All About Japan

Kanjigram: An Adorable Way to Learn Japanese

Learning Japanese Deeper Japan

Film director and animator Ayako Hiroki, a graduate of the College of Art and Design at Musashino Art University in Tokyo, is using her knowledge of 3-D animation to make studying Japanese a lot more lively through her amazing Kanjigram videos.

One of the more difficult points of learning Japanese is trying to decipher the Chinese characters, or kanji, that make up a large part of Japanese writing. But, one film director and animator, Ayako Hiroki, is here to help you learn kanji in an adorable way. A graduate of the College of Art and Design at Musashino Art University in Tokyo, Ayako spent a few years working as a space designer before studying 3-D animation at Laputa Art Animation School. She has been a member of TECARAT, a craft team of Taiyo Kikaku, since 2016. Through this group, she has created Kanjigram. We had a chat with Ayako about this fun series.

How long does it take to make each Kanjigram video?

It takes about 1-3 days for planning, making props, shooting, editing and more for one kanji movie. I started the project in June 2017 and I have been making the videos for about half a year.

What's your favorite kanji?

I like 子 (ko), which means child. I really like this kanji's shape because it looks like a sleeping baby or a child who is spreading his hands and playing. This kanji is also used in my name.

What's your advice for people studying kanji?

Since each part of the kanji has its own meaning, I recommend learning kanji by enjoying it. I am making Kanjigram to convey the fun of knowing each kanji’s meanings. There are a lot of origins and meanings of kanji that even Japanese people do not know, so I am very happy to study this.

Where can we see more?

If you're interested in learning more about the Kanjigram series, a cute and effective way to learn Japanese, head over to the official Instagram or Twitter pages and stay updated with the latest pictures and videos.