Hiragana Chart

A hiragana chart is one of the most useful tools imaginable for study. Hiragana is the corner stone of the written language. There are 46 characters so memorizing them is pretty manageable.

Hiragana, like English, is a phonetic alphabet meaning that each character has a sound just like in katakana. Kanji on the other hand is a hairy bear in comparison. It is a symbolic written language. So therein lies the power of hiragana. If you can't read the kanji, Japanese will write hiragana above it so you can "sound it out."  They call it "furigana".

Another interesting factoid is that hiragana was originally a language used by women or for personal letters before kanji was on the scene.

Did you know that in Japan, when school children begin the long and arduous journey of learning Japanese as a written language they begin with Hiragana? That's right even before Katakana and way before Kanji.

This is generally why most Hiragana charts you run across are aimed at children so they are filled with cartoon characters like Hello Kitty or Thomas The Train etc. Cute, but not quite what an adult ESL teacher would like to decorate his or her walls with. But to each his own as they say, so we have a couple high gloss wall charts with all the hiragana letters picked out for you. 

Some Words of Wisdom From Verified Customers

"Exactly as pictured and printed on nice glossy paper. Like the other reviewer, I plan to frame them!"

"These look very nice. They are made with a sturdy cardstock type paper. I chose to frame mine above where I study."

"Bought this as a gift. The quality is good."

"Big poster, sticks to bathtub wall perfectly, can even be pinned to the wall. It's a very soft and flexible material that is on the thin side. Love it!"

Posters are useful in the sense that they are always right there in front of your face as soon as you find a good place to hang it. Right on the refrigerator door is a good place. You can grab a glance at the chart to refresh your memory before you pull open the refrigerator door and crack a cold one.

( I actually knew I guy who put his chart where he knew he would always see it - the bathroom wall.) No joke. Just read the Amazon customer review  immediately above in red letters. (It might be the same person for all I know.)

Hiragana ChartPut Something on the Wall

Although a hiragana chart won't actually teach you hiragana as you will need a hiragana writing practice book to really drill it down.

But if you're one of zillions of ESL teachers who are into the learning  Japanese and moved into an apartment without a single thing on the wall and not even curtains on the windows. It may just fit the bill. 



Hiragana Charts - Mnemonic Charts Work Wonders

Mnemonic charts really help when it comes to shaving some time off of learning Japanese. The one issue with them is that we all think a bit differently so some symbols resonate well with some people and not a bit with others.  In our Amazon picks above, the center chart is mnemonic.

One way around this  (if you have time to kill between teaching classes) is to make or print a plain chart and make up your own symbols that resonate with you to speed up your memorization of them. Plus just the actual exercise of making the chart drills it into your cranium a bit more.

Another thing to keep in mind with hiragana whether you're getting a chart, (see some good stuff from Amazon just below is the stroke order. There is a predetermined order for writing them. If your stroke order is off or not in the correct order the character will look strange. And if you think it is important in writing hiragana it is undeniably true when you step up your game to writing kanji.

Return to Learn Japanese On-line Main Index

Advertise Here
Get Noticed
Get Traffic 
 Grow 
Find out more here

FREE E-Book. Speed Learn Japanese & Get Our Newsletter on Japanese Proverbs and Cool Expressions.


Recent Articles

  1. Portable-Wi-Fi in Japan vs Free Options to Staying Safe & Connected.

    Aug 24, 19 07:34 AM

    Portable-WiFi in-Japan. Super convenient but definitely not for everyone. Portable-Wi-Fi isn't exactly cheap but worth it if you are a person on the move.

    Read On

  2. Find Teaching Jobs Abroad

    Aug 22, 19 02:12 AM

    Find Teaching Jobs in Japan on our Teaching Jobs Abroad Page. Full-time & Part-time Listings for Jobs All Over Japan. Teaching Jobs added almost daily.

    Read On

  3. What are my Best Options for Moving to Japan as a Married Couple?

    Aug 20, 19 08:42 AM

    Hi there. I am a pediatric nurse in the USA. My husband has a degree in film but is working in Accounts Payable. We both want to spend at least a year

    Read On

  4. Cell phone service in Japan. How to get a phone that works in Japan

    Aug 12, 19 03:23 AM

    Cell phone service in Japan - Tips, links and info. to help you stay in touch with family and friends while teaching in Japan.

    Read On

  5. University Teaching Experience - The Good, Bad and the Ugly

    Aug 11, 19 01:42 AM

    I did my time. I spent 10 years teaching at the university level. So I've seen some stuff in my day. First up is the things I totally loved about teaching

    Read On

  6. The JET Programme Interview. What to Expect & Questions Often Asked

    Aug 09, 19 10:36 AM

    The JET Programme interview can be a bit nerve racking. Here is some advice on how to prepare for it. The kind of questions they ask & what you should ask them.

    Read On

  7. Digital Nomad Tips & Some Market Realities of Teaching ESL in Japan

    Aug 09, 19 04:32 AM

    Digital nomad tips and some rather harsh market realities about being a practical nomad traveling around Japan teaching English.

    Read On