The 5 Biggest Genkouyoushi Mistakes You can Easily Avoid

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Have you ever tried to write Japanese on Genkouyoushi?

Genkouyoushi げんこうようし is Japanese squared writing paper. Japanese kids use it in school for composition.

Genkō yōshi
Genkō yōshi (原稿用紙, “manuscript paper”) is a type of Japanese paper used for writing. It is printed with squares, typically 200 or 400 per sheet, each square

Some Japanese exams provide Genkouyoushi for writing test. It raises interest among Japanese learners in Genkouyoushi.

But, unfortunately, not many people know how to use Genkouyoushi, this Japanese style squared paper properly.

It is because most Japanese textbooks are written in horizontally, and they don’t show you how to write on Genkouyoushi. You don’t have many opportunities to see examples of Genkuyoushi writing.

As a Japanese teacher, I found several common mistakes people made. Once you read this article, you can easily avoid them!

Let’s start!

Mistake 1 Starting Point

Start writing from the top left, not the top right.

Genkouyoushi mistake No.1 Starting point

The Japanese language has two versions of writings, horizontal and vertical, which not many languages have.

It’s confusing.

Many people know that, if you write horizontally, you write from left to right. If you write vertically, you write from top to bottom.

But some people don’t know when you write vertically, you start from the right top corner and write to the bottom. When you write the following line, it should be on the left of the previous line.

It looks like this.

How to write Japanese on Genkouyoushi correctly

Mistake 2 Paragraph

Miss one blank line to start a new paragraph.

Genkouyoushi mistake No. 2 Paragraph

This is also a common mistake.

When you start a new paragraph, the top cell of a new like should be blank. Your writing starts with a second cell.

How to start paragraph on Genkouyoushi correctly

Mistake 3 Comma and Period (Full-stop)

Write a comma or a period in the same cell as a letter.

Genkouyoushi mistake No. 3 comma and period

This is a tricky part. In most cases, you need to give one cell to write a comma, called 読点(とうてん)or a period, called 句点(くてん).

how to write comma or period on Genkouyoushi

However, you cannot put a comma or a period into a top cell of a new line; you need to put it into the last cell of a previous line.

See the example below.

how to write comma or period on Genkouyoushi

Mistake 4 Small letters

Write a small letter, such as ぎゅ, in one cell.

Genkouyoushi mistake No. 4 small letters

Small letters, such as ゃ、ゅ、ょ、っ should be in one cell.

Look at the example.

How to write small letters on Genkouyoushi

If these letters come to a top cell, it’s OK. But if you’d like, you can place them in the last cell in a previous line.

Mistake 5 Quotation mark

Write a quotation mark and a letter in the same cell

Genkouyoushi mistake No. 5 Quotation mark

Please give one cell for each quotation mark.

How to use quatation mark on genkouyoushi correctly

At the end of a quote, a period and a quotation mark are in the same cell.

How to use quatation mark on genkouyoushi correctly

If it’s happened in the last cell, please write a letter, a period and a quotation mark in the same cell. Quite crowded!

How to use quatation mark on genkouyoushi correctly

Write Japanese composition on Genkouyoushi with confidence!

Now you know how to avoid these sinful mistakes and write Japanese on Genkouyoushi better than before.

If you’d like to step forward to write Japanese with confidence, I recommend my Nihongo Notebook series.

This notebook series is NOT just another genkouyoushi notebook.

It includes useful information such as the rules of vertical writings (did you know the difference between horizontal writings and vertical writings?), the Genkouyoushi exercises to write accurately, the checklists to revise your composition and more!

Chose your favourite cover, and click the button to order on Amazon.

It will help your Japanese composition to the next level!

Have you ever tried written Japanese on Genkouyoushi? What is your biggest problem?

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This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Charles O'Flynn

    Hi, Asuka san,
    I’m very well thank you and I hope you are too. If the majority of your audience is from the US, I will swallow hard and deep and learn to read American 😉.
    Take care,

  2. Asuka

    Hi, Charles san,
    Glad to hear from you! How are you?

    About Spelling, it’s tricky isn’t it?

    I use American spellings as currently, more than two-thirds of my audience is from the US, and also, British people and those who from other countries get used to reading American spellings.
    I added the British spellings in the brackets.
    Hope it helps!

  3. Charles O'Flynn

    Hi Asuka sensei,
    Might I make a suggestion, please? If you have a mainly UK audience in these emails, (and only you know that), you may wish to consider using the expression ‘full stop’ instead of ‘period’ when describing the character delineating the end of a sentence. I was joking with your husband about your American English education in Japan when I met him a couple of years ago and we were laughing about it.
    Either way, it’s really great to hear from you again 😊.