Writing Hiragana -お

“O” OR “お” SAYS “long o sound as in potato” 3 STROKES  First, Starting on the upper left, make a medium horizontal line.    Second, starting a little bit above stroke one, make a vertical line down. Then (WITHOUT PICKING UP YOUR PEN) make a small loop to the left, cross back over the line and make a large curved line to the right.   Notice that … Continue reading Writing Hiragana -お

Writing Hiragana – え

“E” OR “え” SAYS “short e sound as in egg” 2 STROKES  The First stroke belongs in the upper middle of the character. Starting on the left, make a very small sloped line downwards.  Sometimes, you might see this line with a small side-stroke back towards the left. These characters were originally written with a brush, and this was just a small pull sideways that gave it … Continue reading Writing Hiragana – え

Writing Hiragana – い

“I” OR “い” SAYS “EE” 2 STROKES  The first stroke looks a little like a fish hook (but not quite written that way). Make a slightly curved vertical line down, then (without picking up your pen) give it a small up-stroke. These characters were originally written with a brush, and this was just a small pull upwards that gave it flair. It shouldn’t be too … Continue reading Writing Hiragana – い

Writing Hiragana – あ

One of the first Japanese lessons my Japanese friends and teachers told me was I had to learn how to write Hiragana. If I wanted to just travel to Japan, I didn’t need to bother. But if I wanted to be fluent, I need to be able to write the Characters. Many foreigners simply learn how to read Hiragana but are never taught how to write it.  They … Continue reading Writing Hiragana – あ

Sino-Japanese Numbers

The following includes the Sino-Japanese Numbers used in Japanese for many number-related issues. In appearance, they are the same as those used in Mandarin Chinese, in fact that is where the characters were borrowed from (Sino – meaning “Chinese”). Thus, the numbers are in fact a part of the Kanji writing system.   While Sino-Japanese numbers are more common according to my Japanese friends, the traditional … Continue reading Sino-Japanese Numbers