The Hiragana Character

The Hiragana Characters

What is Hiragana?

è Hiragana is the cursive writing and the first writing scripts in Japanese. Hiragana is the first writing system that Japanese children learns.


How many characters does Hiragana have?

è There are 46 phonetic characters that makes up all the sounds of Japanese words. These characters are used for writing parts of the sentence and if there is no available Kanji for a certain word.

è The Japanese vowels are あ、い、う、え、お

Should I study the Hiragana first?

è Yes, of course as Hiragana characters are the first writing system that is being learn by Japanese children.

è For foreigners like us, if we want to be fluent in Japanese, it is better to learn how to read every Japanese word using the Japanese writing system than reading it in its Romaji form (Romaji is the roman letters used for reading and writing Japanese words).


Is it easy to learn Hiragana?

è For me, yes, it is easy to learn compared to Katakana. There are some Katakana’s that looks almost identical, and some characters look like Kanji.

è I will show the Katakana characters in the next post.


Here are the 46 Hiragana Characters:


あか (aka) – Red


いか (ika) - Squid


うま (uma) –Horse


えび (ebi) - Shrimp


おおきい (ookii) – Big


かさ (kasa) - Umbrella


きいろ (kiiro) – Yellow


くろ (kuro) - Black


いけ (ike) - Pond


これ (kore) – This


さる (saru) - Monkey


しろ (shiro) – White


りす (risu) - Squirrel


せんせい (sensei) – Teacher


そら (sora) – Sky


たかい (takai) - Expensive


くち (kuchi) - Mouth


あつい (atsui) – Hot


てんき (tenki) – Weather


とら (tora) – Tiger


なつ (natsu) – Summer


にく (niku) – Meat


いぬ (inu) – Dog


ねこ (neko) – Cat


のど (nodo) – Throat


はる (haru) – Spring


ひと (hito) – Person


ふゆ (fuyu) – Winter


へや (heya) – Room


ほし (hoshi) – Stars


まど (mado) – Window


みぎ (migi) – Right


むらさき (murasaki) – purple


かめ (kame) – Turtle


もも (momo) – Peach


やさい (yasai) – Vegetables



ゆか (yuka) – Floor



よわい (yowai) – Weak


からい (karai) - spicy


くもり (kumori) - Cloudy


ふるい (furui) – Old


きれい (kirei) – Pretty


ひろい (hiroi) – Wide


わたし (watashi) – I






えん (en) – Yen





Notes for Hiragana:

1. There is no 'si' in Japanese. It is always 'shi' even borrowed words will be pronounce as 'shi'. Example for borrowed words will be in the next as it will be written in Katakana. 

2. Same goes with 'chi' and 'tsu'. There is no 'ti' or 'tu'. I will explain this on Katakana post. Please look forward for it. 

3. Always be careful with the Hiragana of 'nu' and 'me' as they almost look the same. 

4. 'ne', 're' and 'wa' are almost the same. Do not be confused with its Hiragana form. That is why, it is better to keep practicing until you can write and read them without guide and its romaji form. 

5. There is no 'hu' in Japanese words. It is pronounce as 'fu'.

6. Also, 'ru' and 'ro' are almost identical. That's why, always be careful in writing the Hiragana form of the two syllables. 

You can download a practice sheet where you can trace the Hiragana letters here: 

You can watch it on my YouTube account on how to write the Hiragana letters:

Hope to see you soon. 

I will update it as soon as possible.