How To Learn Japanese Katakana in Under 1 Hour. Part 2

learn with japanesepod101 Hello Junkie!

I assume you’ve learned your Hiraganas and are coming from “Learn Katakana in Under 1 Hour Part 1. If you haven’t, I suggest starting here first:

Alright, want to learn to learn the Japanese Katakana FAST? Alright, lets start under these conditions.

  1. You actually try.
  2. You don’t aim for perfection. Only slow learners do that. (You’ll perfect ‘em all once you start reading and writing.)
  3. You skip the slow one character-at-a-time tutorials.
  4. You immediately jump into reading and writing right after you learn the alphabet. Otherwise, you’ll forget it as fast as you’ve learned it.

Ready? Good. This will take you an hour or less to get all the characters in your head so you can read and write Japanese. Will it be slow and awkward at first? Of course; just like your first kiss. But that’s how language goes and there’s no way around that.

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In part 2, we’re focusing on the final groups of Katakana. And, we’re starting from step 3 because we’ve covered the first two (getting a katakana sheet & writing out all the romanized characters.)

Step 3.1. Memorizing the last 5 groups.

So, going group by group, starting with the first one, you’re going to memorize JUST the English/Romanized parts. This is not hard at all because all mostly follow the A, I, U, E, O pattern. There are a few exceptions that are bolded below.

  • Sit down, take the first 5 groups and memorize them. We’ll do the first 5 for the sake of simplicity.
  • Say them out loud. Close your eyes. Write them down. This will take you a minute or three at most.
  1. HA, HI, HU, HE, HO
  2. MA, MI, MU, ME, MO
  3. YA, YU, YO
  4. RA, RI, RU, RE, RU
  5. WA, WO, N

Quick test: Can you repeat these 25 sounds without looking at this page? Yes? Good. Now, lets line them up with their Japanese Counterparts.

Step 4.1: Get acquainted with the stroke order for these characters.

Alright, get a pen and paper and write down the 5 groups you’ve memorized. Make sure to give yourself space to write in the corresponding katakana characters.

Done? Use this Katakana Chart, to see the stroke order and write the character. Forget perfection. We’ll get to that later.


So, now, your Romanized characters should be matched up with their Katakana equals. And if you left space between the letters as requested, it should look like this. Once again, don’t worry about perfect; we just need to get the job done.

Step 5.1 Write ‘em out.

Well you didn’t expect to learn them just by reading an article did you? Now that you’ve memorized the English/Romanized sounds and got some writing experiece down, we need to start practicing the katakana characters for each group.

  • So, once again, write down all 5 groups down the left side of a page like this.



Now, this is where the magic happens. Write the Katakana characters you just learned across the sheet for practice. It should look like this, if not messier than mine.


This entire guide should take you 1 hour if not less. Most of the time would go into writing these characters out, I assume.

Now, that you’re done, I recommend you jump into learning words, reading them and writing them down. Otherwise, you’ll forget these characters as fast as you’ve learned.

Questions? Thoughts? Comments? Leave them below.

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