Handwriting community?

Hi, I was exploring the forums and I didn’t notice any Handwriting community per se. I’ve seen some posts and topics about questions and examples, but not an active community where people share their handwriting regularly and help each other (as if it was some kind of book club).
If it already exists and I just didn’t find it could you pass the link :pray:t4:? There’s not even a category for it… I didn’t know where to post this.

If it doesn’t, I find handwriting very helpful when it comes to studying. It helps me remember kanji better and it helps to practice grammar and vocabulary also. Plus it’s fun!
Either if you just write some words you know, or you can write sentences or short essays. I think it would be a fun community to be in (I personally can’t write complex things yet).

Maybe if it doesn’t exist is because not enough people are currently interested in it or available to participate in one so if you could share your thoughts would be helpful!!

Would you like to be in a handwriting community?? (not anonymous)
  • I’ve been looking for one and I’d love to!
  • I hadn’t thought of it before but I’m in!!
  • I’d like to try
  • I’m already in one (if you could share it in the replies)
  • Not in my priorities rn, mabye next time
  • Just checking
0 voters

Idk share your thoughts, I would love to know what you think about this!
And, once again I apologize if it already exists and I am rambling here about it :sweat_smile:


Considering we’ve got categories for speaking, listening and reading, the other three of the four input/output methods, the lack of writing at all does seem to be a bit of an oversight. That said, considering 95% of writing these days is just typing, I do also see the reasoning for omitting it.

I feel like just posting threads in the main Japanese Language category works well enough for the volume of threads we usually get.


Yeaah… That’s why I was asking. I know it lacks practicality and that is the main reason why it is not as popular as the other ones.
Because of that, I thought of a (just) Writing club. In which you could type your things and share them (it would be fun too). But having auto-correct and all kinda sends the vibe of owning and correcting your own mistakes off.
Also, it’s proven that writing by hand is good for the brain. And it makes you more conscious of the language.

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I think writing in general (including typing) would work for that purpose as well.

I used to write a lot around 2 years ago and while it’s fun I wouldn’t say it contributes so significantly to learning that it’s worth sacrificing general velocity for that. Your milage may vary of course.

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I think more than learning faster (for me) it helps to understand. I agree everyone has it’s own method.

I appreciate, I hadn’t thought it like this before.

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My thought is that it may be useful for learning, but maybe not that useful as practical purposes.

Nonetheless, as with other skills, that may indirectly help with reading and understanding, it can be over-invested.


There is a sentiment that handwriting is useless in modern practice, I myself was more or less in that camp thinking is was not time well spent. However, natives I would show WK to would even remark that the system would bottleneck on recognition alone…and I’ve come to agree completely. The problem being: the more kanji you learn, the more recognition challenges of mixing them up you will have. And while sentence and in context collocations often save the day, it doesn’t mean you actually know the kanji and that is bound to fail to have any interdependencies eventually…I would go as far to say if you can’t produce the language, you haven’t mastered it (yet). No doubt drawing helps this issue.

But the surprising benefits I got from practicing handwriting was in hindsight not surprising at all; being able to read others handwriting better and less font dependencies. Plus muscle hand memory is a tool to have that is incredibly handy…and no surprise when natives ponder their kanji, they brandish their pointy finger on to an imaginary notepad to draw them out. Also a surprise: it is not as hard as one would think to start practice and making progress; also a physical activity to engage with the language which I happen to like…self admittedly, while having good run at practicing kanji, I’m on hiatus with focus on other items so I fell off but expect to return once brushing up on other items, benefit or not I just enjoy it (and I do write hand written notes through the year to various native so that is practical). And while handwriting may be considered a lost art, I still find it connects humans more so than a text or email; due to its pain in ass-ness it shows a level of commitment and sacrifice to send a physical message much more so than current technology for someone else, that does have added meaning. And connecting with people, in my opinion, is my favorite part of language learning. I like media too of course but it is a different fulfillment entirely.


I think a handwriting thread would be good for anyone who feels like practicing! It’s not a major goal of mine right now, but it’s fun to be able to write at least some kanji.


There is some people interested in it so I will create one! I’ll post the link here when its done.
Thanks to everyone who replied and voted!!

If you have any suggestions feel free to share them


I find that writing is the superior way to test kanji retention because it makes you actually have to produce it from nothing.

Also I would love to have beautiful writing. But just subtlety getting the ratio off can ruin a kanji.


Im not sure about the word bottlenecking here. It’s more like wk only tests you on recognition, so yeah you’re only going to be practicing recognition. I think this is a pretty widely acknowledged fact. Though, I did this method for years of learning and can say I honestly had no issues with it really for reading. If you practice how to recognize words and then do a task that requires you to recognize words (e.g. Reading) you’ll be fine. If you try to do some task that isn’t recognizing written words you won’t be fine.

