# Stroke directions in just... anything. Kanji, letters, number, kana

So I use the Jisho stroke order diagram script to see the stroke order for each kanji I learn. I like to write them down ^.^ There’s a bunch of trends that I’ve come to grow accustomed to because of it. Radicals are pretty much always done in the same way. Lots of kanji actually differ slightly from their typed versions as they appear on screen.

And strokes are pretty much always done counter to what I’m used to. Straight vertical lines are drawn from bottom to top, and horizontal lines go from right to left.

Just now though, I saw a video from The Japanese Man Yuta on whether Japanese people actually know kanji or not, and I noticed that during writing, some of them wrote the kanji with lines from top to bottom and from left to right.

So now I am left to question how important the directions of strokes really are when just casually writing. I’m assuming that in calligraphy it’s very important at least, just like the order of strokes :o

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Straight verticals go from top to bottom, though.

And while some horizontal lines go right to left, most go left to right

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Hmm, not according to the Jisho diagrams :o Unless I’ve been understanding the Jisho diagrams wrong

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Do you have an example?

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For instance. I understand this as the red dot is where the stroke ends.

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Yeah, the red dot is where your pen starts.

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… Damnit! xD

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C’est la vie

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Gah, I feel pretty stupid now xD thanks, haha

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I thought this might be confusing for someone just a few days ago.

You don’t really think the place where the dot is is where you start if the line is already finished.

Playing the video on the kanji page would have solved your conundrum, though.

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On the kanji pages on Jisho there are animations, as well

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That is indeed what set me on the wrong track. When the line has already been finished, I’d say that the red dot is where a line ends.

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Most of the time, the stroke order helps the pen flow easily from one stroke to the next, but there are always exceptions where you can think, “What the heck? This feels way too counter-intuitive.” but alas, that’s life.

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Question then!

With a kanji like this. Those first two lines. Does the pen actually leave the paper between strokes?

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Yes with those it does. But not with every corner

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Technically, yes, but I’ve seen a fair amount of Japanese handwriting, and a fair few people would do that in one stroke, just as folks using our alphanumeric system can do some funky stuff (two circles for an 8, for example).

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How are you supposed to write an 8?

I just experienced a native Japanese teacher give a class to children, and she explicitly stated how important it is to do the little flick at the end of some strokes, like the first stroke of い, and it makes sense because of the pen going towards the next stroke, 書道, and whatever, but she said that if you don’t do it, it’s wrong.

And I was like, “Is it, though?

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I am yes I would have done it wrong otherwise for all 60 levels xD

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One continuous line. I usually start in the middle and go right and up

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