How to Write Love in Japanese

How to Write Love in Japanese

Love is a powerful word, especially in the Japanese language. However, when it comes to Japanese, that doesn't mean a lot if you can't write or speak the word! Japanese is a complex language with three alphabets, so it can be difficult to know how to write "love" in Japanese. But by learning how to write the strokes properly and produce the word you're looking for, you'll be one step closer to writing someone a Japanese love letter.

Steps

Image titled Jp write love hearts
1
Know the different types of love. In Japanese, due to the varying ways of saying certain things based on politeness and the weight some words can carry, it's important to know what the different types of love are. The three most commonly used are 好き (suki), 愛 (ai), and 恋 (koi).
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2
Know how "好き" is used. Suki is the most common way of expressing love, although when translated to English, it would be closer to the definition of "like" than "love". However, it is often used as an expression of love, and saying " daisuke" (大好き) is a way of saying you really like someone.
Image titled Ai ex
3
Know how "愛" is used. Ai is commonly heard when translating "love" to Japanese, but it's actually rarely used. It is meant as a very strong expression of love; saying "愛してる" ( ai shiteru) is reserved for people you truly love, such as a very close partner.
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4
Know how "恋" is used. Koi is used when referring to love in third person, and as such, is not used as an expression of affection towards the person you're speaking to. It's not very commonly seen in expressions of affection as a result.
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5
Know the Japanese alphabets. When children and non-native Japanese speakers are learning how to write in Japanese, they initially start with learning hiragana, which are simple characters commonly used in Japanese writing. Katakana is another basic alphabet, but it is reserved for foreign words, such as names. Kanji are the characters derived from Chinese, which are much more complex to write than hiragana, but are sometimes used to help clarify the context of a sentence when reading.
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6
Know basic stroke order. Whether you're going to be writing in hiragana or kanji, you'll need to learn how to write properly, as writing with the wrong stroke order can make it look like your sentence says something else entirely. Stroke order typically sticks to two rules: if the stroke is horizontal, it most likely started on the left side, whereas if the stroke is vertical, it probably started at the top. There are a few exceptions, but not many. While learning stroke order may seem pointless, it's actually necessary to learn in order to tell certain characters apart. For example, two katakana characters - シ and ツ, respectively - can be mistaken for the other character if written in improper stroke order and direction, which can jumble up a sentence at worst, and make it tough to read at best. Additionally, characters aren't always clearly written, as opposed to when they're printed on a screen, and there are other more cursive styles of writing that can make it crucial to write in proper stroke order.
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Method 1 of 2:
Writing in Hiragana

Writing in hiragana is often the best choice for those who are still in the early stages of learning Japanese.

Writing "Suki"

Image titled Jp sk hg 2 5
1
Write Su (す). Writing す can throw many people off at first because of the loop in the middle of the character, so feel free to practice if necessary. Draw a medium-length horizontal line, starting on the left and going to the right.
Image titled Jp sk hg 1
Start drawing a vertical line in the middle of the horizontal line. Shortly after the lines connect, loop your line up into a circle, then bring it back down.
Image titled Jp sk hg 2
Image titled Jp sk hg 6
2
Write Ki (き). After writing す, you're going to need to write "ki" (き) in order to make it into a word, and not just a sound. Draw a short horizontal line going from left to right.
Image titled Jp sk hg 3
Draw another horizontal line below the first one, making it slightly longer than the first horizontal line. Again, go from left to right.
Image titled Jp sk hg 4
Starting above the center of the shorter horizontal line, draw a vertical line that slopes slightly to the right. After you've crossed both horizontal lines, swoop the line to the left and curve it back to the right, stopping once you're about a third of the way from connecting to the vertical line.
Image titled Jp sk hg 5
Image titled Jp sk hg 7
3
Finished.
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Writing "Ai"

Image titled Jp ai hg 1 1
1
Write the A (あ). Writing あ isn't nearly as simple as it looks. If you need to, practice a few times to get it right. Draw a short horizontal line, going from left to right.
Image titled Jp ai hg 1
Draw a longer vertical line, starting from top to bottom.
Image titled Jp ai hg 2
Draw the loop. Start a small amount up, next to the vertical line you just drew. Loop downwards, then up, and then to the side. Make sure to cross the vertical line with the upper part of the loop.
Image titled Jp ai hg 3
Image titled Jp ai hg 6
2
Write the I (い). い is fairly simple to write, as it only consists of two lines. Starting from the top, draw a slightly curved vertical line, and curve it back up at the end.
Image titled Jp ai hg 4
Start parallel from the first line and draw a shorter vertical line.
Image titled Jp ai hg 5
Image titled Jp ai hg 6 bg
3
Finished.
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Writing "Koi"

