How accurately drawn do kanji lines need to be?

I’ve decided to start trying to learn how to draw some kanji (using a digital tablet, since if I ever needed to draw a kanji to look it up or write it in a comic that’s what I’d use rather than paper) but the nuances of the lines are really hard to get right.
Is it important to get it exact or should I just be focusing on the size/line order?

(For reference, the top half of the image are traced, whereas the bottom half are free drawn)


If you’re worrying about having a slight curve to the line… no that doesn’t matter at all. Drawing a perfectly horizontal line for 一 is perfectly fine.

If you some day want to study ペン字 or something, you can worry about adding little flourishes.


The main point of calligraphy studies is just to learn how the kanji works, so that your hand writting can still be recognizable (in theory)

You don’t need to be super close unless you’re doing professional arts, you just need to know how the kanji works, as your handwritting will slowly stylize it as you write faster.

Especially not from the one. Most people i see just do a straight line


For both kana and kanji, as long as your stroke order is correct, you’ll be fine.

I personally like to look at the same symbols through a variety of fonts, just to see which parts of which strokes are important enough that native speakers intuitively recognize the symbol from them. But I only do that because I personally take my handwriting excessively seriously (and because I get bored with my own handwriting unless I switch it up!). I don’t think you ever have to go that far.

But for 一, I wouldn’t take those microbends any more seriously than I would take writing a hyphen in English.

1 Like

For little stuff like 一 being faintly curved, I definitely wouldn’t worry. That’s going to vary through slight differences in handwriting/font.

What I would recommend paying attention to is line length and proportion, because there are some kanji that look REALLY similar and you don’t want to accidentally write the wrong thing; for example, line length makes the difference between writing 土 and 士.
(Even on a computer screen those are tricky! :face_with_spiral_eyes:)

And of course, make sure not to forget strokes! Because otherwise you wind up writing 刀 instead of 分 and your students give you very confused looks.


This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.