Japanese language is an Eastern-Asiatic language. First type of language, which appeared in III century, developed under Chinese influence. Since XV century it was under European influence and from the end of XIX century we can say about "nationalwide" language.
People in Japan write and read from up to down, from right to left side. Most of books and newspapers are read from the end - by European.
In Japanese language are many words which sound identically but mean something else. Different words should be used in conversation with the aged, different when talk with boss or family. Women talk different from men. There are even words, which are used only by women.
Kaniji signs came to Japan from China in V century.
Single sign is one word but to signs together can have different meaning. There is about 50 000 signs of kaniji and many Japanese want to know them all. It might be difficult to learn Japanese not only because of amount of signs. Sometimes one sign can be said in different ways.
Very important is calligraphy,which is a part of an art. People learn how to write in school. Whole kanji sign is made from few strokes. Each have to be put in righht order. Brush hahe to be hold at a right angle and push with proper strength.
Hiragana is syllabic script. Every sentence written in kanji can be also write in hiragana.This script is simple to write, that's why children in kindergatden are learning it. Many books for children are written only in hiragana.< br>First only women used hiragana, because they didn't have to learn more difficult script.
Katagana is an equivalent of hiragana. It has 46 basic syllables. Difference is in use and shape. Katagana is used to write foregin words, like names or geografic names, which can't be write in kanji.