Image titled Jp k hg 0
1
Write Ko (こ). こ is easy to write, as it's only two lines. Start with the top line. Writing from left to right, draw a line of medium length. Sometimes, the first line will curve slightly and "hook" back, as shown in the picture above.
Image titled Jp k hg 1
To write the lower line, curve the beginning of the line so that the line looks somewhat like a curved "Z" with the center line missing. This line is often slightly longer than the line above it.
Image titled Jp k hg 2
Image titled Jp k hg 5
2
Write the I (い). Like "ko", い is only two lines, making it a simple character to write. Start from the top. Draw a slightly curved vertical line, and "hook" it back up once you've reached the end of the line.
Image titled Jp k hg 3
Parallel from the first line, draw a vertical line roughly about half the size of the original line.
Image titled Jp k hg 4
Image titled Jp k hg 6
3
Finished.
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Method 2 of 2:
Writing in Kanji

For more advanced Japanese learners, it may be worth giving kanji a try.

Writing "Suki"

Image titled Jp sk k 1
1
Write a sharp line. To start writing the kanji for "suki", begin by drawing a vertical line from top-to-bottom that leans to the left. Then, change the direction it's moving in, so that the line, while still vertical, is directing towards the right.
Image titled Jp sk k 2
2
Draw a sharp curve. The second stroke in the kanji is somewhat similar to writing a "fu" in katakana (フ), so imitate the stroke order and simply stretch it out.
Image titled Jp sk k 5
3
Imitate the kanji for "ko" (子). To the right of the symbol you just wrote will be an imitation of the kanji 子, but smaller. Start by drawing a horizontal line, going from left to right. Then make a sharp diagonal angle back inwards, stopping when your pen or pencil is perpendicular to the center of the horizontal line. Continue writing, but vertically, until you reach the bottom of the line you're writing on; once the line is that long, curve it back upwards a small amount.
Image titled Jp sk k 3
Where the diagonal line becomes vertical, draw a horizontal line going from left to right.
Image titled Jp sk k 4
Image titled Jp sk k 9
4
Write Ki (き) . The "ki" sound in 好き isn't connected to the kanji like one might expect - rather, the kanji is simply for the "su" sound, and hiragana is used for the "ki" sound. Writing き should be easy enough if you've practiced it enough times, however. Write a short horizontal line, going from left to right.
Image titled Jp sk k 6
Underneath the first line, write a slightly longer horizontal line. Again, go from left to right.
Image titled Jp sk k 7
Starting above the center of the shorter horizontal line, draw a vertical line that slopes slightly to the right. After you've crossed both horizontal lines, swoop the line to the left and curve it back to the right, stopping once you're about a third of the way from connecting to the vertical line.
Image titled Jp sk k 8
Image titled Jp sk k 10
5
Finished.
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Writing "Ai"

