This entire page is dedicated to helping you learn to write Hiragana accurately. Once you develop bad habits, it is very hard to shake them off. I’ve seen such cases too many times among my students in my teaching career. To prevent you from that, let’s cover three important tips before the first lesson. These rules apply not only to Hiragana but also Katakana and Kanji.
On a side note, good penmanship is highly valued in the culture.
Three Tips When You Learn to Write Hiragana
Tip 1: Stroke Directions
Know that there are only two directions when you write each stroke of Japanese letters:
- Left to right, OR
- Top to bottom.
Traditionally, Japanese people wrote sentences vertically, not horizontally, using a writing brush, Fude. With a writing brush, it is easier to write each stroke of a letter from left to right and top to bottom.
As a result, Japanese people have accustomed to writing letters that way. It, in fact, helps you write letters in a flow and beautifully.
Tip 2: Three Types of Stroke Ending
Each stroke has one of the following endings: Stop (tome), Brush-up (hane) and Release (harai).
Again, this has resulted from the custom of writing with a brush in old days. In the video lectures below, I indicate what ending you need for each stroke. I encourage you to follow the instruction so that it becomes natural for you to write correct stroke endings.
Tip 3: Follow Hand-written Versions
Some Hiragana letters look quite different between the handwritten version and printed version as below. Be sure that you master the handwritten version of Hiragana.
When you type Hiragana on your computer, most likely you are typing in Mincho font. It’s a popular Hiragana font and makes Hiragana look stylish. However, beware not to copy the font when you learn to write Hiragana. Mincho font letters are not the same as handwritten Hiragana.
The closest font to handwritten Hiragana is Kyokasho-tai (Textbook font). I use the font in the videos below and all of the Hiragana materials I provide.
Let’s Learn to Write Hiragana!
Below are Hiragana lessons in the order of the Hiragana chart. There are 46 basic Hiragana letters. Please follow the order below to learn to write Hiragana.
1. Vowels あいうえお & N ん
2. Ka Ki Ku Ke Ko かきくけこ
3. Sa Shi Su Se So さしすせそ
4. Ta Chi Tsu Te To たちつてと
5. Na Ni Nu Ne No なにぬねの
6. Ha Hi Hu He Ho はひふへほ
7. Voiced Sounds – G, Z, D, B & P
8. Ma Mi Mu Me Mo まみむめも
9. Ya Yu Yo やゆよ
10. Ra Ri Ru Re Ro らりるれろ
I hope this entire post helped you learn how to write Hiragana! If you want me to send you free Hiragana chart and practice sheets, let me know where I need to send them.