Handwriting Journal

Since people are posting their progress journals, I thought I would start a handwriting journal and post a random sampling every week.

This is day 1, zero experience ever handwriting kanji (and it shows!). I expect that as I make a post every week, this will improve greatly (as you can see, the kana writing needs work too).

My current plan is that if I get any kanji wrong, I write them down, along with the meanings and readings, and then I’ll do some repetition sets of them, maybe in sets of 5, and add another 5 reps for each time I get it wrong. Eventually after filling a couple pages and getting carpal tunnel, maybe I won’t forget them anymore! :smiley:

I’m excited to see what the handwriting looks like in a couple months!


Yeah it shows. But it’s readable even if some of the proportions are strange. Your last two 夜 両 look really fine though. You made a mistake with 東 the line has to go through the 一 on the top!

Good luck with it. I find writing Kanji extremely satisfying.


Yep it’s like being in kindergarten again with an oversized crayon, not having the muscle memory and coordination to do anything but poor imitations. I printed off some kana worksheets as well, so I’ll post over the weekend and every subsequent weekend. Eventually there will be vocabulary and complete thoughts.


Well, I can’t criticize too much, as I have awful 外人手書き too. However, your 天 looks very funny to my eyes. You want the last stroke’s beginning to branch off much more to the right. It’s all still legible though.

Also, I noticed you’re using different amounts of squares. Try to contain all of them within four squares. Japanese characters (kanji and kana too) all take up one imaginary block. That’s why when you turn the full-width on for the Latin alphabet, it looks like this.


I do the same thing!! I have some some kana notebooks that I got from Daiso Japan that I use for my practice – I write down my critical items from WK and repeat them in a column, with the meaning and reading in the last row.

I’ve found that using Jisho helps to get the stroke order memorized and helps me neaten my handwriting because it gives a good demonstration of how to space the different parts of each kanji.

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I’m using the Write Kanji app, which drills and drills you and then sets repeating reviews that drill you some more. I’m the type that needs repetition drilled into me, and I’m ok with that. The kanji I’ve learned through that app, I can see in my mind and trace the stroke order.

Yeah some of them look ok, and some are… questionable. It’s easy to observe not staying in the lines, but the art of starting a line at the right place and keeping everything in proportion is probably not going to be mastered on one’s first ever handwriting attempt :smiley:

I think we can compare it to painting, because there is so much overlap. It’s all about the brush stroke technique, and that is mostly acquired from practice and muscle memory. Also, the kanji I have written here are the ones I didn’t remember from review (no idea how I forgot 水), so it stands to reason that they would look pretty bad. If I were to hand write out some of the ones I have drilled repeatedly with a stylus in the app, they’ll probably look a lot better.

Hopefully in the coming weeks this all starts to look and feel more natural. At some point I’ll do a summary post and show submissions side-by-side. I’m excited about how things are about to start changing.


Brilliant! Can’t wait to see your progress. :smiley::+1:

I wholeheartedly agree with this. I haven’t really practiced much in years, but in the beginning there were a lot of mistakes that I couldn’t even see until I got used to using a 2x2 box. The relative placement of strokes is really hard to make out otherwise.

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I’ve recently got back into practising handwriting kanji too! I find it quite relaxing and satisfying even if its not the most readily applicable part of the learning process (compared to reading comprehension etc). Keep up the good work, it gets easier :slight_smile:

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About the 天, there is this unrelated Kanji, but more common in Chinese - .

Why not start with a printed trace-the-line first? IIRC, someone made it for WaniKani too.


I hadn’t heard of Write Kanji before, it looks pretty cool! I’m not sure how I’d do with writing on a phone screen, but I might give it a try. While writing in a notebook has worked for me, I’m not too consistent with how frequently I practice because I don’t have the notebook with me all the time, but I do always have my phone.

Exactly this. I make sure to take my phone with me to the dentist. Lots of downtime to practice in there lol.

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