The Japanese use thousands of Chinese characters called kanji in their writing. Kanji are used to denote nouns, adjectives, and even verb stems. They range from the ultra simple character for one (—) to characters that have so many strokes they look like smudges on the page.
Proper stroke order is essential to achieve the correct balance when writing kanji. Nowadays, with the popularity of word processors, many Japanese claim to be forgetting how to write kanji properly. This is similar to how Westerners are forgetting to spell since the advent of Spell Check. Once again, the East and West unite; this time, in laziness.