How to Use the Writing Templates
The files “Kana” and “Kanji 1-300” consist of 50 and 150 pages, respectively, in DIN A4 size, with forms for writing exercises. They can be used to practice writing of the kana and the first 300 kanji in the book Japanese Kanji and Kana (Tuttle, third edition 2011) by Hadamitzky and Spahn. The files can be downloaded and printed out for free.
The file “Kana” includes the 46 basic characters each of the two kana syllabaries, hiragana and katakana, arranged in the Japanese alphabetical order a-i-u-e-o. On the last pages are combinations of these characters that are used for denoting additional syllables.
The file “Kanji 1-300” lists the first 300 kanji in the book Japanese Kanji and Kana. Presented with each kanji are its officially recognized readings and up to five multi-kanji compound words that include that kanji.
Small numbers at the beginning of each stroke give the sequence and direction in which to write the strokes of each kana and kanji. To convey a feeling for the size and proportions of the characters, they are presented twice in gray as templates for tracing over, first in large squares, and below in small squares. The over 50 small squares provide enough space to write not just the head characters but also the compounds that are shown in the header.
The 300 kanji appear in the same order and with the same numbering as in the book Japanese Kanji and Kana. There, using the identification numbers, you can look up information including the meanings of the kanji and compounds, and conversely you can go from the book to the corresponding writing practice sheets.
And if you should need more space for writing practice, you can download from the Internet forms for Japanese manuscript paper (原稿用紙 genkō yōshi).
Before beginning to write a character, take a look at its structure and components, and take note of its meaning(s). This will help you better understand what you are writing and why it is written as it is. With each character, try to write a word consciously and deliberately, being aware of both its reading and meaning, as you do when writing in your own language. This will help to fix the character in your mind, for easier recollection later when writing or thinking. At the same time, you will be building your vocabulary. And when you feel you can reproduce a kanji, write compounds in which it appears and which you want to learn.