If you’ve ever entertained the notion of studying Japanese, at some point you’ll find yourself faced with the task of learning the language’s intricate writing system. The good news is that as long as you can write the strictly phonetic script sets, hiragana and katakana, and don’t mind everything you write looking like it was written by a first grader, you don’t necessarily have to know kanji.

But whether you go on to become a kanji master or not, most beginners usually start out learning hiragana first. In the past we introduced a number of handy Japanese study resources, but unfortunately we didn’t include anything for basic hiragana writing skills. So today we’d like to make-up for that by introducing this humorous hiragana study chart that has Japanese users on Twitter chuckling and doing some serious self-reflection.

sinrinet is the official Twitter account of the Yuu Mental Clinics, a group of mental health clinics based in Tokyo which specialize in treating different mental and stress-related issues through manga. With a number of accompanying manga-style books already under their belt, the clinic’s most recent offerings are these hiragana charts with the message:

▼ “This is a Hiragana Chart. Children and foreigners, please use it to practice. And if you’ve checked off five or more, you need to take special care!”

While we’ve reported on studies about how anime and manga are great Japanese study tools before, I don’t think this is the kind of reading material experts had in mind. This hiragana chart isn’t like anything you’ll find in your Japanese 101 textbook.

Although we’re not sure how many Japanese have actually shown the chart to their elementary school-aged children or random foreigners on the street, it looks like most users are just amused trying to see how few or how many of the items they end up checking off. So in a way you could say the chart also promotes the kind of mental well-being Yuu Mental Clinics are popular for, if you go by the saying that laughter is the best medicine.

For those of you with a good amount of Japanese under your belt, the original set could also double as a dirty version of the card game karuta and really spice up your next party, unless of course your next party happens to be a work-related one. In that case it’s probably better to hold off, as we wouldn’t want you to end up like the guy on “wa“.

However, for those of you not quite that fluent in Japanese yet, here’s an easier-to-read version that will hopefully teach you some colorful new Japanese vocabulary along with the basic hiragana alphabet:



Of course, we hope none of our readers ever find themselves actually having to use any of these phrases in real life. Or even worse, we hope none of you checked off more than five boxes. If you did, you might want to consider making an appointment at Yuu Mental Clinic asap!

And as a bonus for those of you considering dipping your toes in the hiragana study water, here’s the romaji both each images of the chart as read from right to left, top to bottom :

あ(a) asagaeri, い(i) ichiyakagiri, う(u) uma ni onari, え(e) enzai, お(o) oppai
か(ka) kamen fuufu, き(ki) kinou to onaji fuku, く(ku) kuji kara goji to kiita no ni, け(ke) kesshou ni damasarete, こ(ko) koibito ga deteru
さ(sa) sabishikatta no, し(shi)* jyukunen rikon – *used as じ/ji, す(su) suezen, せ(se) sekinin totte, そ(so) soine dake demo
た(ta)* dare no heapin – *used as だ/da, ち(chi) chijyo tte inai to ne, つ(tsu) tsubame, て(te)* deai wo kanede – used as で/de, と(to) towage no shippokiri
な(na) nakiotoshi, に(ni) niito, ぬ(nu) nukiuchi kitaku, ね(ne) netafuri, の(no) nonda ikioi

は(ha)* basuto – used as ば/ba, ひ(hi) hirou kossetsu, ふ(fu) fechi, へ(he) hentai, ほ(ho) hoshounin
ま(ma) maotoko, み(mi) minji fukainyuu, む(mu) mudage, め(me) me wo samase,も(mo) mousou
や(ya) yamikin, ゆ(yu) yuujyou fudan, よ(yo) yonige
ら(ra) raman – from French, l’amante, り(ri) ryouri dekiru tte itta yo ne, る(ru) rusu no aida ni, れ(re) reisen joutai, ろ rojyou seikatsu
わ(wa) watashi dake naze, を(wo, pronounced as o) otaku, ん(n) nn, mou dou demo ii desu

Source: Twitter/@sinrinet via  Wadai no Gazou
Top/insert images: Twitter/@sinrinet (edited by RocketNews24)