Non self-evaluation-style when going through cards?

Hi folks, I just signed-up today, so I am the greenest of beans. Briefly, I found my way here by way of wanikani. Wanikani is great, but like everyone else it’s not the only way I study. I’m currently working my way through Minna No Nihongo 2 with a tutor, and I find myself falling behind on the vocabulary.

I’ve played around with Anki, but I find it too technical and obtuse. It feels like some relic from the 90s that won’t die, no matter how many modern variants sprout from its roots. I also get lost trying to find decent content; there are indeed user-created lists for most Minna No Nihongo chapters, but you never know what you’re going to get. No two decks seem to have been created by the same person; some have mistakes, some seem to omit words (or include extras), some have audio, some don’t, some have the wrong translated language (eg. Russian). I longed for the bright, simple confidence and sleek presentation of the curated wanikani content.

So, I signed up here. I was hoping that someone would have made a nicely polished series of decks for Minna No Nihongo 2, but no luck. I tried importing one of the decent decks from my Anki collection, and it seemed to work, but when I began a “lesson” I found myself basically navigating what felt like the same-old Anki mechanics (I’m using the web app, if it matters).

So, let me get to my questions:

  1. I was expecting more of a wanikani style presentation. They have a strict “no self-evalutation” policy (you don’t pick “good” or “again”; you actually have to type in an answer), which I am starting to agree with, more and more. Is there a way I can set that up, here?

  2. Is there any way for the community to sort of curate a one-true-deck for a particular textbook (ie. Minna No Nihongo 2)? If #1 above can be satisfied I’m willing to dive in and start crafting a new deck (or series of decks, one per chapter) myself, but I don’t want to wind-up lost in the scattered detritus of hundreds of half-arsed duplicated lists like you get with Anki. I would be much happier with some kind of system where a single deck is maintained by multiple people, with new changes moderated by trusted contributors.

  3. What does the “folder” system do? I made a folder, and now it’s not clear to me what to do with it. I assumed I could stick decks in there (eg. all my Minna No Nihnogo decks), but I have been unable to figure out how to link them together, nor have I been able to figure out how to delete a folder.

I guess that’s all I have, for now. Otherwise, interesting project you have, here. There are a lot of very promising features!


Nice to meet ya, @shmax71! Cool to know you’re working with a tutor, that shows a good level of dedication.

I agree with you on Anki, it just feels unnecessary nowadays. Not to mention the quality of content is really a mixed bag. That’s true of any program of that sort of course, especially since the work for creating that content if often unpaid, and even then it’s a huge amount of content to handle.

Below is the default theme that most decks look like (in the settings for website, you can change to different color themes, but they are the same style).

That is actually the default way of doing things here as far as I know. I hate the self-evaluation policy too tbh. So judging from what you’re saying, I’m pretty sure it copied the Anki layout when it was imported. Here’s a quick guide on how to make it the default Kitsun format which looks and works better IMO:

  1. Go to the home page of the set, like below, and click on the top right button that says “manage cards”
  2. Select all of your vocab terms by clicking the box in the header.
  3. Go to “Actions,” and click “Convert to other Template”
  4. Under templates, select “Kitsun - Japanese - Vocabulary.”
  5. Under layouts, I would recommend just adding the first three.
  6. Then, you’ll need to assign all the old fields to the new Kitsun ones. Just for reference, Vocab should be Japanese, and Meanings should be English.
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I know there are some decks on here for minna no nohingo, but I can’t really say whether they’re polished or not. However, a system similar to the one you described above exists! You can publish a deck and anyone who is studying the set can send you feedback on individual cards, which you can approve or reject. The main thing though is that the approval/rejection can only be done by the owner of the deck. It’s a pretty straight-forward process if you trust the people who are giving you feedback though.

The folder system operates just like any other folder but I get the confusion. I had the same problem when I first started out. In order to put a set inside a folder, go the top right of the “decks” page and click the “drag” button. This will let you drag sets into a folder. If you want to delete a folder, there should be a pencil icon in the top-left when you open the folder. If you click on that, a “delete” button will appear in the top-right.

Fantastic! My first experiment with the conversion tool had mixed results, but I’m sure it’s just a matter of continuing to tinker with it. Thanks so much!

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I think that’ll do, for now. I’ll go ahead and start trying to create a nicely-polished deck. Thank you.

