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In most hiragana the horizonal stokes are drawn first, but も is an exception. Is there any reason for this?

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Thanks istrasci, I took your link and made an answer, hope you don't mind :D –  silvermaple Jan 2 '12 at 17:39
    
Oh, I just reread my comment and realized it sounds sarcastic, I didn't mean for it to come off like that... :( –  silvermaple Jan 2 '12 at 20:34
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If I was a rep-whore on this site, I'd probably be pissed. –  istrasci Jan 3 '12 at 2:58
    
I just don't want you to think I stole your answer and am trying to pretend I found it :) I just thought it was a good link :) –  silvermaple Jan 3 '12 at 3:54
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2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I think silvermaple's answer is right, but to add a little bit:

  • The katakana was derived from the 楷書体 (block writing) . The initial short stroke was dropped, ending up with two horizontal strokes, and then the vertical stroke.
  • The hiragana was derived from the 草書体 (script) , in which, for the sake of writing speed, the vertical stroke was conflated with and became part of the initial short stroke, ending up with the initial long stroke and then the two horizontal strokes.
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To quote Toritoribe from JapaneseReference (JRef.com) forums:

も was made from the 草書体[そうしょたい] of the kanji 毛[モウ, け]. So, the stroke order of も was also from the the stroke order of 毛. Incidentally, the stroke order is different in 楷書体[かいしょたい]. (The link of the wiktionary page doesn't work due to garbled characters. Please search 毛 on Wiktionary. The page has the flash of the stroke order.)

And then, on why and have different stroke orders, and the origins of , , and :

モ was made from 毛 in 楷書体 unlike も. That's why those two kanas have different stroke orders.

ね, わ, れ are from the 草書体 of 祢, 和, 礼 respectively

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I read somewhere in the FAQ that it's okay to quote other forums as long as due credit is given. Hopefully I did that okay; I didn't change any of the wording of his answers, but I didn't re-add the links in his answers (Should I have?). ^.^ –  silvermaple Jan 2 '12 at 17:46
    
Does this say that the cursive of 毛 is も? –  Louis Jan 2 '12 at 17:53
    
@Louis: Cursive? –  silvermaple Jan 2 '12 at 20:30
    
the 草書体. Kinda confused about whether 毛 and も are the same in 草書体. –  Louis Jan 2 '12 at 20:37
    
@Louis Oh! Duh! I think it's saying that's the other way around... –  silvermaple Jan 2 '12 at 20:41
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