How to use Kanshudo

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Learning Japanese with Kanshudo

Kanshudo is an extremely powerful integrated Japanese teaching system. You can sit back and let Kanshudo drive your studies, or you can take control and choose every detail yourself - or you can combine both approaches.
If you would like to jump in, just visit your Dashboard and follow the study recommendations. Kanshudo will guide you through the process step by step. You can also reach your Dashboard by clicking the logo in the top left of any screen, or the icon in the main menu.
For a quick overview of Kanshudo, check out our Tour. For more detailed instructions, read on!
1. What is Kanshudo?
Kanshudo is a sophisticated AI Japanese tutor, which brings a wealth of study tools together to teach you Japanese in the most effective and efficient way for you personally.
2. Your Japanese Mastery Level
Your Japanese mastery level is a number from 1 to 70 which indicates your overall progress with Japanese.
Mastery levels overview
Each band of ten levels corresponds with a key stage in Japanese learning.
Mastery levels 1 to 9 focus on the first step in learning Japanese: hiragana and katakana (kanji ring 1). No vocabulary or grammar are required.
Mastery levels 10 to 19 focus on the first 80 kanji (kanji ring 2), about 500 words (usefulness level 1), and about 70 simple grammar points (usefulness level 1). Completing mastery level 19 covers the requirements for the first JLPT exam (N5).
Mastery levels 20 to 29 focus on the ring 3 kanji (170), usefulness level 2 words (about 1000), and usefulness level 2 grammar points (about 80). Completing mastery level 29 covers the requirements for the second JLPT exam (N4).
Mastery levels 30 to 39 focus on the ring 4 kanji (370), usefulness level 3 words (about 1500), and usefulness level 3 grammar points (about 90). Completing mastery level 39 covers the requirements for the third JLPT exam (N3).
Mastery levels 40 to 49 focus on the ring 5 kanji (380), usefulness level 4 words (about 2000), and usefulness level 4 grammar points (about 90). Completing mastery level 49 covers the requirements for the fourth JLPT exam (N2).
Mastery levels 50 to 59 focus on the ring 6 kanji (1136), usefulness level 5 words (about 5000), and usefulness level 5 grammar points (about 80). Completing mastery level 59 covers the requirements for the highest level of the JLPT exam (N1).
Mastery levels 60 to 69 take you to expert level Japanese. For kanji, go beyond the Jōyō to the Jinmeiyō kanji, focus on the ring 6 kanji (1136), and work on vocabulary and grammar with usefulness levels higher than 5. Reaching mastery level 70 will bring you to the end of your journey to Japanese mastery!
What's in a mastery level?
Kanshudo measures four aspects of your Japanese ability: kanji (and kana), vocabulary, grammar, and experience. To complete a mastery level, you must make some progress on each of these four fronts.
Your mastery overview
The page you'll probably visit most on Kanshudo is your Dashboard, which you can reach by clicking the Kanshudo logo in the top left of any screen, or the icon in the top right. At the top of your dashboard, you'll see a circular display with four 'wedges', which looks something like this:
Each wedge shows your percentage progress through the requirements for your current mastery level. In other words, the example above shows that you are on mastery level 24, that you have completed the kanji requirements, but you still have some way to go with grammar, vocabulary, and study points. To move to level 25, you need to get each of these four wedges to 100%.
In your actual dashboard, you can click each wedge for details of exactly what you need to do to complete the requirements for the level.
Completing a mastery level
Each mastery level is set within the larger context of the bands defined above. To progress from one mastery level to another within a band, you need to make some progress with any of the material included in the band. In other words, to complete a given mastery level, you don't need to learn specific words or kanji before you can move on - you just need to make some progress with some of the words and kanji included in the ten levels of your current band. This approach gives you a lot more flexibility and lets you progress in your own way at your own pace.
Your mastery map
Your mastery map illustrates your current Japanese mastery level on an actual map of Japan. The 70 levels correspond to a journey which will take you on a literal tour of Japan, covering key elements of its geography, history and culture along the way. You can visit any of the destinations corresponding to mastery levels you've already passed - but you'll need to improve your Japanese to find out where you're visiting next!
You can visit your map from the MASTERY menu. Click here to visit it now.
Finding your level
Everything you do on Kanshudo helps us understand what you know and don't know, and based on that we offer intelligent study recommendations which focus on what you need to learn next. When you first start using the system, your level will be 1, and your study recommendations will focus on kana. However, you will also see suggestions to try various activities which will help us advance you quickly to a higher level if you are already more advanced. You will be able to set your initial mastery level manually, or you can take quizzes and challenges, or play games, and the system will suggest actions that will jump you to your correct level.
3 - 10 coming soon!
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.