The Kana Project


The Kana Project consists of Kana Warrior and Kana Card, two software programs to help beginning Japanese students learn hiragana and katakana. Kana Warrior is an arcade-style game, and Kana Card is a flashcard-style game.

These programs were originally developed and tested as part of a project at the University of Minnesota under the supervision of Dr. Loren Terveen. The project was accepted as a student poster at the CHI 2003 conference in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. An extended abstract was published in the conference proceedings. For a copy of the abstract, see the Downloads section.

Project License

This project has been released under the MIT License. For more information on that license, please visit


Kana Card

When you first run Kana Card, the window looks something like this:

You are shown a character. You type in its Romanization and press Enter. If you are correct, the word 'correct' is displayed; if you are incorrect, the correct answer is displayed. This process continues until you terminate the program.

Kana Warrior

When you first run Kana Warrior, a screen will come up giving you instructions. When you are actually playing the game, the screen will look something like this:

Zombies will approach you from the top of the screen and move towards you. Each zombie has one hiragana or katakana character associated with it. You must kill the zombie by correctly typing the romanization of its character before the zombie reaches the bottom of the screen, or your health will be reduced. Once all of your health is gone, the game ends and you are shown a screen displaying the points you earned during that game.


Project source code and documentation is available at its SourceForge homepage,

The extended abstract is available here in PDF format, stubbs2003.pdf.

Project Author

The Kana Project was created by Kristen N. Stubbs. She can be reached by email to vortacist at users dot sourceforge dot net. Logo
This project is hosted by SourceForge.