And yes, if you can’t produce the language you definitely haven’t mastered it. It sounds like you think that’s some extreme take but thats probably what everyone thinks lol.

I think this is something that people tend to overcomplicate, when it’s really a case when the simplest answer is the correct one. If you want to get better at task A, then practice task A. If you practice task A only, don’t be surprised when you can’t do task B. If you want to be able to do task B then practice task B.


Sorry for the waiting! I’ve created the tread for the handwriting club!!
:fountain_pen:Handwriting Club :fountain_pen:
Everyone is welcomed! You can actively participate or take peek at what we’re doing.
I hope you guys enjoy it :two_hearts:


I’m speaking of WK alone as a recognition system throughout and not repetitive reading for recognition building in itself. I’m aware the latter works well and I know you’ve written about it extensively; assumingly if one grinds enough media to build a vocab base that it works itself out though, I don’t disagree. However, I still feel that mixing up similar looking kanji without basis of context, there is benefit having a connection to writing, even a little bit…this has been my experience at least, not necessarily universal but made me question some of efficiencies of recognition alone in terms of ironing out visually similar kanji without aid of context.

In regards to WK usefulness ‘bottlenecking’, that is exactly what I meant. The efficiency and usefulness of the system for the 1st half and is not as good as the 2nd half, and with the system alone can turn into a kanji soup traffic jam (at least for me). The system attempts break this by introducing vocab along the way…but uses the exact same method from level 1 to level 60. BunPro does the same thing, speaking from my experience I find this fundamentally inefficient that it would use the same method from beginner → novice → intermediate with an attempt to use 1:1 jp/eng as it’s basis for optimal progression…and certainly inefficient for longer term vocab building in my experience, it could do better or other methods are far more efficient in this regard for recognition alone. I’m sure most can attest, eventually you don’t want any English in your learning path unless absolutely necessary…again WK methodology doesn’t really evolve in anyway whatsoever for the learner here.

Hmm…I’m not sure that is true but I wouldn’t assume to know what everyone thinks either. This is more or less a reference to outside threads that I have read here that proposed writing is a time consuming useless endeavor (only if your living in Japan, practicing Kanken, etc.). I’m just saying that is not necessarily the case…I can’t recall what recent thread that mentioned this but it had resembled the aforementioned banter (basically ‘if I can read it, therefore I know it…good enough’). I know your Japanese is very good so maybe you did not need any of this which is completely valid of course, to each their own and more power to anyone who doesn’t…but I’m finding benefit to writing, and not to keep over-stating, but for the benefit of distinguishing similar looking kanji better. And I’m more of a firm believer from both my own progress and talking with natives as well that this can be helpful. Understandably, YMMV due to a whole host of variables. I’m just sharing my own experience with no claims of ‘mastery’ of my own.

I’m not practicing writing for the sake to improving writing, that is what I attempted to express above. I know what you are saying but I think that is a bit over-simplified for my case and may work depending what level you are at or what you are specifically trying to improve.

For instance, I can write/type out sentences without a time constraint and this will help out real-time conversation to have much better grammar execution. Reading Japanese subtitles can help fill the gaps in listening if I’m not picking them out accurately and helps my ear next time, speaking more can help with listening quite a bit, reading can help other skills as I’m sure you are aware…the list goes on on symbiotic benefits and not necessarily working in isolation for a specific task to improve that specific task as a way to get better. The same could be said for native languages; the you more you read and write will also help with being better speaking (supplementary to actual speaking practice)…this is not new and can be said any skillset for that matter beyond language learning. It is more of a question of what time investment on peripheral skillsets to improve a primary objective is worth it, it’s a balance obviously as time is finite but there are benefits in my experience.

Otherwise, I would whole heartedly agree that there is no substitute to hard work on said task to improve that skillset. But I think that is a reason for using WK in the first place…if I didn’t have to use it and I can jump straight to reading to improve reading alone, that would have saved a whole lot of time and money…but I think we all already know this, sometimes everyone needs some supplementary help to get to that point otherwise it is overwhelming and same could said here. Likewise, if you have leeches with high percentage failures, you are loosing the efficiently of WK, best to do something different here. But there is some creativity to learning to take advantage here, whether it is efficiencies, engagement, motivation, variety of learn styles…especially if plateauing in one method alone.


Just to point out, I think this is mostly a problem if you learn things in isolation. If you know the word, you know the readings and the chance of mixing up kanji is fairly low.

Right, but learning out of context should be used only as a support so as long as you consume enough Japanese media, this is way less of a problem.

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If you already know the word then I think mission accomplished already. The instances are more when you don’t know the word or context where visually similar kanji can be a challenge, particularly when you don’t have alot of time to think about it.

