Part 2: 一 二 三 四 五 六 七 八 九 十

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

: イチ、イツ、ひと、ひと(つ)

Meaning: one

Shape: Symbolizing the concept "one" by single line.

  • Could be horizontal, or slightly tilted upwards (beginning lower, ending higher).

Click button to see the stroke order animation.

Word Reading Meaning Class
いち 1 n
一つ ひと 1 (counter for things) n
ひと 1 person n
ついたち 1st day of the month (date) n
一日 いちにち 1 day (duration) n
いちがつ January (date) n
一月 ひとつき 1 month (duration) n
一か月 いっかげつ 1 month (duration) n
一[番] いちばん first, best, number one n, adv


一日 and 一月 can be used for date and for duration. The reading is different in each case.

一月(ひとつき) and 一か月(いっかげつ) mean the same. ~か月 is used more often.

: ニ、ふた、ふた(つ)

Meaning: two

Shape: Symbolizing the concept "two" by double lines.

  • Two lines are parallel. The upper line should be shorter.
  • Could be horizontal, or slightly tilted upwards.
2 n
二つ ふた 2 (counter for things) n
二人 ふた 2 persons n
二日 ふつ 2nd of the month, 2 days n
二月 がつ February n


二日(ふつか) can be used for date and for duration. The reading is the same. The same rule applies for other numbers except for 一日.

: サン、、みっ(つ)、み(つ)

Meaning: three

Shape: Symbolizing the concept "three" by triple lines.

  • Three lines are parallel, and each has different length.
  • The 2nd line is the shortest, and the 3rd is the longest.
さん 3 n
三つ みっ 3 (counter for things) n
三日 みっ 3rd of the month / 3 days n
三月 さんがつ March n


There are two ways of counting numbers 1 to 10.

One is いち, に, さん, よん(し), ご, ろく, なな(しち), はち, きゅう(く), じゅう. This is the standard way, and is commonly used.

Another set is ひとつ, ふたつ, みっつ, よっつ, いつつ, むっつ, ななつ, やっつ, ここのつ, とお. Nowadays, this way is used mostly for counting things. Note that you cannot count more than 10 in this way.

: シ、、よっ(つ)、よ(つ)、よん

Meaning: four

  • The whole shape is horizontally long.
  • The two short lines inside should be properly curved.
よん, 4 n
There are two ways of reading yon and shi. Yon is used more often.
四つ よっ 4 (counter for things) n
四日 よっ 4th of the month / 4 days n
四月 がつ April n

: ゴ、いつ、いつ(つ)

Meaning: five

  • The 1st & the 2nd lines are not crossed, just touching.
  • The 2nd line should be tilted properly.
5 n
五つ いつ 5 (counter for things) n
五日 いつ 5th of the month / 5 days n
五月 がつ May n

: ロク、、むい、むっ(つ)、む(つ)

Meaning: six

  • The 1st & the 2nd lines are not crossed, just touching.
  • The last two lines should be tilted properly.
ろく 6 n
六つ むっ 6 (counter for things) n
六日 むい 6th of the month / 6 days n
六月 ろくがつ June n

: シチ、なな、なな(つ)、なの

Meaning: seven

  • The 1st line is slightly tilted upwards.
  • The 2nd line is curved, not bent at an angle.
なな, しち 7 n
There are two ways of reading nana and shichi. Nana is used more often.
七つ なな 7 (counter for things) n
七日 なの 7th of the month / 7 days n
七月 しちがつ July n

: ハチ、、やっ(つ)、や(つ)、よう

Meaning: eight

  • Tilt two lines properly.
  • The distance between two lines should be proper.
はち 8 n
八つ やっ 8 (counter for things) n
八日 よう 8th of the month / 8 days n
八月 はちがつ August n

: キュウ、ク、ここの、ここの(つ)

Meaning: nine

  • The 1st line should be tilted and curved properly.
  • The 2nd stroke bends sharply at the top, then curves at the bottom, and then goes up.
きゅう, 9 n
There are two ways of reading kyū and ku. Kyū is used more often.
九つ ここの 9 (counter for things) n
九日 ここの 9th of the month / 9 days n
九月 がつ September n

: ジッ、ジュウ、、とお

Meaning: ten

  • The line 1 & 2 are not crossed, just touching.
  • The line 2 should be tilted properly.
じゅう 10 n
とお 10 (counter for things) n
十日 とお 10th of the month / 10 days n
二十日 はつ 20th of the month / 20 days n
十月 じゅうがつ October n
十一月 じゅういちがつ November n
十二月 じゅうにがつ December n
Page Top

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.

Page Top

Structure of Kanji

There are some patterns of structure;

  • Left+Right: 明(日+月), 社(ネ+土), 秋(禾+火), 休(人+木)
  • Upper+Lower: 分(八+刀), 古(十+口), 名(夕+口), 男(田+力)
  • Outside+Inside: 回(口+口), 国(口+玉), 聞(門+耳), 間(門+日)

Kanji symbols are composed of limited number of components.

Some Kanji symbols you have learned are commonly used as a component of other Kanji.

  • 人: 作, 位, 夜, 座, 肉, 欠, 貸
  • : 明, 冒, 間, 星, 早, 音, 温
  • 土: 寺, 圧, 去, 走, 考, 経, 都
Page Top

Drill Exercise

Drill. A Drill. B Drill. C
Page Top

Kanji Master Drill

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8