There are two syllabaries— hiragana and katakana —which have characters for each basic mora syllable. Along with the syllabaries, there are also kanji , which is a writing system based on Chinese characters. However, kanji have changed since their adoption, so it would not be recommended to learn both Chinese and Japanese writing at the same time. Wikipedia has related information at kanji. The kanji are logograms pictures representing words , or symbols, that each represent a morpheme words or parts of words.