Part 1: 人 日 月 火 水 木 金 土 今 何

Read this page briefly and spend most of your time on the drill exercise for quick memorization.

: ジン、ニン、ひと

Reading of the Kanji is shown above. Onyomi is in Katakana, Kunyomi is in Hiragana.

Meaning: person

Shape: Symbolizing the shape of a person.

  • Two lines are slightly curved.
  • Start the 2nd stroke at the right place.
  • Don't mix up with 入.

Click button to see the stroke order animation.

Word Reading Meaning Class
~人 じん person from _ (nationality) suffix


にほん人<Japanese person>, カナダ人<Canadian person>

~人 にん counter for persons suffix

3人<3 persons>, 5人<5 persons>

ひと person n

あの人<that person>

この人たち<these people>

: ジツ、ニチ、か、ひ

The reading which will be learned in the higher levels is colored in gray.

Meaning: the sun, day

Shape: Symbolizing the shape of the sun.

  • The 2nd stroke goes horizontal then downwards.
  • Create two equal rectangular divisions.
日[曜]日 にちよう Sunday n
[誕] たんじょう birthday n
~日 にち _th day, _days suffix

Numbers + 日(にち) can mean both date and duration.

15日に いきます。<I go on the 15th.>

15日 かかります。<It takes 15 days.>

Kanji symbols in [ ] will be learned in the higher levels. But it would be good if you can read it. Because the word is usually written in Kanji, not in Hiragana.


Each day of the week is related to one of 7 planets and stars in the solar system - 日<sun>, 月<moon>, 火星<Mars>, 水星<Mercury>, 木星<Jupiter>, 金星<Venus> and 土星<Saturn>.

: ガツ、ゲツ、つき

Meaning: the moon, month

Shape: Symbolizing the shape of crescent moon.

  • The 1st stroke should be curved properly.
  • Create two equal divisions in the upper half area.
月[曜]日 げつようび Monday n
~月 がつ _ th month of the year suffix

1月<January>, 2月<February>, 3月<March> ...

~か月 ~かげつ _ months (duration) suffix

1か月<1 month>, 2か月<2 months>, 3か月<3 months> ...

Other spellings ~ヵ月 and ~ヶ月 are also used. The reading and the meaning are the same.

つき moon n

: カ、ひ、

Meaning: fire

Shape: Symbolizing the shape of flame.

  • Two short lines left and right, then 人 in the middle.
  • Tilt the first 2 lines properly.
火[曜]日 ようび Tuesday n
fire n

: スイ、みず

Meaning: water

Shape: Symbolizing the flowing water.

  • The left part is written in one stroke.
  • The right part is in two strokes.
水[曜]日 すいようび Wednesday n
みず water n

: ボク、モク、き、

Meaning: tree, wood

Shape: Symbolizing a tree with branches.

  • Start the last 2 lines from the right place.
  • These two lines are slightly curved.
木[曜]日 もくようび Thursday n
tree n

: キン、コンかな、かね

Meaning: gold, money

  • The top horizontal line and the vertical line are not crossed, just touching.
  • The two dots should be tilted properly.
金[曜]日 きんようび Friday n
お金 かね money n

: 、ド、つち

Meaning: earth, soil

  • The two horizontal lines are parallel.
  • The upper line is shorter.
  • Don't mix up with 士.
土[曜]日 ようび Saturday n
つち earth, soil n

: キン、コン、いま

Meaning: now, present

  • The top horizontal line should be shorter than the horizontal part of the last stroke.
  • The end part of the last stroke is straight, not curved.
いま now n
今日 きょう today n
今月 こんげつ this month n

: 、なに、なん

Meaning: what

  • Mind the stroke order. Students tend to draw the right vertical line before the small square.
  • The size of the square should be proper.
なに, なん what pronoun

There are two ways of reading なに and なん.

何(なに)をしますか。<What do you do?>

これは何(なん)ですか。<What's this?>

何人 なんにん how many people? n
何日 なんにち what day? how many days? n

何日 can mean both date and duration.

今日は何日ですか。<What date is it today?>

何日かかりますか。<How many days does it take?>

何[曜]日 なんようび which day of the week? n
何月 なんがつ which month? n
何か月 なんかげつ how many month? n
何~ なん what + unit for counting prefix

It can be applied for different units such as 何さい<age>, 何かい<floor>, etc.

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Writing Practice

Handwriting practice improves your character recognition ability.

It is recommended to do the writing practice to get familiar with the shape of letters.

Printable writing practice sheet is available at Kanji Writing Practice page.

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Reading of Kanji

Most Kanji symbols have two ways of reading - onyomi and kunyomi.


Onyomi<音読み> is based on the original Chinese pronunciation.

For example, pronunciation of in (ancient) Chinese was "sui". So sui became one way of reading 水.

In many cases, pronuncaton of Japanese onyomi and modern Chinese language are different. Because Japanese incorporated the pronunciation of ancient Chinese.

In general, onyomi is indicated in Katakana in the dictionary.


Kunyomi<訓読み> is the pronunciation of Japanese word which has the same meaning as the Kanji symbol.

For example, Kanji 水 means water. Japanese word for water was "mizu". So mizu became another way of reading 水.

In general, kunyomi is indicated in hiragana in the dictionary.

How to learn the reading

It is recommended to learn the reading of each word, rather than memorizing all onyomi and kunyomi of a Kanji.

For example, you should know the following general rules;

When is after the country name, the reading is じん.

When 人 is after numbers, it reads にん.

When 人 is by itself, it reads ひと.

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Drill Exercise

Drill. A Drill. B Drill. C
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Kanji Master Drill

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