Kana Page

Resource for students: Learn Hiragana and Katakana before attending.

One of the first challenges you’ll face in learning the Japanese language is mastering its writing system. Japanese uses three scripts: HiraganaKatakana, and Kanji. Romaji (the Roman form of the syllables) are rarely used by the Japanese, but we’ll be using them to help you learn the scripts. We strongly recommend that future KCP students who have had no previous knowledge of Japanese memorize the hiragana and katakana before attending.

Hiragana

Hiragana is the first script that Japanese children learn in school, so you will do well to start with hiragana. The hiragana table introduces you to all possible characters and sounds that you need to learn Japanese. Remember that stroke order is important in writing Japanese so that you get the right shape. The best way to learn hiragana is to practice writing them with pen and paper–download the PDF hiragana worksheets as a guide. After you’ve mastered hiragana, test your skills with our basic hiragana quiz and modified hiragana quiz.

Katakana

Katakana are used for words derived from foreign languages. If you’re not Japanese, katakana is the script that you use to write your name, so learning katakana is important. Just like hiragana, katakana is divided into basic katakana and modified katakana. The katakana table will introduce you to this writing system. Katakana are used for onomatopoeic words and technical or scientific terms. They are also used for emphasis. Try writing katakana on our PDF katakana worksheets and test your knowledge with our basic katakana quiz or modified katakana quiz.

Kanji

Kanji are similar to Chinese characters. They are ideographs that are used for nouns and verb stems. Since there are no spaces in Japanese writing, Kanji assists in distinguishing words in a sentence. You will be introduced to kanji and learn approximately 150–200 kanji each term at KCP.

Winter Application Deadline Extended

Join us for a challenging and rewarding opportunity to gain proficiency in the Japanese language while enjoying the culture and lifestyle that only living in Tokyo can provide. Winter Applications due October 31.

Apply Now >

Student Life

Past and present students share their thoughts and experiences on studying in Japan.

View Page

Testimonials

I selected the KCP language program because I wanted to immerse myself in Japanese culture. I wanted to improve my Japanese, and there are glowing reviews of the teachers at KCP. The final verdict was decided when I looked up how much the program costs, and I realized that the short-term summer program is significantly more affordable than many other programs.

—May Leung