# Kanji Stroke Order

By アラン ミラー

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General rules for kanji stroke order are given below along with examples. Red dots show the beginning of each stroke. The stroke count, , is also given. Other web sites with stroke order can be found here: U. Mich, Nihongo Web, Dartmouth, Writing tutor, Kanjistep, Japanese Page, Wikipedia

1. Left to right and top to bottom
The most basic rule is that individual strokes are drawn from from left to right and from top to bottom.
2. A set of horizontal lines is drawn from top to bottom
Each stroke is drawn from left to right and placed from top to bottom. For example, the order for three,  (3 ) and say  (7 ) is

3. A set of vertical strokes is written from left to right
Each stroke is drawn from top to bottom and placed from left to right. For example, the order for river  (3 ) and state  (6 ) is

4. Center verticals before outside strokes wings
Draw the center stroke first when there are left, right strokes. Then draw the left strokes. For example, the order for water  (4 ) and thread  (6 ) is

5. Horizontal before vertical
When strokes cross, the horizontal strokes are usually written first. For example, the order for ten  (2 ) is

Except for bottom stroke
If there is a horizontal bottom stroke, the vertical stroke is drawn eariler. For example, the order for King  (4 ) is.

6. Outside before inside
Outside parts are drawn first,starting with the left vertical. However a bottom stroke is drawn last. For example, the order for sun  (4 ), rice field  (5 ), and country  (8 ) is

Except open box on right
If the box is open on the right side, then the left and bottom stroke is drawn last. For example, the order for ward  (4 ) is

7. Right-to-left before left-to-right diagonals
A right-to-left diagonal stroke comes before a left-to-right diagonal stroke. For example, the order for person  (2 ) and Sentence  (4 ) is

8. Horizontal crossing right-to-left diagonal is inconsistent
The order of a horizontal stroke crossing a right-to-left diagonal stroke is inconsistent. The horizontal stroke sometimes comes first and sometimes second. In either case, the second stroke is longer than the first. For example, the order for right  (5 ) and left  (5 ) is

9. The horizontal stroke comes first for power  (2 ) but second for nine  (2 ) is

10. Right-to-left diagonal
Watch for gently sloping right-to-left diagonal that looks like horizontal stroke. For example, the order for thousand  (3 ) is

11. Vertical cutting strokes are last
A central vertical stroke comes last. For example, the order for middle  (4 ) and for half  (5 ) is

12. Horizontal cutting strokes are last
A central horizontal stroke comes last. For example, the order for woman  (3 ), mama  (5 ), and boat  (6 ) is

But horizontal stroke comes first for large  (3 )

The road radical, the lower part of near , (7 ) comes last. Here are the strokes

14. Gate radical starts at left
The left vertical stroke of the gate radical is drawn before the parts to the right , (8 ) Here are the strokes

The left vertical stroke of the food radical is drawn after the parts to the right , (9 ) Here are the strokes