Katakana-A I U E O

First up are the core vowel characters. These are important to learn as they make up the foundation of the other characters going forward.

This is a simple lesson. Unfortunately katakana has a few curve balls it will throw at you later.


Note: Tap each character to hear native speakers pronounce them.

  • → a (like “ah”)
  • → i (like “E”)
  • → u (like “ooh”)
  • → e (like “A”)
  • → o (like “oh”)


アイウエオ are the core vowel sounds in the Japanese language. They form the katakana syllabary when combined with the K, S, T, N, H, M, Y, R, W consonants.

Just like in the hiragana course, we’ll go through each set individually — and weave them all together over each lesson.

Recall Practice

It’s time to practice. Click the “Begin Recall Practice” button below and then practice until you can answer every character easily. It’s not graded; nothing is tracked.

Good job! Continue practicing until you can confidently identify each character with ease. Click the buttons below to restart the practice (challenge yourself with inverted and challenge mode).

Once this practice feels easy to you it’s time to take a break and then move on to the next lesson.