Kana or furigana

Hi, i’m new here. I joined Wani Kani at the start of the year and this website was recommended on the forums there. So far I LOVE the ease of creating a deck straight from the dictionary as then I know the definition is correct and there is automatic audio. As I am fairly new to Japanese (only around N5) and don’t know very much Kanji, I’d like to be able to use this website (at least at the beginning) to review only vocabulary (kana) and the English. Rather than test readings. Is it possible to do that? Hopefully this is going to be my main way to review vocabulary, WK kanji and Bunpro grammar (along with classes twice a week + homework).

Anyway i’ve already created all my cards but they are showing me Kanji to English and not the kana which i’d need at this early stage. I don’t want to have to input all the cards again :sweat_smile: Is there any way to display both Kanji and Kana at the same time of the vocabulary card? Like a furigana? Would be helpful for beginners :grin:

Sorry if this is a really dumb question. For some reason as I’ve got older i’ve become more technologically incompetent :sweat_smile: (I’m only 32 but have 2 young kids so my brain feels constantly fried).


Hello and welcome to Kitsun! :slight_smile: I’m glad you’re loving it here :grin: It’s always cool to see the community grow :tada::tada:

There isn’t really. The reason why is that once you know at least a few hundred kanji, hiragana starts being harmful. Not only that, but if you know the kanji of a word, it’s easier to memorize the word in its kanji form over hiragana form. Nevertheless, there’s a bunch of suggestions that I have for you:

  • You can just learn words that don’t use kanji. For example, there’s the katakana 4.5k deck that teaches 4500 katakana words (loan words from other languages). Japanese people love their loan words :slight_smile:

  • There’s also Core 10k (top 10000 most used words in a Japanese newspaper) where you can choose to do only the kana words for now. How? Well, the cards that are written in hiragana have the tag “kana”. You can go to deck -> manage cards -> advance search for “kana” and then push these cards to the front of your lessons. This means that they’ll be your next lessons on that deck :slight_smile:

You can do exactly the same thing with the Genki Vocabulary deck. Not only that, but if you end up using the Genki textbooks for grammar, this deck will be very very useful to study the words you’ll find there. If you learn the words beforehand, you can go through the textbook with much ease and actually focus on learning the grammar :slight_smile:

  • I recently published the WK expansion deck where I teach 4700 words that aren’t on Wanikani, but they’re ordered by WK level. This means that the first lessons are words that use level 1 kanji from Wanikani… and then level 2… 3… and so on. This way, there’s no problem reading the kanji, as you’ll be able to read the kanji vocabulary from levels below yours :slight_smile:

  • There’s also the JLPT vocab decks, which work based on the Japanese proficiency tests (JLPT). There’s one for all 5 levels. You can find the deck for N5 (the easiest level) here.

  • Related to adding words from the dictionary, what you can do is a custom flashcard.

Things to take into consideration:
You need to fill in the fields: which deck to add to, how you want to practice the card (EN -> JP, JP -> meaning, JP -> reading), etc. For kana words, it doesn’t make sense using the Japanese -> reading :slight_smile:

You should pay attention to the part where it says “Values” and I substitute 家 with いえ. This makes it so the front of the card will display いえ and not the kanji :slight_smile:

There’s been talks from @Neicudi (the founder) that Kitsun will in the future support Wanikani’s API. If that happens, it will make it so much easier to focus on learning the words that use kanji you’ve learned :slight_smile:

Let me know if you have any other questions :v:


Just to add to @jprspereira’s detailed reply:

I am open to adjusting the current default layout (Japanese -> Meaning) to display Kana when hovering over (or tapping on mobile) the main Kanji vocabulary. Although it might be a little bit spoiler-ish for people who also do “reading” reviews in the same session. So I’d love to hear feedback on this from others who use these layouts.

Another option might be that I implement a new deck setting which would either show or hide the kana.

Yet another option is that you duplicate the current default layout and adjust the copy to include the kana field. If you are unfamiliar with HTML I can easily create it for you instead :smile: Let me know if you’d want that.

With the last option you’d be able to use the custom flashcard option (like jpr shows above, but no need to replace the Vocabulary field like in his example). After you set it up once, Kitsun will remember it for the next time (for that computer), so it takes only a few clicks to create your own custom cards :smile:

That said, welcome to Kitsun! I hope you enjoy your stay here! I’d be happy to answer any questions or feedback you might have :slight_smile:


I was thinking you could make a layout “kana to English” or “English to Kana” and then its a completely separate layout and probably most useful to beginners. I’ve gone through two beginner text books and about to start my intermediate one in April BUT I need to review all my vocabulary and make sure it has stuck (I took classes not self study so it wasn’t at my own pace). Right now i’m only LV7 at WK so my Kanji is not up to reading some of the more complicated vocabulary words at all yet but I still need to learn the vocab. I actually find learning Kanji on WK much much easier if I already know some vocabulary that uses the kanji. I can remember the readings by remembering the vocabulary that contains it. For example when I got the wheat/barley Kanji, I already knew the vocabulary むぎちゃ so that helped me remember the reading. I have a feeling one of the next vocabularies with be “麦茶” as we learnt the tea kanji too.

