There are 2 strokes. Let's call the short horizontal stroke A and the vertical-curving-to-horizontal stroke B.

Some sources suggest the stroke order AB while other sources suggest BA.

The katakana ヒ comes from the character 世 which when considering the relevant strokes follows the order AB.

Is there an official order of the katakana strokes available somewhere ?


Typically, it is not a matter of AB vs. BA (the correct order is AB), but a matter of which direction is the A stroke written; is it left-to-right, or right-to-left?

There are numerous sources that claim it should be left-to-right.

From kakijun.jp:


However, there are other sources that claim it should be from right-to-left; like a more (but not completely) horizontal katakana ノ.

Also from kakijun.jp:


This page explains more about each of these two theories, and a "conclusion". It's all in Japanese, so for those who can't read it all, here's the gist of it:

  1. The left-to-right direction originated with textbook publishers. Before 1992 (平成4), they were split on the direction of the stroke. Then in 2005 (平成17), they settled on the left-to-right direction. This is the direction that is taught in elementary schools.
  2. The right-to-left direction is due to the fact that the katakana ヒ is derived from the right side of the kanji (not sure where you saw that it is derived from 世), where the stroke order of the A on the right side is written from right-to-left:


So the "conclusion" is that typically you write it left-to-right for 硬筆 (writing w/ a pen or pencil), and right-to-left for calligraphy (書道). But it's OK to do whichever is more natural or comfortable for you. I guess you could say that of kana/kanji in general, but even if you're a purist, this character is still ambiguous.

I personally do it from right-to-left like a flatter ノ, but that may be because it feels more natural to me as a lefty.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.