|sci.lang.japan FAQ / 1. Writing / 1.3. Other questions on writing|
|Furigana on "Fuji-san",|
the name of Mount Fuji
Furigana (振仮名), also known as rubi (ルビ) or rubii (ルビー) from "ruby", the name of the size of the type used to print them, are small kana characters placed adjacent to kanji to indicate the pronunciation.
These small characters are used most extensively on books for Japanese children, but they are also used to write difficult-to-read characters in adult books. They are also used in textbooks for students of the Japanese language. Using ruby characters on all kanji is called sōrubi (総ルビ).
On forms, there is usually a space for the person's name in both kanji and furigana. This is because kanji names may be hard to read or ambiguous. See 9.2. How can I read a Japanese name?
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