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Kanji Stroke Order

Clay: Kanji stroke order is very important: 
You: Why?
Clay: Because, well, it just is!

BETTER REASONS: 1) By following the set order, kanji will look more like it should and therefore be easier to read & 2) you can remember new kanji better by knowing the order to write them & 3) Kanji dictionaries often list kanji by stroke number & 4) kanji is an art form in Japan and they will know when you cheat! :) 

If you only have time to remember one thing get this:


RULE #1 : From top to bottom

san (three 3) 

 (to say)

RULE #2 : From left to right


 And when you have both a vertical & horizontal go horizontal first 


But it wouldn't be fun without exceptions!

(rice field)


RULE #3 : If you have left, right and center options, work from the center



RULE #4 : If there is an outside bit surrounding an inside bit, the outside comes first



Except when the outside is shaped like a "C"


RULE #5 : If there is a vertical line going through other parts, it comes last or at least later

(inside, middle) 

(write, writing)

And if there is a horizontal line that overlaps other parts, it goes last


RULE #6 : If there is an "X" or a crossing of diagonals the top-right to bottom-left goes first



RULE #7 : If there is a , it goes last:



These 7 rules will not cover all kanji, but knowing these rules will help to figure out most kanji

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It does help me a lot!

maido ^_^

Thank you you helped me a lot with this..

it makes much more sense if you have some rules to follow.

Pianogirl123's picture

here's a good reason:

handwriting recognition software (including the drawing pad in IME) won't recognize your kanji very well if you draw them in the wrong order.

thank you

domo arigoto gozoimasu


sugoi ne!!!!!! this helped a lot. arigatou gozaimasu!!!!!!!


Tis awesome :D
Just one thing (And I'm probably gonna sound like a complete fool for asking this), but in step #2 you have 州 and beside: state. Now would that mean the verb 'state' as in to say something, or state as in a state in America? xP

I'm taking this all down in a copy, and I don't want to come out with the wrong thing. :P

Domo arigato :D

phreadom's picture

noun, like state in America. :)

State is in "a state in America". :) It's a noun.


Valeri's picture


It is good. Step by step.

Sugooiiii ~

Thanks a lot. I really need this!!

Arigatou gozaimasu!!

liza ^___~ v


Thanks, this helped me a lot =)

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