Image titled Jp ai k 1 1
1
Draw a curved line. To begin writing the kanji for "ai", start between the center and the top of the line and draw a slightly curved line, going from left to right.
Image titled Jp ai k 4 5
2
Make three small dashes. Underneath your first stroke for the kanji, write three short, slightly tilted lines. Start with the leftmost dash, and write from top to bottom. This dash starts slightly to the left of where the first stroke started, and it doesn't matter whether it connects to your first stroke or not.
Image titled Jp ai k 2
Continue to the center dash. This dash is written exactly like the previous one, except it's centered rather than to the left.
Image titled Jp ai k 3
Move to the rightmost dash. This stroke is also top to bottom, but is diagonal going from right to left rather than left to right.
Image titled Jp ai k 4
Image titled Jp ai k 5
3
Write a dash. Underneath and to the left of the three dashes, write a slightly diagonal line going from top to bottom. This dash should be short.
Image titled Jp ai k 6
4
Write a hooked line. Starting next to the top of the dash you just wrote, write a straight line, then "hook" it back around once it's longer than the first stroke you made (the curved line).
Image titled Jp ai k 7
5
Write another dash. To the left of the hooked line, draw a slightly diagonal dash going from top to bottom. The dash should be going left to right.
Image titled Jp ai k 8
6
Draw another hooked line. Next to the dash you just wrote, draw a line that hooks upwards, going from left to right. It should be shorter than the first hooked line.
Image titled Jp ai k 9
7
Draw a small dash. Above the center of the hooked line, draw a diagonal, slightly curved dash going from left to right. The dash should be extremely short.
Image titled Jp ai k 10
8
Write a dash. To the right of your second hooked line, draw a diagonal dash that tips from left to right. Write it from top to bottom.
Image titled Jp ai k 11
9
Write another dash. Underneath and to the left of the second hooked line, write a short stroke resembling a dash. It should tip from right to left.
Image titled Jp ai k 12
10
Write a "fu" in katakana. Starting where the last dash started, write "fu" (フ) in katakana and lengthen the lower stroke until it's about the length of the stroke it's connected to.
Image titled Jp ai k 13
11
Write a curved stroke. Starting halfway down the stroke written before the previous one, write a curved line going from left to right. The stroke should end where the previous stroke curves.
Image titled Jp ai k 14
12
Finished.
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Writing "Koi"

Image titled Jp k k 1
1
Draw a short line. The first stroke in the kanji for "koi" is a simple short line, centered above where the rest of the kanji will be written. This line is drawn diagonally from top to bottom.
Image titled Jp k k 2
2
Draw a horizontal line. The next stroke is a horizontal line that is much longer than the line you initially drew. It should converge with your first stroke, and goes from left to right. If you're having trouble getting it to look right, think of it as drawing a flat lid to a jar. The short vertical stroke (the "handle") will be in the center, connecting with the actual "lid" (the horizontal stroke) of the jar.
Image titled Jp k k 3
3
Write a curved line. Starting from the top and writing vertically, create a line curving out to the left. This line will be under the horizontal line you wrote before, and to the left of where the first stroke ends.
Image titled Jp k k 4
4
Write a line with a sharp angle. Parallel to where your curved line started, write a vertical line from top to bottom. Once the line is at a certain length, create a short, sharp angle that goes diagonally and to the left.
Image titled Jp k k 5
5
Make a small dash. To the left of the curved line, write a quick dash from top to bottom that's roughly perpendicular to the curved line. The dash should bend outwards, similar to the curved line next to it.
Image titled Jp k k 6
6
Write another dash. From top to bottom, write a diagonal dash next to the angled line. This dash extends out to the left and looks like it's somewhat close to being horizontal.
Image titled Jp k k 7
7
Write a third dash. Below all the aforementioned lines, write a slightly diagonal dash starting from top to bottom. The line should curve out to the left, but only slightly so.
Image titled Jp k k 8
8
Draw a "hook". Starting from the left, write a stroke that looks somewhat like a hook. The "hook" should be slightly diagonal so that the curved section becomes the lowest part of the kanji.
Image titled Jp k k 9
9
Write a small curve. Above the hook and centered between the two lines in the middle of the kanji, write a small, U-shaped curve.
Image titled Jp k k 10
10
Write the last stroke. The last stroke of the kanji is simply a slightly curved line, similar to the one above where it should be written. It should be written from left to right, and rest slightly above and off to the side of the "hook" that was written earlier.
Image titled Jp k k 11
11
Finished.
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Method 1 of 2:
Writing in Hiragana

Writing in hiragana is often the best choice for those who are still in the early stages of learning Japanese.

Writing "Suki"

Image titled Jp sk hg 2 5
1
Write Su (す). Writing す can throw many people off at first because of the loop in the middle of the character, so feel free to practice if necessary. Draw a medium-length horizontal line, starting on the left and going to the right.
Image titled Jp sk hg 1
Start drawing a vertical line in the middle of the horizontal line. Shortly after the lines connect, loop your line up into a circle, then bring it back down.
Image titled Jp sk hg 2
Image titled Jp sk hg 6
2
Write Ki (き). After writing す, you're going to need to write "ki" (き) in order to make it into a word, and not just a sound. Draw a short horizontal line going from left to right.
Image titled Jp sk hg 3
Draw another horizontal line below the first one, making it slightly longer than the first horizontal line. Again, go from left to right.
Image titled Jp sk hg 4
Starting above the center of the shorter horizontal line, draw a vertical line that slopes slightly to the right. After you've crossed both horizontal lines, swoop the line to the left and curve it back to the right, stopping once you're about a third of the way from connecting to the vertical line.
Image titled Jp sk hg 5
Image titled Jp sk hg 7
3
Finished.
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Writing "Ai"

