Pause(tome), Check(hane) and Sweep(harai) are the 3 fundamental ways to finish a hiragana stroke. They are like directions and guides to the next stroke. By practicing writing, you will be able to understand how necessary and natural it is.
Step 1. Sit up with your back straight. If you sit in the chair, your feet should be flat on the floor. Or you can sit in a Seiza position. Seiza is the formal and polite way to sit on Japanese Tatami floors. It can be translated “proper sitting” and naturally extends the spine and creates good posture.
Step 2. Hold your pen or pencil properly. Or try Japanese calligraphy Shodo with a brush. Shodo can be translated “the way of artistic hand writing or beautiful writing” and links Buddhism and Zen.
Step 3. Follow the Hiragana stroke order. Writing in the right order is important.
Traditionally, Japanese was only written vertically. Most of the Japanese newspapers and novels are written vertically though horizontal writing is also quite common. Both styles are used.