The Ultimate Way to Remember the Japanese Alphabet’s Order

OK, quick fact about the Japanese language – words can be written left to right like the English language when you write it out like ねこ. However, you read Japanese from up to down, right to left when the Japanese characters are displayed in a vertical manner.

The Japanese alphabet is thus displayed in a chart as shown above, which is read up to down, right to left. The order of the letter columns is very strange, but luckily my Japanese sensei for 10/11th grade taught my class a memory trick that I will never, ever forget.

A – A
T – TO
M – MY


ありがとうございます, スター先制!

Random Japanese lesson, go!

41 thoughts on “The Ultimate Way to Remember the Japanese Alphabet’s Order

    • brian June 14, 2012 / 5:48 am

      in the chart not all the empty boxes are next to each other. why.


      • Nhan-Fiction June 14, 2012 / 10:45 am

        The empty boxes represent sounds not found in the regular Japanese Hiragana alphabet.


  1. Albert June 20, 2012 / 5:12 am

    Cool. Never heard of that but, yes, that makes life so much easier. Thanks!


  2. jackcurtis June 21, 2012 / 12:59 pm

    Hmnn…”Arigato” seems a lot easier; I think I’ll stick to English!


  3. leahandsam August 30, 2012 / 4:19 am

    I love learning japanese! Its a little late for me to be finding this now, but it definitely would’ve been great for studying when I was younger!


  4. Melanie Marttila September 21, 2012 / 5:02 pm

    I have to share this with my husband, who’s been teaching himself Japanese in fits and starts. He does lovely calligraphy though 🙂


  5. Ron September 26, 2012 / 7:12 am

    Very clever, indeed.


  6. argentumvulgaris September 30, 2012 / 3:55 am

    Ooooh, what happened there? Lots of things. I’ve never had that happen before… 🙂



  7. michaelanson September 30, 2012 / 1:42 pm

    Thanks for checking out my blog, and commenting at: I certainly appreciate the feedback. I liked your memory trick to remember the Japanese alphabet. I had to think for a second, but I believe it’s called a mnemonic device. Now that I’m in grad school for creative writing, I can certainly use all the help I can get to remember things.


  8. nerdromnico October 2, 2012 / 7:22 am

    Japanese is such a beautiful language. I’ve always wanted to learn. Thanks for the mnemonic device AND thanks for LIKING my blog post.


  9. guptashvm October 5, 2012 / 11:12 am

    The way I learned it was the way shown in RTH/RTK, where it’s like a song that goes a-ka-sa-ta na-ha-ma-ya, ra-wa-n, ra-wa-n


  10. evalentina October 18, 2012 / 2:37 pm

    I’m going to show this to my roomie. She lived in Japan for 2 years and absolutely loves Japanese culture and language. Thanks for posting! 🙂


  11. Sanara November 13, 2012 / 3:27 am

    Oh thats perfect 😀 thanks 🙂


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