Let's Learn Hiragana! ひらがな


This entire page is to help 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 throughout my teaching career.

To prevent that, there are three important points you need to keep in mind.



Point 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. 

hiragana stroke directionsTraditionally, Japanese people wrote sentences vertically by using Fude, a writing brush. With a writing brush, it is easier to write each stroke 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.

Point 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.

Point 3: Follow Hand-written Versions

Some Hiragana letters look quite different between the handwritten version and the printed version. Be sure that you master the handwritten version of Hiragana.

When you type Hiragana on your phone or computer, most likely you will get Mincho font. Beware not to copy the font when you handwrite Hiragana. Mincho font letters are not always the same as handwritten Hiragana as you see below.

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.

I can send you Hiragana Chart & Practice Sheets.
Where shall I send them? Let me know below.

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Hiragana Lesson Videos


1. Vowels (A, I, U, E, O) & N - あいうえおん


Now let's learn to write Hiragana. There are 46 basic Hiragana letters. Have your practice sheets ready and follow the lessons below.

 

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 (Fu), He, Ho - はひふへほ

 

7. Voiced Sounds - Dakuon (G, Z, D, B, P)

Learn more about the beginner's course, Japanese 1 on the website.

smilenihongo.com/C1

 

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


If you are already enrolled in Japanese 1, go to Lesson 4 to learn the pronunciations らりるれろ.

Lesson 4: Pronunciation Y, R, & W

 

11. Wa, O (Wo) - わを


 

Learn Japanese at Your Pace


In my online school, all the courses are self-paced and there is no time limit to complete each course.

Study Japanese in your spare time with my support.

Check available courses on the school website.

SmileNihongo.com/Class