I agree. Something to be said about staying with a method will eventually produce results as well and also whatever is most engaging is also important. And just because you can write it doesn’t mean you won’t make mistakes either (I’m not claiming this as better replacement to content consumption, my original comments be based on recognition systems such as WK and not necessarily recognition as reading consumption). But some benefits such as reading brush stroke font or chicken scratch handwritten letters was probably due to some handwriting practice and I did find reading improvement of my own after some writing practice as well (as I would hope so), so I don’t feel like it was time wasted and helped content consumption in the end. Perhaps I’m a slow learner so having a writing exercise was just some added I needed, IDK…seems others can do without fairly easily.

Whether I’ll pick writing up again, I don’t know…I simply had a couple low commitment decks for like a year or so that I grinded through and then put it down as my free time evaporated more, so it’s the first thing I dropped in my study routine. And if you don’t practice often it gets a little rusty but I find it is easy to brush up as well (no pun intended). Again, you have to find it engaging to even want to start to begin with and I’m not kanken driven whatsoever. Of course short term goals can vary quite a bit a well…I continue to find benefit I will do so. I suppose there is an emotional side being able to produce at will giving a sense of ‘mastery’ of the language, even just a little bit.

The first part I don’t really understand what you’re trying to say, to be honest. Im a bit under the weather so maybe I’m just not processing it right.

For the latter half, I challenge the idea that the ability to not mix up similar kanji without context even matters. If your goal is to be able to read, you will basically never have to worry about needing to identify kanji without context. Hell, I surprised myself with how bad I was at recognizing kanji outside of context despite the fact that I could read all the words that used them I came across. The reason why I could do this is because it didn’t matter. It doesn’t matter. Your brain just grabs the general shape of the entire word and context and knows it based off that. The point is that when you read you shouldn’t be looking at and thinking about each individual kanji in the first place if you know the word. Similarly in English there’s a lot of words I can’t spell properly but can read perfectly fine. Yet my inability to write any of those words has 0 impact on my ability to read them. The brain loves to optimize, and that’s my brain telling me that for those words, knowing the exact spelling doesn’t matter for my uses. Same for Japanese.

Sure, I agree with that

Sure, I mean that is using WK in the unintended way since they do suggest you read, though. But look, I mean it looks like you took about 3 years to complete wk. Assuming you spent the same amount of time or less reading as you did on wk, I feel like i would have felt the same way if I was in your shoes probably. You’re really working against the clock with studying Japanese since all your knowledge slowly inches towards the “forgotten” side of things. There feels like a critical threshold of exposure to avoid this issue. For people who are going slower, maybe a more mastery based approach can help save them from that feeling.

I mean, yeah. Producing grammar makes you better at producing grammar. The subtitle one is a good example of what I’m getting at though. Sure you can improve other areas as well as the one you’re focusing on provided they’re not completely unrelated. I’m not arguing otherwise. But if you want to get good at listening to Japanese without subtitles, you know what you have to do? Listen without subtitles. You can use subtitles as a first step, or as a way to confirm your listening, but if you want to get good at some skill you need to practice the skill.

I don’t think its some creative decision making. Like “oh if I do task A then I’ll be tackling skill A with 80% efficiency and also skill B and C symbiotically with 10% efficiency for a grand total of…”. I really think thats just overcomplicating it and missing the point. If you want to be able to talk to natives, ask yourself what you need to be able to do. OK my listening is alright but my speaking is holding me back. What’s wrong with my speaking? Grammar is fine but I can’t recall words for the stuff I want to say. OK, I will engage in some form of practice where I’m required to recall words. That’s your task A that your study routine needs to tackle and you come up with a plan that fits that need. You assess a practical need/goal (Point B) , identify the primary deficiency in your current ability stopping you from doing that thing(point A), and come up with a study plan to take you from A to B. That’s all this is. Don’t be fooled by the complexity of the language itself or the time it takes to learn. It’s still just skill acquisition at the core.


No worries, hope you feel better soon. The take away is I found some benefit and engagement to SRS’n kanji drawing and it is not as hard or big of a time investment as one thinks to get into, I think I did about 3 new cards a day for about 15 months. Again, just my experience which means nothing really.

I know you are good reader, it is well documented and have solved the reading puzzle quite well. I watched your video journey in detail and you gave a thorough outline of what worked for you, I did enjoy it and thought it was a good share. I don’t disagree with anything written above here either, my human brain does this as well (or I hope so).

For me, after the writing exercise I felt a bit more crisp or maybe a little faster…or maybe it is just a confidence factor as well of what felt like less context dependency, IDK…of course I’m not doing this in an isolation so not exactly a perfect experiment, perhaps other growth. And again, it’s not replacing the optimized approach outlined above because that is natural. To be candid, I’m not saying one needs to write in order read…not in the least bit. But I don’t think other’s experiences of not needing to write invalidates my own positive experience of finding value in it.

