Simple question about り or リ

Hey I wondered about the り hiragana, which when I see it handwritten (or on is written more closely to its katakana counterpart リ.

  1. Which is the correct way to write it and why?
  2. It looks like い and confuse me
  3. Why is is displaying it as リ (but smoothed hiragana stilled, this is katakana) while is displaying it as り?

Thanks and hail the crabigator

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kaniwani and wanikani are not made by the same people. kw is a fan-made offspring.


It’s just like English;


neither is wrong


This has to do with how the character り (and also さ and き) appears when written with a brush. The brush is sometimes not fully lifted off the page when writing, and this leaves a faint line connecting the strokes. This carried over to some text fonts. I’m having trouble finding pictures, but I remember seeing some in the past.


And also ふ, and to a lesser extent そ and む.

Some kanji look different when handwritten, too - for example, in 冷, the part under the hat looks more like マ in handwriting.


Exactly, computer fonts are always messed up. That’s why our teacher told us to be wary of computer fonts especially with kanji. What matters the most is the way you write it, may it be kanji or kana. Good thing would be to view the correct writing strokes and practice those.

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Upon further research, this style appears to be 明朝体 or Minchō Font.

Here it is compared to another, more modern font:



Thanks for all your answers. It seems the り is a special case, as even Wikipedia (the most trustworthy of sources :stuck_out_tongue:) says that this specific hiragana can be drawn in one stroke

When I started to learn to write Japanese I was always dissatisfied with my りs because I was trying to copy the font that only has one stroke, and it never seemed to come out right. But then I looked at handwriting on YouTube and saw the version with two strokes and now I’m pretty proud of how my りs turn out.


It says that, but the link used as a reference doesn’t say that anywhere. :thinking:

And in fact, the link that the reference uses to show you how to write the hiragana characters, clearly states that it’s two strokes.

BTW this is the link in reference:

I think someone just looked at their hiragana chart and assumed it was a single stroke just based on looks and doesn’t understand what はね is when it comes to Japanese writing.


My teacher told me I could use either and it would be okay. So we did.

For some the hiragana ri would be hard to write. :man_shrugging:

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