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Ah, right you are. I’m sure there are reasons for doing it this way, but as a web developer myself, I have to wonder why a “drag” switch is even necessary. I did notice it before, but my first instinct was that “drag” was an instruction (ie. “drag the slider to the right”), and when it didn’t do anything, I figured it was because I didn’t have enough content, yet. My advice: keep drag functionality, but get rid of the switch. Just have it always be on. Turn the mouse cursor into the hand icon when grabbing, and users will get the idea.

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I’m just guessing here, but it might have to do with the fact that the mobile apps aren’t released yet, so the dragging feature would be annoying to people who are just trying to scroll on their phone.

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Ah, could be, but then in that case you could just sniff the user agent and branch accordingly.


Welcome @shmax71! :smiley:


There’s an increasing amount of touch capable displays and laptops on the market, so sniffing out the user agent does not always work so well in those cases.

I’d like to add that you can also import anki decks or wordlists straight into custom templates and layouts (like the default templates Kitsun provides) by following the “Manual” import flows. That way you can select which value goes where and have greater control over the end result of the import.


I will tinker with it in great depth when I have a chance. Do you by any chance have a video tutorial? I found some of it a bit confusing…

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Do you mean the manual import flow in particular?

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I don’t know what I mean, but I have some time tonight, so I’ll try again and see how far I get. Thanks much for supporting.


I finally started trying to make my own deck. I experimented a bit with importing anki decks, but I quickly realized that the nuanced flow of wanikani (kanji meaning, to kanji reading (prioriziting onyomi, to vocabulary meaning, to vocabulary reading) I was hoping to experience will take a lot more work. Like, a huge amount. I know things will speed up as I practice, but it looks like creating a wani-kani style treatment for a single chapter from Minna No Nihongo (with around 50 words) will likely take me 2-3 hours. I suppose that’s fair, but before I really commit I want to be sure I’m going about this right.

One thing that makes me hesitate is that a lot of the kanji cards I would make as I go through this process are already covered by wanikani (though I haven’t gotten to many of them yet), so I would just be repeating work that is done better, elsewhere. My first impulse was to just skip the kanji part of this and either make hiragana cards, or kanji + furigana cards (is that supported?).

Would love to hear any insights on how to come up with some kind of battle plan, here.

Otherwise, still very impressed by the product. I signed up for a lifetime membership; wanted to show my support whether I go all-in on this, or not.

Oh, and I have a bug report. Repro steps:

  1. “Add Card”
  2. “Choose Template” -> “Kitsun - Japanese Vocabulary”
  3. “Choose Layouts” -> select “Japanese -> Reading”
  4. Fill in a few fields. For example, type something in “Vocabulary”, and “meaning”
  5. Confirm that the Preview pane updates in realtime.
  6. “Choose Layouts” -> add another layout, such as “Japanese -> Meaning”

the preview pane resets back to its unformatted state, for both layouts. You have to press the refresh button just below “Preview” to get it to update.

the preview pane maintains the state of known fields (essentially, you should press the “Preview” refresh button for us after adding a Layout)

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First of all, thank you so much for the support! Really appreciate it!

Regarding the card creation process:
I think I would recommend using the dictionary tool to create the cards you want. You can search for Vocabulary and Kanji separately and generate default cards with a few clicks. I reckon this would save you a lot of time that you’d otherwise spend on creating everything manually.

So what you’d probably want to do is:

  1. Search the Kanji (be sure to select the Kanji dictionary) -> Generate Kanji card A
  2. Search for the associated Vocabulary (in the vocabulary dictionary) -> Generate Vocabulary card(s) that use the Kanji of card A

By creating it in this order, you will make sure that you learn the Kanji in your lessons first, then get the associated vocabulary right after.

Having Kana-only cards is also possible. You can select the Kana layout and it will look similar to this:

In the screenshot you can see that the Kanji is displayed small below the Kana version of the word. This layout quizzes you on the meaning of the word.

Oh! Thanks for the report, I just confirmed it! Definitely a bug, I’ll get that sorted out asap :slight_smile:

Perfect, I will try that, thank you!

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Oh, one more dumb question. Is there any functional benefit to having a deck for each chapter in the textbook (eg. “L1”, “L2”… etc), or does it make more sense to just have one monolithic deck for the entire book (while maybe tagging each card with its lesson for reference)?

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I’d personally use one deck per textbook, and tag the cards accordingly. Having small decks can be motivational in the sense that they quickly get to 100% progress, but at the same time it can become quite messy if you have 20 decks on your decks page.

Another benefit is mass management being a bit easier. But honestly it’s just up to your preference :slight_smile: