Japanese/Kana/Lessons/Hiragana/Lesson 9

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Hiragana: [ a ] [ ka ] [ sa ] [ ta ] [ na ] [ ha ] [ ma ] [ ya ] [ ra ] [ wa, wo, n ] [ ゐ and ゑ (ancient hiragana in disuse) ]
Katakana: [ a ] [ ka ] [ sa ] [ ta ] [ na ] [ ha ] [ ma ] [ ya ] [ ra ] [ wa, wo, n ] [ ヰ and ヱ (ancient katakana in disuse) ]

In this lesson you are going to learn how to read and write "ら", "り", "る", "れ", "ろ".

Brush Stroke: ら-bw.png
Sound:

About this sound ra

Mnemonic:

The face of someone enjoying the smell of their ramen. Draw his eyebrow first, then his nose and mouth.

Example:
  • らくだ (rakuda) camel
  • らっぱ (rappa) trumpet
  • らば (raba) mule
Brush Stroke: り-bw.png
Sound:

About this sound ri

Mnemonic:
  • It's the nose and cheek of Richard.
  • It's a repeat (ri) of い (i) with the lengths of the lines inversed.
Example:
  • りんご (ringo) apple
  • りす (risu) squirrel
  • りゅう (ryuu) dragon

Note: The handwritten form varies slightly from the printed form り

Brush Stroke: る-bw.png
Sound:

About this sound ru

Mnemonic:
  • The arm and closed fist of a student who has to hold buckets of water out in the hall because he broke the rules.
  • A boat hit a message in a rum bottle (the upper part being the boat, the lower the corked bottle).
  • It's a mouth, and it's rude to eat with your mouth open.
  • Follow your money as it floats down into the toilet and is flushed, which you rue.
Example:
  • るす (rusu) absency (from home)
  • るい (rui) class
  • るつぼ (rutsuba) melting pot
Brush Stroke: れ-bw.png
Sound:

About this sound re

Mnemonic:
  • The t on the left is the end of a pier, and its builder recommends replacing it.
  • You can distinguish it from and because it has the tip of the second wave, visible on the right
Example:
  • れきし (rekishi) history
  • れいそく (reisoku) your son
  • れい (rei) spirit, ghost
Brush Stroke: ろ-bw.png
Sound:

About this sound ro

Mnemonic:
  • It's the front tip of a row boat riding a wave.
  • It's the tail and hindquarter of a roaring lion.
  • You can distinguish it from る because 'ro' doesn't have the circle at the bottom; the 'o' is in 'ro', not in its character.
Example:
  • ろく (roku) six
  • ろうそく (rousoku) candle
  • ろんぶん (ronbun) essay, thesis, dissertation