Image titled Jp ai hg 1 1
1
Write the A (あ). Writing あ isn't nearly as simple as it looks. If you need to, practice a few times to get it right. Draw a short horizontal line, going from left to right.
Image titled Jp ai hg 1
Draw a longer vertical line, starting from top to bottom.
Image titled Jp ai hg 2
Draw the loop. Start a small amount up, next to the vertical line you just drew. Loop downwards, then up, and then to the side. Make sure to cross the vertical line with the upper part of the loop.
Image titled Jp ai hg 3
Image titled Jp ai hg 6
2
Write the I (い). い is fairly simple to write, as it only consists of two lines. Starting from the top, draw a slightly curved vertical line, and curve it back up at the end.
Image titled Jp ai hg 4
Start parallel from the first line and draw a shorter vertical line.
Image titled Jp ai hg 5
Image titled Jp ai hg 6 bg
3
Finished.
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Writing "Koi"

Image titled Jp k hg 0
1
Write Ko (こ). こ is easy to write, as it's only two lines. Start with the top line. Writing from left to right, draw a line of medium length. Sometimes, the first line will curve slightly and "hook" back, as shown in the picture above.
Image titled Jp k hg 1
To write the lower line, curve the beginning of the line so that the line looks somewhat like a curved "Z" with the center line missing. This line is often slightly longer than the line above it.
Image titled Jp k hg 2
Image titled Jp k hg 5
2
Write the I (い). Like "ko", い is only two lines, making it a simple character to write. Start from the top. Draw a slightly curved vertical line, and "hook" it back up once you've reached the end of the line.
Image titled Jp k hg 3
Parallel from the first line, draw a vertical line roughly about half the size of the original line.
Image titled Jp k hg 4
Image titled Jp k hg 6
3
Finished.
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Method 2 of 2:
Writing in Kanji

For more advanced Japanese learners, it may be worth giving kanji a try.

Writing "Suki"

Image titled Jp sk k 1
1
Write a sharp line. To start writing the kanji for "suki", begin by drawing a vertical line from top-to-bottom that leans to the left. Then, change the direction it's moving in, so that the line, while still vertical, is directing towards the right.
Image titled Jp sk k 2
2
Draw a sharp curve. The second stroke in the kanji is somewhat similar to writing a "fu" in katakana (フ), so imitate the stroke order and simply stretch it out.
Image titled Jp sk k 5
3
Imitate the kanji for "ko" (子). To the right of the symbol you just wrote will be an imitation of the kanji 子, but smaller. Start by drawing a horizontal line, going from left to right. Then make a sharp diagonal angle back inwards, stopping when your pen or pencil is perpendicular to the center of the horizontal line. Continue writing, but vertically, until you reach the bottom of the line you're writing on; once the line is that long, curve it back upwards a small amount.
Image titled Jp sk k 3
Where the diagonal line becomes vertical, draw a horizontal line going from left to right.
Image titled Jp sk k 4
Image titled Jp sk k 9
4
Write Ki (き) . The "ki" sound in 好き isn't connected to the kanji like one might expect - rather, the kanji is simply for the "su" sound, and hiragana is used for the "ki" sound. Writing き should be easy enough if you've practiced it enough times, however. Write a short horizontal line, going from left to right.
Image titled Jp sk k 6
Underneath the first line, write a slightly longer horizontal line. Again, go from left to right.
Image titled Jp sk k 7
Starting above the center of the shorter horizontal line, draw a vertical line that slopes slightly to the right. After you've crossed both horizontal lines, swoop the line to the left and curve it back to the right, stopping once you're about a third of the way from connecting to the vertical line.
Image titled Jp sk k 8
Image titled Jp sk k 10
5
Finished.
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Writing "Ai"

