What's New

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

  • 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.