Kanji hand writing practice

How many people here practice kanji by writing them by hand?

When I first started WK I tried to practice hand writing every kanji I encountered, but that limited my progress and I wanted to level up faster. :laughing: From time to time I have tried to return to hand writing practice, but at level 20, 30 or 40 it’s kind of difficult to decide where to start. And writing kanji encountered in WK means seeking up the stroke order from jisho.org, which is time consuming.

All this time I’ve had Basic Kanji Book gathering dust in the bookshelf. This week I decided that what the heck, I’m going through this from the beginning. I had done random exercises really haphazardly in all lessons between lesson 1 and 10, it wasn’t pretty I tell you. Now I’ve completed four lessons already and am eager to reach lesson 11, which I haven’t touched at all.

And I’ve noticed a really cool feeling! In the beginning of each lesson you just practice copying the kanji and in the end you have to write them without any visual help, only by recalling them. Being able to do that feels really awesome! I can now write 鳥 and 馬 from memory! Somehow this is one of the most empowering emotions I’ve felt during this entire time studying Japanese.

I’m definitely going to continue practicing writing kanji by hand. In fact, someday I want to be able to write letters in Japanese. (Just have to figure out to whom - my Japanese friends are younger than me and would probably find hand written letters weird. :joy: )

If you haven’t practiced writing kanji by hand, give it a try! See how it goes for a week. I’m sure you will feel good about your progress!


Yes. When I learn a new kanji I also learn the stroke order and add it to “The Wall”. I then practice writing them everyday (not all at once).

Shameless brag

Also this.


I don’t know if you are studying grammar (which we all should :stuck_out_tongue: ), but one of the things I do is that instead of answering the exercises in the text books, I copy in a notebook the full sentences (only the exercises, otherwise I would be rewriting the whole book).

Since textbooks tend to have a very homogeneous type of language, after 3 or 4 days you definitely learn to write things like 頼む、宿題、 面接、etc. without having to look up the kanjis or stroke order.


Wow, nice! :star_struck: I have a thing for such long lists, feels like an accomplishment when finishing one myself and feels good to look at other people’s as well. I think your kanji look good, especially 韓 is nice!

Yeah, that’s good but every time Firefox updated itself this had to be reinstalled manually and at some point I just got tired. (Firefox updates are a whole pet peeve of mine, like you added some features I didn’t want and now Rikaichan doesn’t work? Jeez. Now I have Yomichan, but that was still extra work.)

This is an interesting approach, I like it! You mean you don’t write down the text chapters (like Mary gives Takeshi a sweater etc.), only the instructions of the exercises?

I will definitely try this approach. Since you learn kanji and vocabulary in a context (宿題 and 書く tend to be seen together much more often than 書く and 恐竜 for example), you’ll end up learning much bigger units than kanji and vocabulary. Sentence patterns instead of words.

I wonder what it would be like to copy just random sentences here and there from newspapers, books, etc. :thinking:

And yeah, I do study grammar!

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Not the instructions, the exercises.
(Apologies for the crappy photo)

I think copying random sentences is good AS LONG AS you find a way to constantly repeat the kanji.
I mean, it will do you no good to learn a kanji today and not write it again for weeks or months.
That is why I like the textbook, because they are made to reinforce vocabulary, so they introduce new words little by little and repeat them to you countless times until you know them.


I tend to only write the answers. I generally don’t write kanji I didn’t learn and you find a lot of them in Genki. The reason is quite simple, it would take too much time to learn every single new kanji you find in a lesson. I limit myself to WK and the 10-20 kanji that Genki gives you for each lesson. Foreign ones I type in kana.

It would look like this. It’s a random article I chose from NHK Easy. I looked up the kanji I didn’t know on Jisho, marked all the new words and attempted a translation which turned out to be poop.
For the “second opinion” I use the NHK Easy News Translation subreddit.


Got it! A textbook is definitely a good choice in that regard. Recently I’ve been practicing my reading comprehension with this Japanaese history book for elementary schoolers and my first thought was to try copying sentences from there. But there’s too much variety in vocabulary to get the benefits of repetition. And the vocabulary that is repeated often enough for me to have looked it up is words like むほん and 味方 :joy:

(As a side note, reading real Japanese material feels definitely like a correct approach. This book is either just right or a tad too difficult for my level. It’s a strange feeling to read a chapter and understand the gist of everything while seeing unfamiliar words and grammar in every single sentence.)

Thanks for the picture by the way, it helped to understand what you meant!

It’s really cool to come up with something, ask for experiences and immediately receive a reply from someone who’s already tried it! :smile: Would you say it was a good method? How much work there was and how rewarding did it feel?

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I don’t know how good it is, it’s something I do for fun. I’m sure it will prove at least a tad useful along the way. Takes around 30-45 minutes to copy the article.
I got the main idea of it right, however, as of right now, I am unable to understand longer, compound sentences.
Translation takes anywhere between 30 minutes to 1.5 hours in my case. English isn’t my native tongue though.

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Thanks for the info. It looks useful and I will try it out!

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I am not writing Kanji encountered in WaniKani, but I am also using Heisig’s Remember the Kanji (RTK).
The kanjis encountered in Heisig I write, once. The stroke order is in the book.
Writing it once is only supposed to help remembering the kanji. I don’t learn writing things by hand at all ATM.

I’ve come to a point where I can guess most kanji stroke order correctly, so it’s a bit easier to just learn new kanji and later on use them while writing. I recommend to practice writing kanji until you can guess the correct stroke order, by then I think you can just take it easy and write them later. :+1:t2:

I’ve added the ‘Stroke Order’ script to WK which I’m finding super useful - as I’m getting new Kanji appear on my dashboard, I’m taking the time to learn how to write the Kanji as well, as this is something I’m keen to learn moving forward. I think it is also helping to reinforce my memory of the words as well, so always a good thing!

I practice writing the Kanji while doing reviews in KaniWani. I will type in my answer and then write down the word in a notebook before submitting. Whenever I encounter a kanji I haven’t practiced yet, I will learn the stroke order. The recent update to KW even includes a visual stroke order you can watch for every review which makes it easy to see, learn, and practice. It’s all in one place which is convenient.


I learn to write (at least) every kanji I learn in WK, because I write my answers in KaniWani before submitting. I’m also doing Tobira and there I write down the example sentences for the grammar points. It’s good writing practice and also good for learning them, since I don’t do the workbooks and don’t use SRS for grammar.


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