use the links from the kanji wheel. For quick reference guides to hiragana and katakana, the Jōyō kanji, the Jinmeiyō kanji etc, see our Collections.
2. Kanji mastery levels
Every time you interact with Kanshudo, Kanshudo assesses your knowledge of the kanji you encounter, and assigns a level from 0 (no knowledge at all) to 4 (complete mastery). Each ring in the Kanji Wheel shows you how many kanji are at each level. The levels are color-coded, so you can see at a glance how you are doing with a ring. Your goal is to reach level 4 mastery of all kanji in all rings!
Color coding
When you click any usefulness level, the colors change to highlight your selection:
 Level 0   1   2   3   Level 4 
How Kanshudo sets your mastery level for a kanji
Kanshudo assigns levels automatically based on your interactions with the system. Levels can be affected by almost any interaction, including Challenges, games, quizzes, favorites, lessons and flashcards. For example:
  • Matching a kanji correctly first time in the Quiz or Kanji Match will set your level to 2 if you have not encountered that kanji on Kanshudo before. However, if your level for that kanji is already higher than 2, it will not be affected.
  • Studying a flashcard will affect your level in various ways. If you study the card at least once, you'll get a level of 1. If you study it multiple times, you'll get 2. If you mark it as 'learned' (by clicking 'Only just' or 'Easy' when you study the card), that will set your level for that kanji to 3. To get a 4, you need to study and review the card enough times that your study interval* reaches 6 months or more. This is true mastery of a kanji!
  • When you complete a Quiz, Kanshudo will 'infer' a knowledge level for some kanji based on how far you got in the Quiz. The Quiz is based on kanji frequency, so a score of 1000 implies you have at least passing knowledge of most kanji with a frequency up to 1000. So even though you may only have answered 20-30 questions, Kanshudo will set mastery levels for other kanji with frequencies lower than your end point in the Quiz.
* For more detail on study intervals, read how the spaced repetition algorithm works in How to use spaced repetition flashcards to study Japanese.
Checking your mastery level for a kanji
You can see your mastery level for a kanji in the details page for any kanji. For example, see . You can also see your level in the 'quick view' for a kanji - in any search that includes kanji in the results, click the kanji's blue box for the quick view.
3. Kanji mastery score
Your Kanji Mastery score is a number from 0-100 which summarizes your progress across all kanji. Your mastery of each kanji individually contributes to your score. As you study, your Kanji Mastery score will rise steadily. You can directly visualize your progress along the road to Kanji Mastery!
Level 4 mastery of all kanji with usefulness K through 6 will give you a kanji mastery score of 100. Each usefulness level contributes to your mastery score as follows:
Usefulness Max points
K 10
1 20
2 20
3 15
4 15
5 15
6 5
4. Intelligent study recommendations
Based on your Kanji Mastery, in tandem with your progress with grammar and vocabulary, Kanshudo's AI makes intelligent study recommendations and designs a custom study program specifically for you. Visit your Dashboard to view your overall progress and see your suggested study tasks.
5. View and study kanji directly from the Kanji Wheel
One of the most useful features of the Kanji Wheel is that you can immediately see which kanji you know at which mastery level. When you click on any usefulness level, the study panel to the right of the wheel displays a color-coded summary of your mastery of the kanji with that usefulness level. You can see at a glance how well you know all the kanji with that usefulness. Click any of the mastery levels to run a custom search that will show you the specific kanji.
6. Kanji mastery score history
Kanshudo stores your progress month to month, and you can view a summary of your score history. You can see up to the last 12 months directly from your kanji wheel - in the OVERALL PROGRESS summary (the panel that appears when no ring or sector is selected), click SCORE HISTORY.
You can also see your full history going back to when you started using Kanshudo. You can also access your full history from your account page.
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Change component list
By default the component builder shows the most common components (themselves joyo kanji, or used in at least 3 other joyo kanji). Select an alternative set of components below.



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