Making the Right Strokes for さ, し, す, せ, そ (Sa, Shi, Su, Se, So)

Man doing calligraphy in Japanese-style room
These hiranaga strokes are easy to learn. Eriko Koga / Getty Images

A part of the Japanese writing system, hiragana is syllabary. Meaning, it is a set of written characters that represents syllables, creating a basic phonetic script for the Japanese language.

In most cases, each character corresponds to one syllable though there are few exceptions to this rule. Hiragana is used in many cases, such as writing particles or miscellaneous words that have no kanji form or an obscure kanji form. 

With the following visual stroke-by-stroke guide, you will learn to write hiragana characters さ、し、す、せ、そ (sa, shi, su, se, so). 

Sa - さ

how to write the hiragana sa character

It is important to follow the stroke order in each of these guides. Learning the proper stroke order is a great way to help you to remember how to draw the character.

Sample word: さかな (sakana) --- fish

Shi - し

how to write the hiragana shi character

Learn how to write the hiragana character for "shi" in this simple lesson. 

Sample word: しお (shio) --- salt

Su - す

how to write the hiragana su character

Follow the numbered stroke-by-stroke guide to flawlessly write "su" in this simple lesson. 

Sample Word: すな (suna) --- sand

Se - せ

how to write the hiragana se character

This visual guide makes it easy for you to learn how to write out "se". Again, be sure to follow the proper stroke order! 

Sample word: せかい (sekai) --- world

So - そ

how to write the hiragana so character

Only one stroke, the hiragana character for "so" is not as easy to write as it looks. It'll take some practice to get this character down with finesse! 

Sample word: そら (sora) --- sky

More Lessons

If you want to see all 46 hiragana characters and hear the pronunciation for each, check out the Hiragana Audio Chart page. For a Handwritten Hiragana Chart, try this link.

To learn more about Japanese writing, take a look at Japanese Writing for Beginners.