What's New

This table lists major changes to the website in chronological order.

  • Added ability to accociate a specific kanji/kana usage for vocab in curricula lists. With this change, Kanji in Context entries should use the same kanji written in the book, even if this is not the most common way to write the word.
  • Added buttons to switch to next or previous category in the quiz scene so you can go to the next quiz in the curriculum without re-entering the settings.
  • Updated to the latest version of AnimCJK. This fixes the stroke order of 男, which was using the Chinese instead of Japanese order.
  • Quiz setup has new options, including kana-only mode for reading tests.
  • Page content area fills the screen when scaled down.
  • Quiz setup only shows options relevant to characters or vocab depending on selection.
  • Can choose individual questions on character quiz.
  • Vocab quiz shows more information.
  • Added more lessons to Basic Kanji 500. Thanks to Linda for sending me the kanji list!
  • Added ability to locally save quiz state in your browser.
    • When supported by the browser, quiz progress will no longer be lost when you press refresh or close the browser.
    • If you want to start over, you can press the new reset button.
    • This requires your browser to support IndexedDB.
    • Local storage like IndexedDB may be disabled in private browsing mode, depending on the browser.
  • Fixes to pronunciation, reading frequency, and common word list calculation.
    • In particular, words where one of the kana is changed into っ should work much better.
    • Ex.
      is now correctly listed under ケツ and キョク readings.
    • Words with abbreviated forms where connecting kana are dropped will still not be counted toward a particular reading.
    • Ex: Readings will be detected correctly in
      , but not in the more common abbreviated form
  • New optional dark theme.
  • Compressed furigana.
    • When furigana are too wide to fit over the kanji they belong to, they will now use a compressed font to allow twice as many kana before gaps begin to form between the kanji below, such as in
    • Gaps will still be created around a kanji if there are more than 4 kana above it, such as in
  • Improved how brief word definitions are shown.
    • The new method will try to show more words from different usages instead of just showing the first part of the first definition.
    • Hopefully this should give a better quick idea of the range of meanings of the word.
    • It's always possible to click the word to see the full definition.
  • Added kanji tooltips to more pages.
  • Updated to latest Japanese dictionary data.
  • There are many significant changes in this update, so I wouldn't be surprised if there are problems. Please let me know if you find bugs!
  • Added new custom character quiz option where you can input your own list of characters to practice.
  • Added pitch accent information from Wadoku. This required lots of changes, so please let me know if you see problems!
  • Updated to the latest WWJDIC word and kanji data.
  • Major internal reorganization. If you find problems, please report them!
  • Cosmetic changes for breakdown display, common words page, vocabulary lists, search etc.
  • Searching for several characters now shows results for all of them.
  • Added new 'all of the above' quiz type.
  • Compacted readings in quiz question and removed nanori.
  • Removed character quiz options for katakana and hiragana.
  • Added ability to choose between 3 types of prompts for character quizzes: meanings, readings, and common words.
  • Added English meanings to kun and on readings when they match a Japanese word.
  • Update to the home page.
  • Added katakana combinations.
  • Reorganize "about" content.
  • Added Kanzen Master N3 vocab list.
  • Fixed a bug that was causing definitions to be cut off so that only the last gloss in each sense was visible.
  • Added the ability to select preferred definition language for vocabulary dictionary pages and quizzes. Visit the settings page to change it.
  • Updated to latest WWJDIC data.
  • Added a new kanji style based on AnimCJK by François Mizessyn. Visit the new settings page to switch to it.
  • Also used the above for main character display in kanji dictionary, when available.
  • Fixed an issue with shape recognition.
  • Fixed writing and quizzes for multi-character kana sounds.
  • Added tool tips to example words on kanji dictionary pages which show the kanji contained in that word.
  • Added stroke length to recognition and made it a bit more sensitive overall. Fixes an issue with よ allowing the wrong stroke order.
  • Tried to make it a little easier to write the circles in P hiragana.
  • Fixed flickering/missing stroke when entering a correct stroke while a hint animation is still playing.
  • Fixed stuck stroke that occurred when the pointer is released outside of the drawing area.
