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Know Your Kanji

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WARNING This is in beta development with all that entails.



This program is in the form of an Excel file using Macros and is intended to improve your ability to visualise kanji and to remember the stroke count of kanji. It uses full (and hopefully natural) Japanese sentences with English translations so it is also a great way to improve your vocabulary and understanding of Japanese grammar.

Version Release History

Grade 1 Beta 2.0 is now out. It's still Beta but the data within should be relatively stable and there will be longer between any further updates.

Instructions for use

Screen shot of grade 1 display

The file uses a separately distributed font that gives stroke order numbers on kanji. This can be downloaded from Tim's Web Site under the link marked 漢字の筆順のフォント※ Kanji stroke order font. It can be installed like any other Windows font.

The file itself can be found at my literally virtually empty web site.

Before opening the file you will need to set Macro security to Medium (or Low) or it won't work. (Tools -> Macros -> Security).

  1. Click 'New Question'
  2. Decide what kanji should go in the gap. (Ideally scribble it on a bit of paper) (If you don't know the kanji or stroke count then click "Don't know")
  3. Enter the correct stroke count.
  4. Click on the correct kanji.
  5. Click 'Check Answer' - As well as displaying "Correct" (or "Incorrect") there is audible feedback.

The checkbox "Show Kana" allows you to see how the missing kanji is read*. The checkbox "Show all kanji" allows you to see kanji that do not have a stroke-count the same as currently selected.

Section number system

The 'Section number' shows which set (of 50) questions are currently selected.

You start at section one and can 'Advance' by clicking the button to the next section when all questions from that section have been asked. When you have completed all sections the program enters a 'Super mode' where you will be re-quizzed on all the questions you got wrong (as well as a random selection of other questions).

The section colouring scheme is:

  • Red (not asked all questions)
  • Orange (asked all questions, some answered incorrectly)
  • Yellow (asked all questions, all answered correctly)
  • Green (all questions answered 10 times correctly in a row(!!))


As this is still in beta I will be bringing out new versions whenever I think the change is 'significant enough'. If you want to keep your progress then ...

  • Export scores from old version (See 'Export Scores' from RawData sheet).
  • Open new version
  • Import scores to new version (See 'Import Scores' from RawData sheet).

If you ever want to start from scratch then use the 'Clear Scores' button on the RawData sheet (then hit 'Reset' on the front sheet).


As this is still under development I would like

  • initial impression of the idea.
  • ideas for improvement
  • bug reports
  • comments on weird (or very difficult) sentences
  • comments on mistakes in readings for kanji etc.

See the 'discussion' page (and feel free to contribute)


This makes extensive use of the Tanaka Corpus (as currently maintained by Paul Blay). The Tanaka Corpus sentences themselves are in the public domain, people interested in making use of them are advised to go to the above link for the latest complete version.

Stroke count data is taken from KanjiDic which is not in the public domain but whose licence allows for free use with acknowledgment (and encourages donation when used for commerical purposes).

Dictionary entries for words are generally taken from EDICT which is not in the public domain but whose licence allows for free use with acknowledgment (and encourages donation when used for commerical purposes).

The file itself and all other data remains the copyright of the author.

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