I was looking at the stroke order for 球, and I noticed that in the 求 component there's a diagonal stroke that is written upwards, which is rather unusual to me (fourth stroke):

enter image description here

I would have drawn all of them from top to bottom, like in 商 that also has 4 small diagonal strokes (although they come from different components). Why is it the case in 求? Is it an exception, or a rule that is applied in a way I don't understand?

Interestingly, in 球 there's another "upstroke", but that one didn't surprise me. The last stroke of the 王 component is slightly tilted to ease into the next stroke:

enter image description here

I also found it in the water radical 氵. Is this what happens in 求?

In general, when does a kanji stroke go up? Does it happen in other kanji?

  • I don't know much about Kanji's rule, but since there are more right handed people, we usually draw a line from left to right. I guess that that line just tilts more than any other line. This is just my opinion though
    – ra1ned
    Commented Mar 23, 2022 at 15:13
  • @ra1ned I understand why some strokes are tilted, but the 4th stroke of 求 doesn't seem to be. Why is it drawn from the bottom up and not from the top down like stroke 3, 5 and 6? Commented Mar 23, 2022 at 15:50
  • Just an opinion; but the kanji used today evolved from previous simpler characters used in China; maybe those simpler characters had shapes that justified this upward stroke Commented Apr 2, 2022 at 15:36

1 Answer 1


Kanji stroke order is made so that the character is easy to write with a brush (for calligraphy etc.) In the case of 求, the ending point of the 4th stroke makes it easier to start the 5th stroke. If the 4th stroke was written from top to bottom, the brush wouldn't flow that easily. As you noticed in 球, the 4th stroke goes upwards to flow into the next stroke. Same logic for 求。

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