A Day of Learning Japanese + My New Calligraphy Pen

penToday I decided to set aside a bit of time for learning Japanese from a book I’ve been using regularly. The book is Read and Write Japanese Scripts by Helen Gilhooly. I’ve found this book extremely useful for learning Kanji. I already know Hiragana and Katakana so I’ve mainly been concentrating on Kanji.

collage Japanese bookThe way the book describes the origins of the different Kanji makes them really easy to remember and since there are only around 10 to learn in each new section you don’t feel overloaded with information. The small amounts are easy to learn and there are activities all the way through to help you recap on what you’ve already learned.

Examples of Kanji I’ve learned include: tree, wood, forest, sun, moon, water, fire, earth, gold, river, mountain, stone, gate, horse, ear, child, woman, mouth, eye, foot, hand, power, car, person, volcano, carriage, gateway, boy, rickshaw, water power. I’ve also learned what the Japanese word for many of these Kanji is e.g bamboo = take, wood = hayashi. I can read numbers now too, but need to practice writing more.

I’ve found it really easy to just go through a couple of lessons in the book at a time and then revisit them the next time before moving on with the next couple. I’ve been able to absorb the information and this book makes it fun at the same time, so I really recommend it! I’ve also been using the website Real Kana to recap on Hiragana and Katakana. It’s so quick to use and makes them so easy to remember.

calligraphy pen2In order to practise my writing, I ordered a Chinese calligraphy pen. I absolutely love it! It looks really beautiful and elegant and it makes practising Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji so much easier. The sakura pattern on the pen is so pretty. It only cost me £2.53, which was an amazing bargain. You can buy it here

calligraphy pen3calligraphy penWhile I was getting used to using the pen I decided to practise writing my name. My writing may not be perfect yet but I’m just beginning!

calligraphy pen4One thing you should know about me is that I hold my pen ‘wrongly’. This is written with heavy sarcasm because I’ve been told this my entire life, but as far as I’m concerned there is no wrong way to hold a pen. One of my teachers even went as far as to nastily tell me I needed to practise ‘how to hold a pen properly’ over the school holidays when I was young. The thing that irritated me the most about this is that I’ve consisently been told how neat my handwriting is, and I won every handwriting competition at school. (Yes we had handwriting competitions).

As long as your writing is legible, it shouldn’t matter how you hold a pen. I’ve lost count of the amount of times someone has said to me ‘you hold your pen so funny!’ when they’ve seen me pick one up. I always have to go through the awkward ‘yeah I know (insert awkward fake laugh)’, but inside I’m thinking, is it even worth noting?

I’m a firm believer in not changing for anyone so now that I’m learning another language I’ve picked up my pen in exactly the same way. I am learning to write the characters and nothing else. My pen strokes are in the correct order and you can read what I’ve written, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Arigatou for reading

8 thoughts on “A Day of Learning Japanese + My New Calligraphy Pen

    • I wish I could speak fluently! I only know certain phrases and things but hopefully if I keep at it I’ll pick up more 🙂
      Finally, someone else who feels my pain haha ^.^ x


  1. Looks great! I want to learn to read Japanese and should really just start doing it. I also hold a pen incorrectly, and the times my teachers got annoyed at me as a child was ridiculous. I write and draw well holding it ‘wrong’ so who cares. 🙂 Also, that pen is lovely!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It can feel a little overwhelming at times, like there’s too much to learn but it’s so rewarding when you start to be able to read things 🙂
      I think it’s absurd, it shouldn’t matter at all how you hold a pen at all. If I do get a job teaching English in Japan I’ll never tell anyone off for how they hold theirs!


  2. It’s so lovely to see other learning Japanese ^^ I’ve taken Japanese ever since my first year of high school, but it’s still difficult for me (Kanji was the worst I cry). I extend my hand to you if you need any help ^^~ (i’m sorry if I am totally just posting on all your blog posts haha T_T; i love you blog it’s so cute!)


    • Thank you so much, that’s really kind of you 🙂
      I’m finding it quite difficult to learn, and lose concentration at times but I’m determined to be fluent!
      And don’t worry, I love to talk to new people, especially those with similar interests 😀


  3. What a cool pen! And all the logograms or characters always look so much better when they’re written with a fountain pen or a brush. At least my Chinese teacher always praised the most beautiful written homework in our class because they were written with a special pen. 😀 Haha! If it’s a part of your grade, that’s an easy way to get some bonus points.


    • I always feel like having a pretty pen is gonna make my writing somehow amazing but of course, it looks the same haha. Chinese calligraphy always looks so beautiful but I don’t think I’ll ever get mine to look that good. Practice makes perfect though! 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s