Why are election candidates' names written in hiragana?

Japanese local election posters. Photo by kyu3
CC licence

Most Japanese people's names are written in kanji, particularly surnames. See How do Japanese names work? for more details. However, politicians commonly write their names in hiragana.

Japanese elections require the voter to write the name of the person they choose. Some Japanese people are not good at writing kanji. Hiragana is easier to write than kanji and there is less chance of an error. Thus politicians use either simple kanji or hiragana. For example politician Yūya Niwa, whose kanji name is 丹羽 雄哉, uses the hiragana form にわゆうや for his election name.


  1. なぜ選挙の立候補者は自分の名前をひらがなで表 at Yahoo! Chiebukoro
  2. 選挙で、候補者の名前を投票用紙に書き間違ってしまったらどうなるの? by 大越行政法務事務所


Photo by kyu3 of Photozou.

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