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Kanji File

Update (2011/05/31): This file has been taken down at the polite request of the copyright holder. But fear not! You can use the data over at Reviewing the Kanji, since those do comply with the RTK publisher’s stipulations 😀 . I will also be uploading a kosher file at some unspecified later date.

A lot of people seem to need something like this, so I’m posting it. This is a file containing kanji characters, keywords and stories for people using Heisig sensei‘s the Remembering the Kanji system in conjunction with an SRS or whatever.

The file is taken from the Remembering the Kanji Yahoo Group. It was not prepared by me and I didn’t get permission to put it up (had trouble reaching the creator). If you are the creator of the file and want it taken down, please let me know…I just figured it would be useful to put these up here in a more public place.

Anyway, to the file!

  • Kanji-Keyword File
    • Update (2011/05/31): This file has been taken down at the polite request of the copyright holder. But fear not! You can use the data over at Reviewing the Kanji, since those comply with the RTK publisher’s stipulations 😀

More useful files can be found up in that RTK Yahoo Group, so I recommend you join.

  36 comments for “Kanji File

  1. mike
    July 19, 2008 at 14:02

    How weird…I just “finished” (obviously I still have to review…) the kanji 17 minutes ago! I finally get to start sentences….

  2. July 20, 2008 at 04:17

    This’d be nice to have in a chinese version. I’ve been creating my anki deck using a page of 3000 chars ordered by frequency of use…maybe not so great for people who are just starting, but it’s working well for me since i already knew quite a few.

  3. July 20, 2008 at 10:27

    congrats mike! How long did it take you? I just started about 2 weeks ago.

  4. mike
    July 20, 2008 at 13:24


    Around 1-2 months. I went at a rate of 100 a day for the first 1000, and 50 a day for the last 1000. Good luck!

  5. mjaynec
    July 21, 2008 at 09:32

    I only have a couple hundred more kanji to go, but I feel completely burnt out. Anybody have any ideas?

  6. uberstuber
    July 21, 2008 at 12:16

    Take a few days off (no more than 3). Stay on top of your reviews, of course, but that little break should get you enough steam to finish them off.

  7. Lloyd
    July 21, 2008 at 14:14

    if you know anybody else who’s doing heisig, you could also set a deadline. then, you can have a competition. a third friend will select 10 keywords and the two of you have to write them. you could put money on it for a greater insentive. that’s what me and a friend of mine did. it was a good time. then we celebrated!

  8. mike
    July 22, 2008 at 01:20

    I would suggest that you keep going. I got burnt out at 1000, because I was going at a rate of 100 a day, so I halved my daily amount and finished up. You have to be consistent, even if you get burnt out. Trust me you will be done before you know it.

  9. mjaynec
    July 22, 2008 at 03:42

    Thanks for the suggestions 😀

  10. July 23, 2008 at 16:10


    I love how you said “seem to need it”
    hahaha…some people might think they do, and I’m sure Katz might agree with me on this one when I say it prolly works better if you come up with your own stories.

    Anyways, that’s my 2 cents and talk is cheap, so just do what works best for you!

  11. July 24, 2008 at 04:21

    I currently know a lot of kanji as result of six years of “school” i know, i know. Is it too late for me to use Heisig? Will learning kanji this way void all the work i’ve done in school? Should I care?

    Heisig seems awesome, and I wish I’d discovered it earlier. But do you think it’s worth it to start over?

  12. jpavlakovich
    July 24, 2008 at 05:57

    It depends on your pace, but if you end up being able to write, from memory, significantly more kanji than you could before, I’d say it’s worth it. I can’t exactly say “After being able to write more than X kanji, it just isn’t worth doing.” (unless of course, X > 2000 :D… at least for RTK1) I wouldn’t think of it as “starting over” per se, but rather that I was filling in whatever gaps existed in my kanji writing ability.

    Suppose it does “void” all the work you did in school. This may sound harsh, but why should that matter? Does that make it any less useful?

  13. Jim
    July 24, 2008 at 07:18

    I’d have to say that if you already have a lot of knowledge associated with the Kanji, it might feel silly to start over with Heisig. In my opinion, Heisig’s big breakthrough was noticing that characters are always composed of other characters. So learning a new character becomes easier, because it may be composed of two characters that you already know. I think you can assign any “keyword” or memory that you want to the character, you shouldn’t feel constrained by the keywords and stories that Heisig happened to use.

    You’ve got a big advantage, because you’re not staring from scratch. You know a lot of basic Kanji. I would proceed to learn new Kanji in terms of things you already know, rather than forcing yourself to memorize keywords even for Kanji that you’re quite familiar with. Just my opinion 🙂

  14. July 24, 2008 at 13:35

    Yeah, I’ve definitely read all the RTK meathodology and have been applying that to new kanji I’ve been learning and it helps a lot. I don’t think it’s quite worth it for me to learn them in his order when I already know a lot of them, but breaking down new kanji into primatives is really helpful.

  15. July 26, 2008 at 09:28

    I as well knew a good deal of kanji before starting Heisig. Going through his order wasn’t really silly or a waste of time, I thought. Same with my friend who has already passed 1級 of the JLPT, so I guess there is some merit to the order.

