I've noticed that certain hiragan characters are written in the same way. For example one could look at の め あ ぬ as progressions on a similar theme. If I could put it crudely, we have swoop, line+swoop, line+cross+swoop, line+swoop+loop.
Other groups of similar construction include: き さ て ち る ろ - characters with a hook け は ま ほ よ お お - cross-first T loops れ ね わ - 3-part Ts
These may just be visual consequences of a limited number of paint strokes but I'm hoping there is some relationship here. I certainly don't see a phonetic connection.
Folks I realize that some of you have taken my question to mean that I'm expecting the kana to be decomposed into different semantic elements. I know that they have individually evolved from different kanji, but they have simplified into forms that are very similar. I saw another question where someone responded along the same lines saying that t is not l with another line and b is not L+o, etc. but they are groups of letters in the Latin alphabet that are written in similar ways and students who are learning the characters do practice them in groups. For example, n, m, u, r, and h are practiced together because of a similar structure. Morever, the elements of the characters do have names. The dot on the i and j is called a jot. The cross on the t is a title.
Getting back to my question, are there terms used in Japanese to teach the very similar characters? Maybe elements of the character that are used? I'm imagining some 6 year old being told by his teacher to make all the swoops the same in の め あ and ぬ. I say swoops because I don't have a better name for what this might be. Or the Z shapes in れ, わ, and ね. Surely there are grade school workbooks where they teach the young students to draw those zig zags in the same way on all three characters.