How to use Free Software to learn Japanese, and more.

AJT Kanji Transition deck

February 25, 2021 — Tatsumoto

Ajatt-Tools Kanji Transition deck is an Anki Deck for newcomers to Japanese based on the JP1K method. If you want to learn the theory behind this deck, please read this article.

The deck is designed to teach how to recognize Kanji along with the most common 1000 words used in everyday conversations. Prior knowledge of kana is required but there is no need to do any isolated kanji study.

If you have already gone through RTK and know more than 1000 words, you are unlikely to benefit from the deck. However, if your vocabulary is below 1000 words, I recommend that you give the Kanji Transition deck a try over studying kanji in isolation and premade decks like Core or Tango.

The vocabulary used in the deck was taken from Ankidrone Starter Pack and consists of words commonly used in everyday life in Japan. Each sentence in the deck tries to introduce only one unknown word or structure. Each word along with each sentence has native audio and an English translation.

We have prepared two versions of the deck. One for people who prefer TSC card format and another for people who like WCC more.

JP1K method

I explain the method in more detail here.

The idea behind the JP1K method is that you try to recall kanji readings when you review the cards, but you don't take them into account when grading yourself.

When a flashcard pops up, try to recall the reading and meaning of the target word, then use your mouse to hover over the word to see how it's read. Afterwards reveal the back side of the card and see if your memory is correct. Pass the card if you've correctly recalled the meaning. Otherwise, hit "Again".

It is important that you try to recall the reading of the target word every time you see the card. By doing so, you engage in deliberate practice, which should help you eventually remember the reading. However, don't penalize yourself for being unable to do recall readings. As a beginner, it's already quite difficult to remember Japanese words, and you don't want to add another level of complexity just yet.

TSCs deck

On the front there's an example sentence. The target word appears highlighted. When reviewing the cards you can decide whether you want to read the whole sentence or not.


An example TSC from AJT Kanji Transition.

If you're going to read the full sentence every time you rep a card, prior knowledge of some grammar might be necessary. The deck explains certain grammar points and particles, but it is not enough to replace a proper grammar guide. Refer to Tae Kim guide when there's a sentence you don't grasp fully.

If a word contains kanji, you can view the furigana reading by hovering over it with your mouse.



WCCs deck

This deck has only the target word on the front. Example sentence is hidden behind the "Reveal context" button. Content on the back is similar to the TSC deck.


An example WCC from AJT Kanji Transition.

The deck is available to all patrons. To get it follow the link below.



  • Q: The deck contains some words that I don't think will be useful for me.

    A: The main source of words in the deck is a book called 1000 Essential Vocabulary for the JLPT N5. It contains a number of pretty obvious katakana words and a short list of country names. If you don't want to learn them, press @ to suspend such cards.

  • Q: Do I really need to learn kanji spellings of words normally written in kana?

    A: If you feel intimidated by them, it's okay to suspend the cards. I like to always learn kanji versions because even if you see a word in its kana reading most of the time, there's a chance that you eventually encounter the kanjified version. You want to be prepared when it happens.

  • Q: I have poor retention.

    A: This is natural if you're a beginner, and your brain isn't used to memorizing Japanese yet. At first some words just won't stick, in which case try getting more immersion. The words and phrases in the deck are very common, and you'll be hearing them more frequently. If you find yourself failing cards over and over, install Mortician and it will bury them for you automatically. Usually the buried words become easier after you get some rest. If not, suspend the cards.

  • Q: Sometimes I forget the meaning of the target word but still remember the meaning of the whole sentence, therefore I can infer the meaning of the target word. Is it alright to do that?

    A: Yes. Sentence cards tend to form context-dependent memories, but eventually knowledge transfers from being context-dependent to context-independent.

  • Q: What to do next?

    A: If you try the deck out, please put any feedback or corrections you have in the chat.

    After you complete the deck, you are free to start mining sentences on your own. If you still need a sentence pack to help you out, refer to basic vocab.

Convert any deck to the JP1K format

If you don't like this deck, the good news is that making your own JP1K-style deck is very easy. All you need to do is take any premade deck and change the card template a bit. Explore our resources section or AnkiWeb for premade Anki decks.

First, open the Card Types settings by clicking "Tools" > "Manage Note Types" > "Cards...". In the HTML templates find the tag that refers to target word or sentence. Let's say for the sake of this example that the field's name is Word.


Then replace {{Word}} with the corresponding field that contains furigana and add furigana: before its name to tell Anki that the field should be rendered with readings shown above the kanji. If your premade deck doesn't have a furigana field, you have to add it to the Note Type and mass-generate readings with the Japanese support add-on.


Now to make the furigana hidden by default add a class name or id to the tag around the target word. The class name will be used to refer to the tag.

<div class="question">{{furigana:WordFurigana}}</div>

Finally, you need a CSS rule that tells Anki to keep the furigana hidden by default, and a second rule that tells to make it visible on hover.

.question ruby rt { visibility: hidden; }
.question ruby:hover rt { visibility: visible; }

This should be it. Enjoy your own JP1K deck.

Tags: anki, kanji, vocab