Learn Japanese: How to Write the Kanji for "Love" Video
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Video:Learn Japanese: How to Write the Kanji for "Love"

with Jen D'Amore

Learn the Japanese Kanji for love including how to write the symbol in its proper stroke order. Though it may seem like a difficult writing style, you can learn Japanese Kanji with practice.See Transcript

Transcript:Learn Japanese: How to Write the Kanji for "Love"

Hi, I'm Jen D'Amore for About.com, and this video is all about learning Japanese. How to write the Kanji for love using tips from About.com's Japanese Language site.

Stroke Order for Japanese Kanji, 'Love'

Stroke order and direction is important when writing Kanji. We will start at the top and work our way down and from left to right. The first of the thirteen strokes is pulled down from the top, right to left on about a 45 degree angle. Then two smaller strokes pulling down left to right. And even with them pull another down right to left.

As you can see vertical strokes are written from top to bottom. As you will see, horizontal strokes are written from left to right.stroke five is a short vertical on the left side, of course pulled down, leaving room for the yokobo, a long horizontal line that crosses the character and is pulled down at least 90 degrees at the end.

Below that, another small stroke down slightly angled from right to left. A longer curved stroke pulled down from left to right, and two more small vertical strokes, or tate, from left to right. As you can see, we are essentially working our way down in rows.

The next stroke is angled right to left. Then, start with a short horizontal, left to right, and sharply angle it down and to the left. When there are two diagonal strokes crossing each other, the right-to-left diagonal is written first. So the final stroke crosses that right-to-left diagonal down and to the right.

Notice Clues in the Japanse Kanji for 'Love'

Japanese kanji contain radicals that give you a clue about what the Kanji is about. Love, or ai, in Kanji contains the radical kokoro in the center, which means heart.

Love, or ai, can also be written in Katakana, and Hiragana, two methods of writing phonetically that combine the character for "a" and the character for "i" to mean "love"

'Love' in Japanese Katakana

Here is the Katakana for ai and how to write it. For the "a" write horizontally across the top left to right, change direction angling down and to the left. Then make a second stroke down, slightly curved to the left.

For the "i" the first stroke is down and to the left on about a 45 degree angle. The second stroke is down the center.

'Love' in Japanese Hiragana

And here is the Hiragana for love. For "a," the first stroke is horizontal, the second down, and the third swirls around the second. For "i" the stroke on the left is first, pulling down on an angle left to right, and pull up slightly at the end, almost like a backwards check mark. The second stroke is smaller, leaving a gap in the middle. The is the entire "i" character, so if you write vertically you would not split up these two lines.

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