Image titled Jp ai k 1 1
1
Draw a curved line. To begin writing the kanji for "ai", start between the center and the top of the line and draw a slightly curved line, going from left to right.
Image titled Jp ai k 4 5
2
Make three small dashes. Underneath your first stroke for the kanji, write three short, slightly tilted lines. Start with the leftmost dash, and write from top to bottom. This dash starts slightly to the left of where the first stroke started, and it doesn't matter whether it connects to your first stroke or not.
Image titled Jp ai k 2
Continue to the center dash. This dash is written exactly like the previous one, except it's centered rather than to the left.
Image titled Jp ai k 3
Move to the rightmost dash. This stroke is also top to bottom, but is diagonal going from right to left rather than left to right.
Image titled Jp ai k 4
Image titled Jp ai k 5
3
Write a dash. Underneath and to the left of the three dashes, write a slightly diagonal line going from top to bottom. This dash should be short.
Image titled Jp ai k 6
4
Write a hooked line. Starting next to the top of the dash you just wrote, write a straight line, then "hook" it back around once it's longer than the first stroke you made (the curved line).
Image titled Jp ai k 7
5
Write another dash. To the left of the hooked line, draw a slightly diagonal dash going from top to bottom. The dash should be going left to right.
Image titled Jp ai k 8
6
Draw another hooked line. Next to the dash you just wrote, draw a line that hooks upwards, going from left to right. It should be shorter than the first hooked line.
Image titled Jp ai k 9
7
Draw a small dash. Above the center of the hooked line, draw a diagonal, slightly curved dash going from left to right. The dash should be extremely short.
Image titled Jp ai k 10
8
Write a dash. To the right of your second hooked line, draw a diagonal dash that tips from left to right. Write it from top to bottom.
Image titled Jp ai k 11
9
Write another dash. Underneath and to the left of the second hooked line, write a short stroke resembling a dash. It should tip from right to left.
Image titled Jp ai k 12
10
Write a "fu" in katakana. Starting where the last dash started, write "fu" (フ) in katakana and lengthen the lower stroke until it's about the length of the stroke it's connected to.
Image titled Jp ai k 13
11
Write a curved stroke. Starting halfway down the stroke written before the previous one, write a curved line going from left to right. The stroke should end where the previous stroke curves.
Image titled Jp ai k 14
12
Finished.
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Writing "Koi"

Image titled Jp k k 1
1
Draw a short line. The first stroke in the kanji for "koi" is a simple short line, centered above where the rest of the kanji will be written. This line is drawn diagonally from top to bottom.
Image titled Jp k k 2
2
Draw a horizontal line. The next stroke is a horizontal line that is much longer than the line you initially drew. It should converge with your first stroke, and goes from left to right. If you're having trouble getting it to look right, think of it as drawing a flat lid to a jar. The short vertical stroke (the "handle") will be in the center, connecting with the actual "lid" (the horizontal stroke) of the jar.
Image titled Jp k k 3
3
Write a curved line. Starting from the top and writing vertically, create a line curving out to the left. This line will be under the horizontal line you wrote before, and to the left of where the first stroke ends.
Image titled Jp k k 4
4
Write a line with a sharp angle. Parallel to where your curved line started, write a vertical line from top to bottom. Once the line is at a certain length, create a short, sharp angle that goes diagonally and to the left.
Image titled Jp k k 5
5
Make a small dash. To the left of the curved line, write a quick dash from top to bottom that's roughly perpendicular to the curved line. The dash should bend outwards, similar to the curved line next to it.
Image titled Jp k k 6
6
Write another dash. From top to bottom, write a diagonal dash next to the angled line. This dash extends out to the left and looks like it's somewhat close to being horizontal.
Image titled Jp k k 7
7
Write a third dash. Below all the aforementioned lines, write a slightly diagonal dash starting from top to bottom. The line should curve out to the left, but only slightly so.
Image titled Jp k k 8
8
Draw a "hook". Starting from the left, write a stroke that looks somewhat like a hook. The "hook" should be slightly diagonal so that the curved section becomes the lowest part of the kanji.
Image titled Jp k k 9
9
Write a small curve. Above the hook and centered between the two lines in the middle of the kanji, write a small, U-shaped curve.
Image titled Jp k k 10
10
Write the last stroke. The last stroke of the kanji is simply a slightly curved line, similar to the one above where it should be written. It should be written from left to right, and rest slightly above and off to the side of the "hook" that was written earlier.
Image titled Jp k k 11
11
Finished.
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