Practicing Kanji With Your Japanese Eraser

Learning kanji can be one of the most difficult parts of learning Japanese, not to mention being one of the most terrifying.  There might be thousands of characters to learn, but in reality it can be broken down into the simplest parts like anything else.  They can absolutely be learned by anyone as long as he or she is willing to put in the time and effort that it requires.  A good way to help see the learning through to the end is by making the process as fun as possible.  A good place to start this is with the writing of the kanji.

An important first step is finding a journal that has large grids.  Kanji should be practiced in these boxes to help get a feel for how the kanji should take up roughly the shape of a box.  This makes them more even and consistent.  With your journal in hand, another important next step is to get a pen or pencil that has a very fine point.  It can be pretty difficult to make the many strokes of a kanji be legible and fit into the necessary space, but with a nice fine point it is simplified greatly.  Take your new journal and fine point pencil and sit down with a list of the kanji you need practice.

From here, it’s really just about writing the kanji as many times as necessary to get the idea to sink in.  There are plenty of ways to improve the memorization versus simple rote, but the act of practicing them over and over again will help establish some muscle memory for how they should be written.  If you mistake, have some Iwako Japanese erasers handy instead of something a little more boring.  Also, something to keep in mind is that when holding the pencil for writing things in Japanese, it should be slightly more perpendicular to the paper than you would hold a pencil to write words in English.  That’s about all it takes to get started so good luck!

PetePracticing Kanji With Your Japanese Eraser