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
  • (75 stars)

    by Sarah Aulenbach on 09/04/2014

    I've really benefited from using this game. If you play it just a little everyday it really helps to get the characters in your brain. It's so encouraging to be able to recognize and know the characters when I look through a Japanese magazine or book. Log

  • (75 stars)

    by Joe Moore on 08/04/2014

    Free, well written, and no ads. What more could you want?

  • (75 stars)

    by Lester Smith on 27/03/2014

    Learning kana can be difficult, despite their five-set groupings--or perhaps because of that deceptive simplicity. Kana Mind really helps, by introducing kana more randomly, though still sensibly, with matching English characters to choose from. When a n

  • (75 stars)

    by Kenken Clarin on 26/03/2014

    This app is exactly what I was looking for. I highly recommended this to everyone studying kana.

  • (75 stars)

    by Brandon Barclay on 23/03/2014

    Many apps I have tried to use kana supplement learning. This is the first app that actually DROVE the learning. If you want to learn to recognize kana, aside from writing them over and over, this is the best tool for the job. I cannot wait until Zeh ha

  • (75 stars)

    by Humberto Maldonado on 22/03/2014

    This is by far the best kana learning tool I have ever used. I recognize almost entirely all kana thanks to this app, so thank you to the creators.

  • (75 stars)

    by Daisie Paniagua on 20/03/2014

    It cuts off on my phone. A lot of the intro things wouldn't fit on my screen and wouldn't scroll down so I couldn't see all the options or instructions. Same with the stats .-. But i see the characters so its ok . I'd rate 5 STARS if this is fixed