Introduction to Japanese Writing: Hiragana Group 2: K (かきくけこ)

Did you miss our introduction to Hiragana?  If so, you can go back and read it here.

Now that we’ve learned our first five kana, it’s time to move on to the next column!  The consonant for this column is K, so all five members of this group will be K followed by one of the five vowels, in order.

  • か [KA]
  • き [KI]
  • く [KU]
  • け [KE]
  • こ [KO]

How to Write

For reference, here is a quick review of the general rules for stroke order:

  • All characters should fill a square of about the same size
  • Top to bottom, left to right
  • Horizontal strokes before vertical strokes that intersect them

At a glance it may seem that か [ka] throws a minor wrench into our general stroke order rules (since the vertical stroke starting at the top comes second), however the reason for this is because the horizontal stroke takes priority.

Vocabulary Practice

The following words can be written using only the characters we have covered so far.  Once you’ve practiced reading them a couple of times, try writing them on a piece of paper without looking and see how well you do.

  • かく [ka ku] to draw
  • きく [ki ku] to listen
  • こえ [ko e] voice
  • いけ [i ke] pond
  • こけ [ko ke] moss


When you’re ready, click here to move on to Group 3: S!

Published by

Paul Baptist

Japanese linguist, web developer, bassist, teacher, and long-time anime fan.