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Japanese Handwriting Practice Tips: Why It is Important and Ways to Improve it

The Japanese writing system is very complex, containing a diverse range of characters: ひらがな(hiragana), カタカナ(katakana), and 漢字(kanji/ Chinese Characters).
Especially for those who are learning Japanese as a foreign language, even if they are able to read the characters, they may feel difficulty in writing as another thing.
This article explains the merits of improving Japanese handwriting and the recommended ways to practice it efficiently!

Reasons to Improve your Japanese Handwriting

In Japanese, there is a saying that “書は心画なり(calligraphy is the heart and painting)” and “字は体を表す(characters represent the body)”.
In other words, it says that characters reflect the personality and mental state of the person who writes them.

In Japan, therefore, people with beautiful characters often have a favorable impression of a person who is “serious and meticulous”“elegant and calm”,  and “intelligent and well-educated”.

Writing neatly is also related to mindfulness.
Practicing writing letters byconcentrating on the “here and now” also have the effect of calming the mind.
In Japan, journaling and 写経 (Shakyo, or copying sutras) are recommended for mindfulness.

↑ An example of 写経

Difficulties in Japanese Handwriting

Japanese people struggle it too!

Japanese people also struggle to write handwriting well.
Japanese elementary school students practice writing hiragana, katakana, and kanji using worksheets, and also practice writing beautiful characters with a brush in calligraphy class.

In recent years, people have more opportunities to type on computers and smartphones, and there are fewer and fewer opportunities to write letters with their own hands. However, there are occasions when it is necessary to write “beautiful handwriting”,  such as weddings, funerals, and thank-you letters to those who have taken care of you.
In such a case, a person with clean handwriting looks elegant and intelligent, whereas a person with dirty handwriting is thought to have a messy character and may give the impression that the person is not attentive to those around him or her.

↑An example of letters to acquaintances during the hot summer months to inquire about their safety or to express appreciation for their relationship

In Japanese social setting, if your handwriting is so dirty that people cannot read it, not only will it affect your learning, for example, you will receive a failing grade on a kanji dictation test, or you will lose points because you cannot decipher numbers or the alphabet, even though your thinking is correct, but it will also cause problems for you as an adult, for example, you will have trouble at work because you cannot read your messages.

In addition, it is generally believed that the cleaner the handwriting is, the higher the acceptance rate when writing documents for job hunting, so young people try their best to write beautiful handwriting.

Tips to Make Japanese Handwriting Looking Good

There are some tips to make your Japanese handwriting looking good. Let’s practice writing Japanese with these things keep in your mind!

Sit with correct posture.

Poor posture distorts the lines of letters, stiffens the shoulders quickly, and makes it difficult to concentrate. Sit with three points in mind: keep your back straight without leaning on the backrest, keep your feet naturally on the floor, and create a space of about a fistful between your body and the desk.

Write in the correct stroke order.

When learning Japanese characters, it is effective to learn the stroke order together. The stroke order is based on the order in which characters can be written quickly, correctly, and neatly. It is not always necessary to strictly follow the stroke order, but it is important to follow the stroke order in order to write “beautiful characters”.

Make sure that the distance between lines is equal.
In the case of parallel lines such as “川,” “三,” and “目,” make sure that the spacing between the lines is as equal as possible. If the distance between lines is too wide or too narrow, it will look unbalanced.

Write slowly while keeping the size of the lines distinct.
Kanji characters should be written larger than hiragana, and characters with more strokes should be written larger than those with fewer strokes to make them look better.

Ways to Practice Japanese Handwriting

① Use Free Worksheets

The easiest way to get started is to download practice texts from the Internet. If you have a printer at home, you can work on it right now for free. However, since you will be practicing by looking at a model, those who are not good at working steadily on their own or those who prefer to practice while receiving advice may easily become frustrated.

② Buy Penmanship Textbook

Practice books for penmanship in Japanese are available at online stores. The handwriting of the model also varies from type to type, so we recommend that you hold one in your hand and choose the one you like best.

③ Take an Online Lesson

The biggest advantage of online lessons is that you can listen to your teacher and practice wherever you are. Some Japanese language teachers offer courses exclusively for penmanship, and you can expect to improve faster for the money you spend because you can get specific advice on what to correct for those who are learning Japanese.

Practice Japanese Handwriting Online with a Japanese Teacher!

For those who are interested in taking an online lesson for Japanese penmanship, we, RINXs Online offer a special class!
During the lesson, the teacher will explain not only Japanese but also in English, so you don’t have to worry even if you are not confident enough about your Japanese skill!

Step1: ひらがなを書(か)こう!Sat. 2:00~2:55pm (JST)

Step2: カタカナを書(か)こう!Sat. 3:00~3:55pm (JST)
Step3: 漢字(かんじ)の基本(きほん)Sat. 4:00~4:55pm (JST)
Step4: 漢字(かんじ)を書(か)こう!

Sat. 5:00~5:55pm (JST)

★click HERE for the lesson page!

One day at a lesson


こんにちは。日本語教師(にほんごきょうし)のKazumaです。 ペン字(ぺんじ)教師(きょうし)もしています。 長(なが)い間(あいだ)、日本(にほん)の料理人(りょうりにん)をしていました。 そのため、日本(にほん)の文化(ぶんか)には詳(くわ)しいです。 わたしのレッスンでは、主(おも)にペン字(ぺんじ=penmanship)を行(おこな)っていきます。

Hello, I am Kazuma, a Japanese teacher. I am Kazuma, a Japanese teacher. I am also a penmanship teacher. I used to be a Japanese chef for a long time. Therefore, I am very familiar with Japanese culture. In my lessons, we will mainly focus on penmanship.

普段(ふだん)書(か)きなれない日本語(にほんご)のきれいな書(か)き方(かた)を教(おし)えます! 日本語(にほんご)を使(つか)って教(おし)えます。 入門(にゅうもん)コースのみ1回分(いっかいぶん)無料(むりょう)です!

I will teach you how to write beautiful penmanship in Japanese, a language that is usually difficult to write! We will teach you by using Japanese. One free lesson for the introductory course only!

<How to Apply>

You can join this class via RINXs Online: an online platform for language learning!

The process of taking a lesson is as simple as the following steps below!

After registering as a free member, you can recharge your RINXs Online points to purchase tickets and reserve lessons.

Learn more about the usage of RINXs Online, check the article below!

How to use RINXs Online ~ From Sign-Up to Lesson Reservation~

★Special offer★

We have a special gift for those who read this article! We offer you 500 points (worth ¥550) by entering the voucher code below↓↓

Sign up and Reserve a lesson!

What is “RINXs Online”?

RINXs Online is a service that allows users from Japan and around the world to participate in online lessons and social events. It is an online platform for mutual learning, offering private lessons in various languages, group study sessions, language exchanges, free conversation groups, international exchanges, and discussions on various topics.
You can choose the learning style that best suit your individual needs, including group study sessions and private classes!

Popular Lessons


You can easily sign up for the Japanese penmanship lesson here through RINXs Online!
RINXs Online also offers a variety of other lessons, so we hope you’ll find one that fits your learning style.
You can also contact us via facebook! Don’t be a stranger:)

If you have any questions about the lesson or RINXs Online itself, please feel free to contact us at the contact information below!
▶︎ support@rinxs.co.jp

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