I've recently started writing in a genkouyoushi notebook for practice and I've been writing furigana along with it to reinforce the reading. I was wondering how Japanese writers typically write furigana for jukugo or other multi-character words. Do I write the entire word out first, then write the furigana for all of the characters in the word, or do I write the furigana for each character as I write that character, even in the middle of writing a word?

At first it seemed most straightforward to write the furigana immediately as I write each character, but I found myself saying in my head the reading of individual characters twice and it became hard to think about, so I thought maybe it was better to write the whole word and then come back and write the furigana.

Is there a best practice? Or is it "just do what works for you"?

  • 7
    Do I write the entire word out first, then write the furigana for all of the characters in the word <-- That's what I usually do (or did as a student)... 決まりとかないと思うので、まあ好きにしはったら・・・(笑)
    – chocolate
    Commented Oct 16, 2017 at 9:22
  • different people's brains work differently so the the best way to learn I think depends on the person. That said its always worth trying to do keep a variety of strategies... Over time you'll hopefully realise which ones work for you
    – Pootan
    Commented Oct 16, 2017 at 22:00
  • Protip: Stop using furigana when you write. When they're not there, it forces your recall to work better.
    – istrasci
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 15:14

2 Answers 2


I would prefer kanji first as they pop into my mind when I write. Furigana is just an afterthought for the convenience of others. But I'm Chinese.

On the other hand, if you're used to the sound as the identifier of a word, I supposed you'd write that first for your convenience as well.

I'm not sure why people want to write kanjis then kana then kanji then kana. I see you find it a bit disrupting as well.

Either way, since the result is the same for others to see (unless we're talking about ink and smudges), you should feel guiltless for doing whatever you want.


Yes, there is a "best" (of course, what is best is in this case subjective) way of writing furigana, like this: 振{ふ}り仮{が}名{な}の書{か}き方{かた}.

Other methods are sometimes used in real scenarios (e.g. Newspapers), and then I've seen the furigana written in parenthesis after the whole word, even if the word consists of two kanji split by some okurigana.

  • 3
    I don't think they're asking where the furigana should go. I think they're asking what order to write the furigana in, when writing physically on paper.
    – user1478
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 16:28
  • You are probably correct. I tried to interpret the question in a way that it made sense, but my interpretation seems incorrect...
    – a20
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 17:40

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