Tips for improving (Japanese) handwriting

Recently I started taking a Japanese class at my uni and we’re supposed to write our homework in hiragana

I know about stroke order and have printed out + practiced on a bunch of those kana worksheets

but I still feel like my handwriting isn’t very neat, I don’t need to have that ‘ultra satisfying caligraphy’ level of neatness, but does anyone know any resources for improving handwriting beyond ‘here is the order you write kana in’


before anyone says anything, I know its いただきます not いっただきます but that’s what I’d wrote when I took the photo and I don’t want to take another one

I think there was a helpful user on here that posted these sheets with squares for kanji writing. I wished I remembered who or what thread. Maybe you can search the forums for an easy way to print these things. :eyes:

You could try watching Japanese Calligrapher Takumi, maybe specifically this playlist:
日本語 Learn Japanese - YouTube

Here’s for example one detailed video specifically about improving your handwriting (there’s plenty more):


I got from Maiko – hopefully it is usefull :pray:t4:

Here is another

I tend to practice all of my Japanese writing in maths exercise books, the ones with the little squares! They’re cheap to pick up in stationary shops or online, and you can use the squares to keep all the kanji consistent sizes and fit the elements of the kanji neatly together. That should help improve your spacing, balance etc and then when you freehand it it’s easier to keep neat.
Another thing I find helps, is using something like a fineliner/ink pen to write rather than biro. They just tend to flow nicer for me.


Good luck!


Start out big. Like ridiculously, comically big so you feel more like you’re drawing a drawing than writing. One-inch squares. Draw slowly, making each stroke correctly. It’s then easier to scale down to normal writing size once the big size seems too easy. Good habits degrade gracefully when you’re in a hurry or intentionally being sloppy, but bad handwriting does not magically get better when you want it to. Your teacher is already doing the thing that will work, making you practice.

Budget (or more readily handy without going to the store) alternative to the grid paper: Take a sheet of normal lined writing paper, turn it 90° so the lines are vertical, put it underneath the top sheet so the lines faintly show through.