Friday, 3 February 2017

Japanese Kokeshi released!

Learn the Hiragana and Katakana characters of Japanese effortlessly with your Kokeshi. Japanese Kokeshi lets you play to thoroughly embed the sounds of the Hiragana and Katanana characters into your memory. Play through beautiful scenes from Japan in different seasons and learn while falling in love with the scenery. Consider this app on your first foray into Japan and Japanese. Familiarity with the characters and their sounds will help you get the most out of travelling in Japan.

Japanese Kokeshi is designed to be simple and focuses on helping you memorise the sounds associated with each Hiragana and Katakana character. It is designed for players with minimal to no experience with Japanese but experienced Japanese players may find it useful to test their skills.

The biggest obstacle to learning Japanese (or any language) is the amount of memorisation required. As the creators of this game, we endeavoured to take some of the pain of memorisation away by gamifying this aspect of learning. We believe that this game will help strengthen your foundations in Japanese – especially if you are learning Japanese later in life (like us).

Japanese Kokeshi learns which characters give you the most trouble and will increase the frequency of appearance of these characters till you get them right.


  •  Control method – tap anywhere on iOS, button press on tvOS. One handed play.
  •  Game Center enabled – Gain medals and achievements when you have mastered a character. Compete on the leader boards.
  • Focuses on weaknesses to cover all bases – Japanese kokeshi will increase the frequency of the characters based on how many times you get them wrong.
  • Scenery changes with the scores. The higher your score, the more levels and scenes you will move through. Each scene moves from morning to night as the score increases.
  • No decisions, options or complicated strategies required – just start playing and Japanese Kokeshi will take you through both Hiragana and Katakana.
  • No in-app purchases – all features are included.
  • No ads or annoying popups
  • No internet connection required (except when you want to use Game Center and get scores on the leader board).
  • Limited fast movements or rapid zooms that make you dizzy. We built this game for everyone to learn, not just for the young gamers.
What won’t I learn?
Kanji – this app is not meant to overload you. Our aim with this app is to help you memorise Hiragana and Katakana while enjoying the backdrop inspired by real Japanese scenery.
Writing – Learning to write is not included in this game.

Please watch the video to get a feel for the game. We designed this game for ourselves and welcome any comments, questions or feature requests via our website at


  1. Hi, I started playing this game yesterday and found it very helpful in learning hiragana. I tried it several times but each time I got to the beginning of the second level (where the scenery changes and the kokeshi doll rises out of the scene) the discs with the hiragana on them, along with the kokeshi doll, all disappeared from view, while the voice prompt just kept continuing. Quitting the app did not fix it. The only way to stop that behaviour happening was to uninstall the app and reinstall it. That meant starting at the beginning again of course, and things worked fine until the same thing happened again at the level change. This is obviously some sort of bug, and it happens on both my AppleTV and my iPhone 6S. I have the latest iOS and tvOS updates installed. I can't wait to try this game again soon - hopefully this bug can be sorted out. Thanks so much for what I'm sure will be a very well-designed game.

  2. Hello Neil,
    So sorry for the bug. We thought it was fixed in version 1.3 and will try to fix it as soon as possible. Thank you for pointing it out.

  3. Japanese Kokeshi 1.4 has been released with the bug fix.