Kiki+KoKo: Let's NihonGO!!

✍Let’s Write HIRAGANA!!【さしすせそ】第3課|Kiki+Koko: Let’s NihonGO!! (書き方/筆順)

こんにちにゃあ!Hello and welcome to Kiki+Koko: Let’s NihonGO!! Online, the Blog, brought to you LIVE IN COLOUR! If you’ve been with us since あいうえお, then we have to congratulate you! Learning Japanese isn’t just about how much of the road you’ve travelled, it’s about the journey and experiencing it! Have fun with it! We’re here to give you a relaxed pace that will be a joy, not a hassle. Sometimes people overload themselves and give up on learning, but here, you’ll organically absorb Japanese writing. Sure, it’s still a bit of work (that you should be proud of!), but try to make it a treat. A time to yourself where you can just sit back and write along with us. And, today, we have five more characters we’ll help you to write:【さしすせそ】!

These hiragana are one’s you’ll see VERY often! Trust us, even when you’re writing kanji, you’ll see all of these when you’re conjugating verbs. If you look at any paragraph of text, we guarantee you’ll see at the end of nearly every present tense sentence— Which means, this is something you’ll definitely write very often. And, being able to use what you’ve learnt is something much more encouraging. We’ll give you a few examples with the hiragana you’ve learnt so far!

  • あし = = foot, or leg
  • あす = 明日= near future, or tomorrow
    This noun is also pronounced あした, but again, pay no mind, yet
  • あせ = 汗 = perspiration, or sweat
  • いし = 石= stone
    Depending on the kanji いし has many definitions

  • さす = to make (someone) do (something)
    to let (someone) do (something)
    This verb is also させる、but pay no mind to that yet

  • せ = 背 = back, spine, or even height
    To say a person is tall in Japanese is 背が高い, se ga takai, which is literally ‘back is high/tall’ instead of just saying ‘tall’ 
  • そう = so, really, or seeming
    This is a word we’ll definitely cover in a whole article because of its many uses.

So, there’s obviously dozens of words to write with these, but we don’t want to overload you with too much at once. This is just a few things you can think of when you’re revising. Now, onto the lesson! …In just a moment:

If this is your very first time with Japanese language, you skipped lesson 1 and 2, or maybe all you know is that you want to learn Japanese, then maybe you’re asking yourself, what’s a hiragana or what are these squiggles I’m looking at?. If so, we recommend you take a quick read of How Do You Write in Japanese? | Japanese Writing System Demystified (Let’s NihonGO!!) and just come back to this later when you have a good grasp on how this whole thing called Japanese writing works. If you’re not sure what stroke order is or why it’s important, you can take a look at our article:🤔Do I REALLY need to learn Stroke Order? | 6 Reasons Why {or Why not?} | What is Stroke Order? (Let’s NihonGO!!)

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頑張りましょう!Let’s do our best!

And, let’s not forget, we have our helpful computer friend, QUIZBO™!  He’ll show you how each hiragana character is written using the latest and most advanced technology we have available to us: diagrams with arrows!

But, we won’t just leave you with those. We’ll give you some tips if any of the diagrams don’t give the full story.

 

How to use stroke order

Before we properly begin, we figured it would be best to give you a quick overview on how to read these diagrams. For each character, there’s mostly 3-4 strokes that are written in a specific order. Each number signifies which stroke should come first. Start where the circled number begins and write the stroke in the direction in which the arrow is pointing. If you want to see what each step looks like and what yours should look like at that stage, then take a look at the squares on the right. They squares are ordered up to down and right to left in Japanese order. And, that’s the whole of it!

Take out your pencils and paper, your tablets and styli, Let’s write hiragana! 

Let’s NihonGO!!

A diagram and guide to writing the Japanese hiragana さ written in white on a blue screened retro computer

Helpful Hints with Kiki+Koko:
So, when you look at stroke 2 and 3, they’re part of the same exact motion, which is where you get the trailing off. In some cutesy fonts, you’ll see this connected, BUT! most of the time in handwriting, you’ll see stroke three as a totally and deliberately separate line. This will help you differentiate it from a later character that is similar but doesn’t usually have that feature.


A diagram and guide to writing the Japanese hiragana し written in white on a blue screened retro computer

Helpful Hints with Kiki+Koko:
Well, we don’t have much we can say about this one. Sometimes, people don’t write the hook as discernibly, which is fine, as well. But, for now, it’s always best to play by the book. You’re a loose cannon!! You’re a renegade! I don’t want to have to kick you off the force, you’ve been on the force for 30 years…


 

A diagram and guide to writing the Japanese hiragana す written in white on a blue screened retro computer

Helpful Hints with Kiki+Koko:
This stroke order is important, because when one first looks at this character, it might look like it’s a circle drawn separately. But, nope, it’s a loop. This one can look a little wonky when you first learn to write it, but no worries, it’ll get better with time.


A diagram and guide to writing the Japanese hiragana せ written in white on a blue screened retro computer

Helpful Hints with Kiki+Koko:
This has a somewhat small second stroke, but sometimes, people write the second one a bit bigger. With せ, it’s mimicking the stroke trailing off into the third stroke, but it’s fine if it hooks sharply.


A diagram and guide to writing the Japanese hiragana そ written in white on a blue screened retro computer

Helpful Hints with Kiki+Koko:
If you’ve ever written sheet music, or taken a music class in school, you might relate そ to the crotchet rest. 𝄽 (Americans might know it as a ‘quarter rest’ as we discovered in the previous lesson) And, okay, so it might look a bit different, but do you see what we mean? It’s written a bit differently, of course, but hopefully, the next time you’re opening your sheet music book, you’ll think そwhen you see 𝄽 …

If you can’t quite get the flow of this one, just think of writing a Z, then a C. It makes it feel a lot smoother to write.


And there you have it! さしすせそ! If you’ve written with us for the other two lessons, you already know 15 hiragana characters!! Think about that… You can read and write 15 more characters than you could before… We think that’s something special.

Be sure to return often and revise frequently to help them stay in your mind. It’s very important to get these in your muscle memory because it will help them become much easier to read and write! And, if you ever get overwhelmed with your studies, just take a quick break and start fresh. Every moment won’t be like a walk through a fresh meadow on a summers day, but you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment as you work towards your goals! It’s about the journey and the little goals along the way.

Categories: Kiki+KoKo: Let's NihonGO!!, SpeRaToBo, 平仮名の筆順 | How to Write Hiragana, 書き方 | Write!

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