Japanese Flashcards

I currently have flashcards for:

The flashcards on this page are formatted for Anki, a spaced repetition flashcard program that is particularly well suited for languages like Japanese. To use the decks, simply import them in Anki after downloading them.

IMPORTANT: All decks were originally created for Anki 1.2. Anki 2 seems to be able to convert them, but if you have have problems, please use version 1.2.8 instead.

This page also contains the source files for flashcards that I made, as well as some additional information on creating and using Anki flashcards.

Please email me (my netid is in the address for the page) if you encounter any problems.


(All News)


  1. Tobira Flashcards
  2. JPN 401/402 Flashcards
    1. Anki Decks
    2. Source Files
    3. About the Flashcard Files
  3. Importing Text Files in Anki
  4. Using Anki

Tobira Flashcards

Anki flashcards are provided on the Tobira student website (accessible from the address on page xx of the textbook), but are divided into separated decks by chapter, as well as by reading/conversation for vocab and R/RW for Kanji, which makes reviews extremely tedious.

I combined all of these files into two decks: one for vocab and one for Kanji. The vocab deck has cards for all bold vocab, both Japanese->English and English->Japanese. The Kanji deck has Kanji->Reading and Reading->Kanji (a prompt for you to write the characters) for RW Kanji, and just the former for R Kanji.

You can choose which type of card to practice in each case (usually going one way, then the other) using the "selective study" option. You can also hide cards from chapters you have not reached yet in the same way.

Decks with audio (packaged as zip files):

JPN 401/402 Flashcards

The rest of this page deals with the flashcards I made for the 2012-2013 school year. The coursepacks will likely change from year to year, so you will have to create your own cards for any new readings (this can be done within Anki).

Also note that the JPN 401/402 flashcards are ordered based on the course pack rather than the order used in class, so "Benron" in JPN 402 is "article9", not "article5".

Preconfigured Anki Decks

This files can be imported in Anki using File->Import, and will give you all the cards with no further configuration. You may want to hide or delete all "Japanese -> Meaning" cards with the tags "vocab_opt" and "vocab_old" (JPN 401) or "vocab-opt" and "vocab-old" (JPN 402).

Anki decks (right click and choose "Save Link As..."):

Source Files

These files are formatted for tag-based card generation in Anki 1.2 (as explained below). They cannot be used to generate cards in Anki 2 or other flashcard programs without modification.

IMPORTANT: to download, you must

Files for JPN 402 SS13 (right click and choose "Save Link As..."):

Excel files for JPN 401 FS12 (right click and choose "Save Link As..."):

Tab-separated text files for JPN 401 FS12 (right click and choose "Save Link As..."):

About the Flashcard Files

Note: the system described section is based on Anki 1.2. Anki 2 uses a different system to generate cards. The tag names are based on the JPN 401 flashcards (they are slightly different for JPN 402).

The spreadsheet files on this page are formatted and tagged so that Anki can can produce multiple "cards" for the same "fact", which includes the Japanese word/expression, Hiragana pronunciation (if the item has any Kanji), and it's meaning in English or using Japanese synonyms.

Card types used:

ex. Fact and Corresponding Cards:


Item Reading Meaning
日本語 にほんご Japanese language


Question Answer
日本語 / にほんご Japanese language
Japanese lanugage 日本語 / にほんご
日本語 にほんご / Japanese language
にほんご / Japanese language 日本語

This is done using a series of tags:
You can use the article/drama tags and "vocab_opt" to hide cards you don't want to review at the moment.

Once you generate the cards in Anki (or use the preconfigured deck), each card will get an additional card tag representing the card layout described above:
These tags can also be used to filter which cards appear during review.

Importing Text Files and Generating Cards in Anki 1.2

  1. Create a new deck.
  2. Go to Settings->Deck Properties.
  3. Add a new model called "JapaneseVocab".
  4. Edit the model and create 4 templates:
    1. Japanese->Meaning
    2. Meaning->Japanese
    3. KanjiReading
    4. KanjiWriting
  5. Edit a template and create 3 fields:
    1. Item
    2. Reading
    3. Meaning
  6. Put {{Item}}, {{Meaning}}, and {{Reading}} on separate lines in the Question and Answer sections of the template as follows:
    Template Japanese->Meaning Meaning->Japanese KanjiReading KanjiWriting
    Question {{Item}}
    {{Meaning}} {{Item}} {{Reading}}
    Answer {{Meaning}} {{Item}}
  7. Import the facts.
    1. File->Import. Choose the file you want to import.
    2. Click the "cards" button. Tell Anki to produce only "Japanese->Meaning" cards.
    3. Import all cards.
  8. Generate cards.
    1. Open the search tool (magnifying glass).
    2. Search for "tag:vocab_know". Select all cards with ctrl-a. Actions->Generate Cards. Choose "Meaning->Japanese".
    3. Generate Kanji->Reading for cards with "kanji_r", and both Kanji->Reading and Reading->Kanji for "kanji_rw".
  9. Delete temporary cards.
    1. Some extra cards were generated when you imported everything. Still in the search tool, search for "tag:vocab_old tag:Japanese->Meaning". Select and delete all cards.

Using Anki

Anki uses a "spaced repetition" system, where each correct response (as judged by the user) increases the time period before the card will be shown again. In order to review all cards for some category, you have to choose the "Cram" option.

Click the stopwatch button at any time to go to the review options screen. Here you can set which tags are shown, as well as other options. To find or modify cards, click the magnifying glass button.

For more information, see the Anki Documentation.

Last updated 6/16/13 by Kenneth Hanson