Learn Japanese with

The most efficient way to remember the meaning and writing of Japanese characters.


Remembering the Kanji

Use your imaginative memory to remember thousands complex Japanese characters, with Remembering the Kanji by James W. Heisig.

Get it at

Try the sample chapter (includes 294 kanji).
Both the 5th and 6th editions are supported!

Review, Share and Improve!

See your progress Visualize your progress as stacks of flashcards. Reviews are automatically scheduled based on your past results.

Review the kanji Review the kanji online. Repeat more of the difficult characters, and less of those that you know well.

Share mnemonics Feeling stuck? Share stories with fellow learners. Find help and encouragement on the community forums!

Site News

Favourite Stories, Enhanced!17 December 2014

The Story dialog in flashcard reviews will now display a starred (ie. favourite) story, if you didn't enter your own. To take advantage of this feature, make sure to favourite no more than one story per character. This effectively means you no longer need to copy a public story to see it during reviews. Thanks to Richard for the suggestion!
Couple Fixes & Updated Keywords13 December 2014
Misc. fixes
  • Improved validation of stories, to avoid creating non-functional character links in the shared stories. Character links (eg. {10} ) in stories are properly validated, and otherwise an error message will show up. Only Heisig frame numbers, and characters belonging to the CJK Unified Ideograph range can be used in those links.
  • Fixed highlighting of kanji in the Reading page (thanks hanysz)
Non-Heisig characters in the Study pages
This isn't a new feature, but many users may not be aware. As of writing, there are 12559 characters in the database accessible in the Study pages. To navigate to "non-Heisig" characters, you can either type the character in the search box, or enter its unicode value, for example 19986 is 丒. At the moment, these characters get an automatic keyword like "Unicode #19986" and the keyword can not be customized. If the character has a Study page, you can create a link to it in a story by using the unicode value so eg. {19986} will link to 丒.

List of keywords changed in Dec. 3rd update
Here is a list of 5th edition keywords that have changed with the "Multiple Editions" update. As I worked on the update, I made the decision to go with the 6th edition keywords, and fall back to the 5th edition keywords for characters that are no longer in the last edition. This is a small compromise I made in order to keep the complexity of the app in check (as well as the database). I felt it was a reasonable compromise for the following reasons. First, 12 of these are in Volume 1, and the remaining 28 changed keywords are for Volume 3, which concerns a much smaller group of the user base. And secondly, users can customize these keywords if they already commited them to memory, and otherwise it is probably a good idea to go with the new edition keywords.

Minor fixes for last update.11 December 2014
A small update today fixes the following:

  • Profiles displayed incorrect values of flashcard count and total reviews (thanks brookwind, Carlos, Gonzalo and Sebastian for letting me know).
  • Kanji links in stories saved before the update were not formatted, so eg. {500} would show up as is, instead of turning into a link.
  • Fixed copying old stories using kanji links which would then link to the incorrect character when saved while using the new edition.
You can still use frame numbers to create links in stories, for example {500}. In order to work with multiple editions, and allow the user to switch between editions in a non-destructive way, these references are now translated when the story is saved. Thus if you use the new edition and enter {46} in a story, it will be converted to {肘}.

Kanji links are formatted according to the reader's selected index. Someone using the old edition will then see 肘 (#2464). Someone using the new edition will see 肘 (#46). Both will link to the same character's Study page, but the displayed index is based on the user's selected edition.

This gives you an idea as to how much fun I had working on the last update ;)

Next on my todo list: I have to fix one keyword, and document (here) a few keywords in the old edition that were upgraded to the new edition. I have received a couple suggestions to add flashcard settings in the new Account page, and I'd love to work on them. However I have to prioritize and my next task will be to add Simplified Hanzi support to Reviewing the Hanzi website.
RTK 6th Edition Support is live!3 December 2014
New members are automatically set up with the 6th edition of Remembering the Kanji. Already registered users: if you'd like to use the 6th edition index, go to the new Kanji Sequence page in the Account tab, and select the New Edition.

Your stories and flashcards are completely SAFE when switching indexes. The chosen index simply changes the displayed Heisig "frame number", and it changes which kanji gets added to your flashcards when you enter frame numbers in the Manage page. I will post a more detailed update soon to explain how the switch between indexes work, as well as the "extended frame numbers" (briefly: any frame number above 12000 is an "extended frame number", whereby the site uses the Unicode Character Set values as a makeshift extension of the Heisig frame numbers).

The site was down approx. 15 mins at 6pm CET for the update, sorry about that :) I did my best to run various scenarios and try to catch as many bugs as possible. With such a wide refactoring of the code, it's very possible some minor bugs are left. Please let me know asap. Hopefully everything's fine and dandy!

Lil update on 6th edition support27 November 2014
The website is technically ready to support multiple character indexes and the new settings page to select the RTK edition is working. Now I have to update the scripts which are used to feed the character information in the database, in order to include the 6th edition frame numbers.

As I was looking into the Perl scripts written years ago I became frustrated with having to re-learn another language once again. This made me realize that, besides the cost of rewriting old code, there is also a cost involved in having to switch between languages. There is only so much that you can be proficient in at the same time, especially when you are building web applications and you also want to be proficient with the front end side of things (Javascript, Html and Css).

So I figured since I have to make significant changes to the Perl scripts, I may as well rewrite them in Php. I'd rather use fewer languages, and get to know them well than use more languages and only dabble in some of them. I really hope I can wrap this up in the next couple weeks!
...more in the news archive.