  16. Charles A.
    August 1, 2008 at 17:54

    Todd, my opinion is that you can still do Heisig, just do it faster. Utilize “Reviewing the Kanji” website to get quick stories for those you know or help you for those you don’t. You’ll find the keyword choice very “unique” and more likely a pain in the ass for kanji you’re familiar. Still, develop the process called ‘visual mnemonics’, by doing Heisig. This will help you learn not just jouyou kanji, but all those beyond that.

    Again, you’re familiar with kanji, so those that you know that are in long term memory will be re-inforced along with all the ones you don’t. However, I get the feeling your knowledge of stroke order may be lacking, so that’ll definately be supercharged after Heisig.

  17. Anonymous
    August 27, 2008 at 08:06

    “In my opinion, Heisig’s big breakthrough was noticing that characters are always composed of other characters.”

    You know, it may not be taught that way in schools, but I bet pretty much everyone noticed that… it’s kind of hard not to. >__>;;

  18. Juz098
    September 28, 2008 at 04:43

    I’m using the Heisig method to learn Kanji. I’m 17 lessons in and the method I’ve been using so far is, read the kanji story, write the kanji 5 or 6 times and then input it into my SRS. With that method I get through about 24 kanji a day on average. The I realized, should I be writing it out or is that a big waste of time? Should I just write it out say once and then input it in to my SRS? Which method would you say is the better one?

  19. Ima
    October 15, 2008 at 11:11

    Juz098, good question, I’m curious too…

  20. jayTOH
    October 16, 2008 at 07:25

    @Juz098, Ima

    I say use whatever method you feel most comfortable with. If writing down a kanji several times will help better embed your story into your head, then all will be well. Everyone will end up using the SRS’ repitions to remember them anyway, so as long as you get the story down, you’re on your way.

    I used a similar method, only I really like being able to write the kanji down prettily(?). So, I wrote them down as many times as it took to get a nice looking character. Did the extra time help with memorizing? I’d like to say so. If a particular kanji took a while to write nicely, I remembered it a lot more easily when it came up in review.

    And, of course, when reviewing, practice writing the kanji down at least once, making sure the number of strokes and their order are correct. Since you’re gonna be reviewing everyday, I suggest using your finger and palm instead of pen/paper.

    Hope this helped!

  21. Frank V.
    November 1, 2008 at 14:05

    Well I’m about to finish I’ve got like about 12 left woot!! But uh, yeah this was supposed to be 2,046 right? I seem to have everything in but it says that I’m at 2,037.. So is the file incomplete? Or did I somehow mess up my copying and pasting?

  22. NightCrier
    December 20, 2008 at 01:09

    I should really use this list to create my anki deck instead of keep doing it old school style with paper cards(which i use on holidays from now on since im going on holiday two days from now, and i dont own a latop yet so).

  23. FDR
    January 21, 2009 at 03:32

    The anki SRS comes with the complete Remembering the Kanji as a sample deck…

  24. Allan
    January 21, 2009 at 22:19

    I’m confused. For example: 自分・じぶん means ‘yourself/oneself’. Ok, I have memorised that. I now know that those characters stands for ‘yourself’. But I don’t understand how to say it. Let’s say I’m watching Japanese TV show and someone says ‘jibun’. I wouldn’t understand the meaning of that.

    I’m confused how to start my Japanese learning, should I write my cards in romaji?

  25. Alec
    January 22, 2009 at 02:04

    Allan – that’s why you should learn words in context rather than on their own! Pretty much one of the main points of this site. What’s there to be confused about?

  26. Justin kim
    February 28, 2009 at 04:28

    so this kanji file, doesnot work at anki…how do i get it to work ?

  27. Lil Sassy
    April 14, 2009 at 09:45

    Alec I get what hes trying to say, basically hes saying that if he sees the whole thing he knows what it means but he doesnt know how to pronounce it or what it sounds like…..even though I’m pretty sure he should know by now?

  28. Lil Sassy
    April 14, 2009 at 15:19

    and no do NOT write your cards in Romaji

  29. Mauro J
    April 14, 2009 at 15:20

    How do I convert an .rtf file into a .txt file? Or should i just put this into an SRS besides Mnemosyne 🙁

  30. Willow
    May 6, 2009 at 23:24

    Same question as Allan about pronunciation. In addition, what about stroke order? I read about basic stroke order, but I’m still not completely sure on it. Could you do an entry about that, maybe?

  31. Willow
    May 7, 2009 at 10:19

    Never mind about stroke order, I downloaded a font for it and used it in Anki. (On this site, if anyone’s interested: Well, never mind the never mind, I would still like an explanation. XD

  32. Norwegian
    September 5, 2009 at 19:00

    I was just wondering, when you have this kanji file, is it ok to use the stories from there, or is it a big part of the process to make you’re own stories? Using these stories would save a lot of time, and they seem to have good stories, but is it just a fake shortcut?

  33. October 19, 2009 at 14:24

    Thanks so much for the kanji file! I was searching all over the internet for some : /

  34. Benny
    July 10, 2010 at 21:16

    Did anybody ever made an Anki deck out of this?
    Currently, I’m doing that but its so tiring to copy&paste everything from the text file to the Anki Deck.

  35. Lilly
    August 2, 2010 at 03:55

    When doing writing practice, instead of using a pen and paper and ending up with a lot of used paper or writing on your hand with a finger, and not being able to see how you did, I recommend getting a white board and markers. Then you can practice as much as you want easily.

  36. Suisei
    January 12, 2012 at 09:21

    Eh? What data exactly do you use? D:

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