Kana Mind

Kana Mind

10,000 - 50,000 downloads

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Kana Mind is an educational game to help you learn to recognize the symbols used in Katakana and Hiragana (collectively called "Kana"), the first two alphabet styles used in the Japanese language. With this knowledge, you'll be able to read aloud and write words in Japanese.

Kana mind is not a simple matching or flash card game. It uses an intelligent memorization algorithm focused on teaching character combinations, and then measuring the player's success in matching each combination. As you progress through the game, the symbols become more and more difficult.

Kana Mind will also remember how much time you've spent away from the application, and take that into account when testing you. This makes sure you haven't forgotten any of the matches you had learned previously.

For those looking to learn Japanese, Kana Mind tracks your progress letting you check your stats at any time. Can you get to the end and reach 100% proficiency in Kana knowledge? And for those who already know Japanese, Kana Mind is the best way to retain Kana fluency - playing the game once a week is great to keep your memory fresh.

With Kana Mind, you’ll learn both alphabets before you even realize it!


• Two modes: learn reading and/or writing
• Learn the complete Hiragana and/or Katakana alphabet
• Store multiple player profiles if you share your decide with someone else
• 3 different romaji styles: Hepburn (recommended), Nippon-shiki, and Kunrei-shiki
• Groups of characters (including historical symbols) can be toggled on or off for more focused exercises
• Free application: no ads, no permissions required (I created this application because *I* wanted to use it)

But remember: Kana Mind is not a complete Japanese language course. It will only help you memorize Kana and Japanese romanization in an easy and quick way, but since it doesn't teach you Japanese grammar or vocabulary, it's intended to be used as an aid to an ongoing Japanese course.

Read more about the motivations behind Kana Mind here:


Thanks to Marc Luscher for suggestions and great ideas. Also thanks to our reviewers for comments and suggestions.


• An iOS version is in the works (the project is cross-platform by default), and will be available when I'm done with all the updates I want on the Android version
• Requires Adobe AIR (automatically installed)


Here are a list of updates planned (subject to change):

• Arcade and invisible answer modes
• Cheat sheet reference
• Localization to other languages
• Seamless cloud-saved profiles (for reinstallation, using across devices, etc)

And two big additions that are likely to be a commercial add-in to support development:

• Word/dictionary module
• Symbol drawing module with actual accuracy measurements
• Separate Kanji module


If you have suggestions, questions or bug reports, please send an email to zeh at zehfernando.com.

And thanks so much to our kind reviewers! I'm glad you're enjoying the application as much as I am.

Tags: penkana penalty, kana mind, kana mind for i phone.

Recently changed in this version

We are finally out of beta! Thanks so much for all the feedback.

* Better learning order: dakuten symbols are now shown after their non-dakuten equivalents
* Text and icons are better sized for tablets
* The "Settings" area was removed and replaced with an "About" area
* Users can now swipe left or right to delete a profile in the profile list

There's still a lot of features to come to Kana Mind!

Comments and ratings for Kana Mind
  • (74 stars)

    by martenizata on 04/04/2012

    Good work!

  • (74 stars)

    by Avnish Mishra on 23/06/2014

    This is the best app. I've used many paid apps on both my iPad and phone but this is the best.

  • (74 stars)

    by Ashwin Rawat on 19/06/2014

    Very useful. I wish there was an app like this for kanji.

  • (74 stars)

    by piano1350 on 18/06/2014

    This free app guides you wonderfully through learning hiragana and katakana. A great tool for anyone trying to learn the Japanese alphabet.

  • (74 stars)

    by sharlene michaelis on 11/06/2014

    I was able to learn all of the kana (and remember them) easily with this app. I would recommend this to anyone wanting to learn how to memorize the kana in a fast and efficient way. It is quite simple, with them showing you the kana, and then you having to press the corresponding button that has the correct reading on it. Then you just keep cycling through the kana, it's sort of like flash cards.

  • (74 stars)

    by Simon Gordon on 10/06/2014

    Far better than any digital flashcard app that the others all are. Well done!

  • (74 stars)

    by Matt Fraher on 04/06/2014

    Effective and Smart looking