Fun with Kanji Fonts

Here are the Kanji I’ve been focusing on this week (level 11). To mix up the presentation, I’m showing off some free kanji fonts I downloaded. Jitai, one of the WaniKani addons, lets me mix up the font so I get used to seeing kanji in various styles and handwriting in my WaniKani drills. Since my goal is to read Japanese fairly well, this addon was a must for me to use. Plus it adds some unexpected fun to my drills, I never know what my kanji are going to look like!

I chose a variety of handwriting and typed fonts that appealed to me, and will showcase a few of my favorites. All are free to use and have links to the download in their titles.

How to Use these Fonts in WaniKani

To add these fonts, just download them, open up the font file, and there’s a button to install them. Then you open up your Jitai script and inside it will tell you where you can add your font names. Some of these are already added in the script, so will show up if you have them installed. Fire up your drills, and you’ll start seeing some fun, new fonts! (If this is too confusing, let me know, I’ll write up a detailed post on how to do it.)

Mushin Font

Below is a very blocky style, I can hardly recognize kanji characters that I’m used to seeing with slides and curves. It’s a handwritten font. I also added some sentence grammar I’ve learned this past week in NihongoMaster to this first image.

Mushin

Mushin font

  • Hiragana and Katakana
  • Kanji (JIS Level 1 + 2)
  • Numbers
  • Symbols and Punctuation

 

Mamelon font

Somewhat similar to the above, but a more upright, rounded edge design.

Mamelon

Mamelon font

  • Hiragana and Katakana
  • Kanji (JIS Level 2 + 15 kanji from IBM Extended)
  • Numbers
  • Symbols and Punctuation

 

Hoso fuwa font

Handwriting font written with a fine tip pen, cheerful style.

Hosofuwafont

Hoso Fuwa font

  • Hiragana and Katakana
  • Kanji (JIS Level 1)
  • Numbers
  • Symbols and Punctuation

 

KF Himaji font

Super cute, fun handwriting font!  Hima (ひま) means spare time/leisure.

Note: The creator of this font states that you can’t use this font if you don’t know Japanese.  http://www.kfstudio.net

KF Himaji

KF Himaji

  • Hiragana
  • Katakana
  • Alphanumeric
  • JIS first standard kanji
  • JIS second standard kanji
  • Punctuations and symbols
  • and more!

 

Aoyagi Reisho Font

Japanese calligraphy style font written by a famous calligrapher Aoyagi Kouzan. It may take me some practice figuring some of these out, but it looks pretty awesome.

Aoyagi Reisho font

  • Hiragana and Katakana
  • Alphanumeric
  • Kanji (Level 1)
  • Punctuations and symbols

 

Armed Banana font

This one is pretty crazy, I can barely recognize any of them! It is a pen writing style font. Very cool, but I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to it, haha.

Armed Banana

Armed Banana

  • Hiragana
  • Katakana
  • Alphanumeric
  • Kanji (JIS Level 2)
  • Punctuations and symbols

The default WaniKani font

Doing this post was more fun than I expected! Maybe I’ll show off other favorites I’ve been using in a later post. But I can’t stop until I’ve shown the default WaniKani font we are all familiar with.

Compare these to the above styles! Can you see the similarities? The differences?

Do you have a favorite font? Let me know!

A Wild Pikachu Appears -To Demonstrate Positions

To express positions in Japanese, we use the particle の to link a noun to a position word. The lovable Pikachu will demonstrate these positional phrases by hiding in various places.

Before we start, let’s familiarize ourselves with the grammar involved.

Post-position Grammar

Japanese is a post-positional language, unlike English, which generally uses prepositions. Both preposition and post-positions combine a noun (noun phrase). As determined by the prefix (pre/post) – the preposition comes before and the post-position comes after the noun phrase. Since Japanese uses post-positions, the noun comes first, and  the position word follows. The particle の connects the two. This is the particle used when describing possession, which makes sense here.

[noun] + + [position word] + (に or で)

 

Right of the Flowers – 花の右

Here Pikachu is hiding to the right of two pink tulip flowers. Using the formula above, the noun flowers (はな) comes first, then の, and finally the position word, right (みぎ).

Full sentence? ピカチュウは花の右にあります。

To be honest, I’m not sure whether to use いる (animate) or ある (inanimate) for this Pikachu. Since this one is stuffed and doesn’t move, I’ll use ある.

Pikachu is right of the flowers. 花のみぎ

Pikachu is right of the flowers. 花のみぎ

Sound fun? Let’s learn more! Below is a table with the most common positional words. As with most tables on my blog, you can conveniently sort and search. I’m only using the most basic nouns that hopefully you will know if you have a few months of Japanese under your belt.

Position Nouns

KanjiKanaRomajiMeaning
うえueabove; over; top
したshitabelow; under; bottom
みぎmigiright
ひだりhidarileft
なかnakamiddle; inside
そとsotooutside
まえmaefront; before
後ろうしろushirobehind; back
そばsobanext to
へんhenaround here; near
あいだaidain between

Left of the Stone – 石の左

Next up, one of the first kanji I ever learned – 石 – stone. Pikachu is to the left of the stone.

ピカチュウは石の左側にあります。

Gawa (側) means “side”, so 左側 means left side.

Left of the stone - 石の左

Left of the stone - 石の左

When taking these pictures, I know now that I should’ve spent the extra time making the noun a different color than the positional nouns, but I had a frantic dog (you will see at the end) going crazy in the backyard wondering what I was up to.

Under the Tree – 木の下

I felt like an idiot scooting around on my belly to get this picture and make sure the lowest swooping branches of the tree were included, just like the kanji character!

Under the tree - 木の下着

Under the tree – 木の下着

In Front of the Gate – ゲートの前に

He’s small, but he’s in the picture, almost buried in leaves!

In Front of the Gate

In Front of the Gate

I had to stop here, this is where my dog was able to get too close to Pikachu… I don’t want this to happen…

ピカチュウは私の犬の口の中にあります。
Pikachū wa watashi no inu no kuchi no naka ni arimasu.
Pikachu is inside my dog’s mouth!

My dog thinks any stuffed animal is her domain and supposed to be ripped to shreds. 🙁

Not safe around inu!

Not safe around inu!

Inside the Poké Ball  – ポケボールの中

Rather, let’s put him in a place where he’d be more comfortable… Until next time!

ピカチュウはポケボールの中にいる。

I Choose You!

I Choose You!

Thanks to…

Thank you to my assistant, my lovely daughter who went around with Pikachu and a basket to place all the chalkboards while I shot the photos! Everytime I called her “Assistant”, she asked me if I was going to call her Christina next (from Stein’s Gate’s Kurisa).