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Difficult stroke orders

If you made it this far, congratulations! This is the final section.

In the introduction to this guide I said that, irrespective of your knowledge of specific kanji stroke/component order rules, it is best practice to open a kanji dictionary to verify the correct writing if any uncertainty arises. Nevertheless, knowledge of the rules listed in this guide will provide a good frame of reference and help you speed up the memorisation process with the smallest effort.

It is for this reason that I want to present some of the shapes that, with regard to kanji stroke order:

  1. don’t follow particular rules, and
  2. are rare or unique.

Study and practice writing the stroke order of the characters in the following diagrams.

Kanji stroke diagram of characters with unpredictable stroke orders: 力 chikara 'power', 九 kokonotsu 'nine', 丸 maru 'circle'.
chikara ‘power’, kokonotsu ‘nine’, maru ‘circle’.
Kanji stroke diagram of characters with unpredictable stroke orders: 心 kokoro 'heart' and 必 kanarazu 'without exception'.
kokoro ‘heart’ and kanarazu ‘without exception’.
Kanji stroke diagram of characters with unpredictable stroke orders: 七 nanatsu 'seven', 匕 saji 'spoon', 比 kuraberu 'to compare', 北 kita 'north'.
nanatsu ‘seven’, saji ‘spoon’, kuraberu ‘to compare’, kita ‘north’.
Kanji stroke diagram of characters with unpredictable stroke orders: 凹 OU 'concave' and 凸 TOTSU 'convex'.
OU ‘concave’ and TOTSU ‘convex’.

In the next diagram I listed a selection of kanji with stroke orders that, for whatever reason, I found particularly difficult. I highlighted the difficulty in green where the difficult part is localised.

Kanji stroke order diagram of 及 KYUU 'to amount to', 収 SHUU 'to obtain', 皮 kawa 'skin', 卵 tamago 'egg', 図 ZU 'diagram', 垂 tareru 'to droop', 乗 noru 'to ride', 版 HAN 'edition', 服 FUKU 'clothes', 我 ware 'myself', 革 kawa 'leather', 衆 SHUU 'masses', 発 HATSU 'to launch', 飛 tobu 'to fly'.
KYUU ‘to reach out’, SHUU ‘to obtain’, kawa ‘skin’, tamago ‘egg’, ZU ‘diagram’, tareru ‘to droop’, noru ‘to ride’, HAN ‘edition’, FUKU ‘clothes’, ware ‘I/myself’, kawa ‘leather’, SHUU ‘masses’, HATSU ‘to launch’, tobu ‘to fly’.

In our last diagram: UTSU ‘melancholy’. This is believed to be one of the most complicated kanji to write.

Kanji stroke diagram of the kanji 鬱 UTSU 'melancholy'.
UTSU ‘melancholy’.

And on this melancholic note I am concluding my Kanji Stroke Order Guide! Please feel free to comment for advice or corrections, and share widely if you found it useful. 🙂

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