Top 1 Android App for Studying Japanese (Kanji, Kana)

Tired of going through all the apps that promise you’ll learn all the Kanji you need to? Yup, they are numerous out there and it’s hard to pick a gem. But if you are like me and you utilize your commute to learn as much Kanji as you can (including the stroke order, the readings), read on to find out my Top 1 Android App for Studying Japanese (Kanji, Hiragana, and Kana).


My attempts at learning Kanji

If you’ve seen my series in learning Japanese, you’d see how I did try to make my own quiz set using Quizlet but as the list grows (i.e. JLPT level), the app crashes and it’s not really flexible enough. I needed to learn how to write Kanji and know how to read them differently. Quizlet isn’t flexible for that. I have downloaded several apps, too but they’re either too bloated with ads or they are just not user-friendly as the one I’ll recommend.


My Choice:  Japanese Kanji Study – 漢字学習 by Chase Colburn

This app contains about 6000 Kanji (yeah, good luck to me reaching that) and the best thing about it is that if you are studying for the JLPT, it contains a group of ready-made list which makes it so convenient.

If I list down all the features, I might miss out on the thing you might find useful so here’s the list of features from Google Play (for the benefit of IOS and others who would want to consider using another Android phone).

★ Quick kanji lookup
• Search over 6000 kanji using readings, radicals, stroke counts, levels and more all in one text field.
• Combine any number of radicals and see them highlighted in the results.
• Add search results to a custom group to, for example, study multiple grade levels.

★ Detailed kanji info
• View animated strokes, readings and meanings as well as your study time and quiz stats.
• See a breakdown of the radicals found within each kanji.
• Check out example words (grouped by the kanji readings), sentences and names.
• Customize to hide meanings, collapse sections, show romaji and more.
• Explore the kanji used within each of the examples and use the breadcrumbs to navigate back.

★ Flashcard study
• Drill characters in manageable sized sets.
• View stroke animations and toggle the visibility of readings and associated meanings.
• Tap a reading to show a list of example words that use that reading.
• Swipe to quickly launch writing practice and view additional information.
• Assign study ratings which allows you to filter kanji as you learn them.

★ Multi-choice quizzes
• Customize quizzes to show either readings, associated meanings, example words or sentences.
• Example words can selected from JLPT and common vocab, as well as your favorited examples.
• Quiz timer and distractors adapt based on previous quiz results.
• Further customize with options to repeat wrong answers, remove the timer, pause after answering and more.

★ Writing challenges
• Improve your kanji recognition by challenging yourself to recall and draw the characters.
• Learn the correct stroke order using the finely-tuned stroke detection algorithm.
• Strokes will snap into place when correctly drawn and hints will appear if you are struggling.
• Use the self-check mode to compare your drawing attempts with the correct answer.

Additional Features

★ Study kanji grouped by JLPT levels, Jouyou grades or Kanji Kentei levels.
★ Send custom study reminders when you haven’t studied.
★ Read Japanese text with text-to-speech audio support.
★ Add shortcuts to your home screen to study a particular set.
★ Use the rankings screen to make custom sets based on study stats.
★ Favorite kanji, radicals and examples for referencing later.
★ Save progress using Google Drive or local storage.
★ Customize MANY additional settings.


Is it for free?

Yes, it is for the basics (Hiragana, Katakana and N5 Kanji). Even if you only use the free version, there are no ads! But seriously, if you are moving up to N4, the $10(approx) upgrade is pretty worth it.

Here are the snapshots of the upgraded version of the app:



Unless you have a photographic memory and other special memory skills, I would highly recommend that you supplement your Kanji practice from this up with writing exercises. It helps you drill it into your long term memory.


Get it here

Go to google play by clicking this link.


What about you?

Have you tried this app before? Did it work for you?

Do you have some more recommendations?

Hit us up in the comments below!

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Paula Lapizar

Chemical Engineer. Daughter. Sister. Lover. Tree-Hugger. Bargain Hunter
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Paula Lapizar

Chemical Engineer. Daughter. Sister. Lover. Tree-Hugger. Bargain Hunter

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