Of course hopefully by the end of the year i’ll be able to do most in Kanji but for this coming year I really need to be able to learn the vocabulary without learning the kanji right now.

I think it is probably an easy to implement solution. The people who only want Kanji would choose a different layout and then you can cater to both beginners and more advanced students?

Hopefully it is easily changeable.

In the meantime, my html really sucks so help with mine would really help!

I’d be strongly against this. If you added something like this it would have to be a setting and default to off I think.

But I already did this. :slight_smile:
I have it for words usually written in kana, but display the kanji (if specified) as well so I’m somewhat familiar with them in case it does show up written in kanji. But it should work for OP’s use case as well. For example:


You’re more that welcome to take it and make it an official layout for the default template if you want. :wink:
I’d upload it to the community center myself, but I don’t see a way to do that.


This seems like a reasonable compromise to me. I believe Bunpro also handles furigana this way. While it might be spoiler-y for ones own deck (depending on what information one wants to study), it might be useful for community decks which have fewer options available for tailoring study.

Well I have about 4 days left of my free trial and if I can somehow practice kana to English (with potentially the kanji showing up there as well) then i’m ready to subscribe but without it I don’t think I can make it work for me. The beauty of Kitsun for me is the ease at which I can create cards. I don’t have much free time, and the time i’ve got, i’d like to spend it learning rather than setting up custom layouts and diving into html etc. I’d have to learn about all the ins and outs of that when instead I could be studying. I really liked how I could search for a word and add it to my own deck easily. I just would have loved to have been able to have the kana there as i’m not advanced. I’m pretty much at inbetween beginner-intermediate and could have done with a deck that goes over words that I don’t seem to remember well instead of going through all of N5 or N4 decks which is what i’m doing at the moment on memorise but very tedious when I do know the majority of the vocab already.

I still think doing Kana -> English would kinda hurt your learning, but I don’t mind adding it to the set of default layouts and can understand why you would want it. So expect it to pop up in the next few days. I’ll let you know when it’s added :slight_smile:

As for not having to do all cards in a deck:

I’m going to add a Test Mode where you get quizzed on all cards in a deck right away. Marking them as known will hibernate the card automatically, marking them as unknown will leave it as it is. Meaning that once you’ve done the test for a deck you will only have cards left to do that you marked as unknown :smile:


Added the new layout already. You can select it during the custom dictionary flashcard popup and it will be set up for all your next custom dictionary flashcards :smile:

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Thank you!! I’ve applied it to my current deck and also subscribed for the year :slight_smile:

For now I don’t think it will harm my learning as I know very few Kanji (only around 200) so I can’t possibly learn from Kanji only cards. Also when speaking you can’t see Kanji (Nor meaning) only by sounds so learning vocabulary from their sounds only helps in this respect. Also for me at least I can remember the readings of Kanji by thinking of vocabulary I already know. I think that is how Japanese children also learn as they know a LOT of vocabulary before they learn any kanji.

I live in Japan so hear a lot of words I don’t know, learning these by sound only will help until I can learn the kanji for them through WK :slight_smile:

Anyway thank you so much to listening to your customer base. You’ve made me a happy subscriber and happy to put my money towards this. Looking forward to future apps :grinning:

Great to hear and thank you so much for becoming a subscriber!

I see what you are getting at regarding the kana layouts. In your case that’s certainly a viable way of studying, especially when combined with the audio. Luckily Kitsun is very customizable, so adding options like this is easy to do without influencing other users too much :smiley:

Thanks for the kind words! Let me know if there is anything else I can help you with :slight_smile:


Yes its great in the way that it can work for a large amount of people. Hopefully by the end of this year i’ll be on WK Lv40+ So i’ll be able to do without a lot of the kana and then having it there perhaps would hinder learning (I hate furigana on Kanji I already know) but the way you’ve set it up, its an option for only those that need it (i.e beginners). I can then easily change the layout to Japan>English instead of Kana>English at a later date. I also like how your system works for beginner and more expert coders :sweat_smile: those that don’t have time have a really easy way of creating cards with audio and definition from the dictionary. For me this is what makes your system stand out. Wish you well with it!

If I could think of one improvement (its totally not needed but would be an amazing extra) is if we could be tested on the audio to meaning :slight_smile:

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