  • Fixed page moving around when scroll bars appear after clicking "show answer." Now they always show.
  • Quiz help message status is now stored in a cookie with an expiration of 7 days. Now messages won't keep popping up every time you start writing on a new page.
  • Made instructions more noticeable on tutorial pages.
  • Made drawing pad buttons larger so they are easier hit when using touch.
  • Made pagination adaptive so that it doesn't wrap on small screens.
  • Changed tutorial URLs to use a page value instead of a numeric value.
  • Fixed the style of one of the buttons shown when a quiz ends.
  • Added a tutorial with a slow ramp up in complexity to replace the old suggestion of trying to start by writing 書きましょう on the front page.
  • Fixed writing pad on Chrome-based browsers. Google deprecated an SVG API and I didn't notice. Sorry about that!
  • Updated the website's design using Bootstrap. Aside from visual changes, this makes many pages responsive to resize, particularly on mobile.
  • Added a form that you can use to submit feedback.
  • Improved some of the character breakdowns for grades 1-6.
2015/08/24 Several major changes!
  • Moved the site to a new host. I'm hoping the performance will be more consistent now, but I wouldn't be surprised if this causes some hiccups.
  • Rewrote a lot of the code to use a modern framework. This has some immediate benefits and should make future changes easier.
  • Nicer URL scheme. Old URLs should mostly auto-convert to new ones for now, but update any bookmarks you might have made.
  • Simplified dictionary search to use a single input box for all types of searches.
  • Redesigned the way quizzes are launched and added new options for which kanji you want to try to write.
  • Rearranged or tweaked the design of the content on several pages, particularly the About section and dictionary search results.
  • Fixed the ability to use touch when drawing characters using desktop windows machines that have touch screens except in Firefox.
  • Added grade info to kanji breakdowns to make it clear when a component is a character that is in general use on its own.
  • Centred the drawing area to help avoid accidental triggering of a 'swipe in from the left' gesture on iPhones.
  • Updated word frequency information with a much larger dataset - Japanese subtitles of over 15,000 episodes from over 500 anime series.
  • Added frequency information for kanji readings so you can get an idea about which readings are the most useful.
  • Added a new page that lists more common words and is organized by reading so you can find common example words that use each reading.
  • Added new section to character info and quiz pages that shows common words that contain that character.
  • Fixed a bug that was causing the character info page to show the drawing pad even if no stroke info was available.
  • Added a new curriculum: An Integrated Approach to Intermediate Japanese by the Japan Times.
  • Changed curriculum word listings to show the first English definition for each Japanese word.
  • Improved layout of quiz answers.
  • Improved the breakdowns for kanji from Genki and Jōyō grades 1-6 by layering specific tweaks over the existing Kanji VG component data.
  • Updated to the latest version of Kanji VG stroke data.
  • Improved accuracy of kanji readings by rewriting the algorithm that assigns furigana to specific kanji.
  • Added search toolbar to word and character pages, and added separate kanji/kana section for easy copying.
  • Added tree-style kanji component breakdowns in word and character dictionary pages.
  • New dictionary home tab now lets you search for a word without clicking over to the word tab first. Selected tab is also more obvious.
  • Hints now fade away after a moment to make it clear that you still have to try to write that stroke. They will show again if 3 more mistakes are made.
  • Improved home page content.
  • Fixed a few HTML bugs
  • Improved pronunciations with better handling of small つ and adjacent unmatched kanji.
  • Improved display on phones and tablets.
  • Added quizzes for past vocabulary that uses new kanji.
  • Improvements to quizzes and word definition formatting.
  • Added vocabulary quizzes to JLPT curriculum.
  • Made some improvements in word search relevancy and speed.
  • Added vocabulary quizzes to Genki curriculum.
  • Quizzes:
    • Added Hint button to manually show a hint for the next stroke.
    • Added more space between quiz buttons to cut down on accidental taps
  • Dictionaries:
    • Common word checkbox value is saved
    • Romaji conversion is improved for ambiguous characters.
  • Added ability to divide categories with lots of entries into multiple shorter quizzes
  • Tip messages don't repeat, and drawing too many strokes gives better feedback.
  • Word dictionary released.
  • Site opened.