Japanese is written in a combination of three scripts: hiragana, katakana, and kanji. Kanji represents ideas or objects, hiragana expresses the grammatical relationships between them. Katakana is used for words of foreign origin. Like romaji, both hiragana and katakana characters represent one syllable and have no meaning other than the representation of sound. Though Japanese is usually written in a combination of three scripts, Japanese sentences can be written in either hiragana or katakana only. I think learning hiragana and katakana is a good start for Japanese writing.
I will show 46 basic hiragana characters this time, and in the following lessons I will introduce how to write them. Click here to learn how to pronounce them.