Anecdotally, some of the natives I know who have lived in the US for a while and I often ask how good is their writing is now and the common answer is ‘not so good’, lol…very much a use it or lose it as one would expect. Of course this is not a reading issue either.

There is definitely an optimal pace here for sure that changes the experience quite a bit…there are a number of things I would have done differently in hindsight no doubt.

My media listening comes in all sorts…no subtitles, JP subtitles, Eng subtitles. Not necessarily by choice either I might add, but they all do something a bit different which is not necessarily a bad thing. Conversation is a different listening exercise in itself as well, but I find them complimentary rather than conflicting

I don’t think I’m missing the point. There is a reason why pro athletes cross train when they could just be put the same time directly practicing. Or why we don’t skip years of education for technical fields when we could just do on the job training. You initially said that ’ if you want to get better at task A, then practice task A’, I found this over-simplified. And what a ‘study plan’ to address deficiencies to achieve you next step can mean alot of different things to get to your goals. No denying it is simply skill acquisition in the end, it just take work.

I suppose the crux is that it seems questionable that I found value in drawing kanji as a supplement to my other studies. I get it, others didn’t and find it a giant waste of time and this is perfectly valid. But again, I don’t think other’s experiences of not needing to write invalidates my own positive experience finding value in it. But then again my experience doesn’t matter either, everyone has to find their own way in the end.

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If you don’t know the word, but know the readings and meanings of the individual kanji you can look up the word in a dictionary. Just knowing the components won’t help with 100% efficiency with what the word means and there is still a likelihood the individual kanji are going to be read differently than the common reading.

I think visually similar kanji are a challenge in a non-ideal scenario which I’m not sure is worth focusing on in the long run. Even if you write the word on a smartphone or PC, the IME is going to take care of the readings or the correct choice of kanji for you.

I’m trying to understand when exactly the non-context situation happens.

What I’m thinking might be going on here as well is that writing is used to compensate for the limitations of WaniKani or other tools which teach kanji in isolation. In this case it might be more useful to learn words instead of kanji alone. Given enough word input, the human brain should be able to reverse-engineer the readings and meanings of individual kanji with the added bonus that because we learn from a word context, we gain a more instinctive feel for new words.

Where I think WaniKani loses a great deal is that it’s trying to spoon-feed us with the meanings and readings in an arbitrary fashion which is counter-productive to how a human brain acquires language skills.

Since I started learning Japanese I think I filled up around 5-6 full A4 notebooks with handwriting. That slowed down my learning process incredibly, because I was writing everything down. In retrospect I don’t feel it was a good investment, because I could’ve just as well practiced output on a PC. The key here is not the amount of time spent on strokes, but the amount of time spent on trying to think and describe the world in Japanese.

I’m not trying to invalidate your experience, but in cases like this one sometimes needs to think if it’s the actual method that’s helping or our attitude :slight_smile: . Thinking that method A is helping gives the impression that method A is helping whether it actually helps or not.


You’ve said this a couple times now, but just to be clear I 100% believe it had value for you for your other studies. I’m saying that for any issue you may have for reading, the most effective way to overcome it is to practice reading, is all.

I have no doubt that writing helped you with some reading issues you had. But I maintain that the most effective ways to solve any reading skill issues is by practicing reading. And so it extends that I think anyone who is going to practice writing should do it only if they want to get good at writing, and not because they want to improve their reading.


Yes, I think most of use do this…including myself.

Something like 貸, 貿 and 賃 could easy to mistake in isolation. They look similar and their meanings a similar sphere…not necessarily writing will avoid mixing them up either and put them in a word or sentence, far easier for sure. And I stated that above already that writing anything isn’t a full proof, but another approach besides just visualizing the radicals.

Let’s define it even simpler: when you have no basis of the context could be scenario of not knowing the context.

I haven’t used WK in years. And I may argue even learning words in isolation are about as useful (or useless) as learning kanji in isolation as well…far easier in context in a sentence, particular for more abstract concepts. The isolated kanji/word approach is an exercise and nothing more. I think the reverse engineering is what happens to most of us eventually. At least word mining I at least have some original context of where is came from which I think is worlds different than just learning random words.

There is probably enough leech data to prove this and just overall time spent on lack of efficiencies.

An individual can determine what the need or not…what helps them or not. I think timing is everything…I would not have recommended a kanji writing SRS years ago to myself, I’m not doing it now. I got what I needed and left and didn’t fell wasted. I used to write notebooks full of psychobabble as well…they more of an entertainment to read now than anything actual useful at the time. It may be worthing hearing what some individuals have gained with in-depth kanken study preparation (or not) beyond just writing better.

Thanks for the engaging conversation (iinchou as well), I certainly respect the thoughts on the matter and enjoy the discourse. There is always some to improve or give thought what is worth a time investment or not.