What are the names of the Japanese non-kana, non-kanji symbols?

It's quite difficult to find out the names of the common non-kanji and non-kana Japanese symbols. These symbols are called yakumono (約物) in Japanese. Here is a table of symbols, the hexadecimal JIS code and Unicode for the symbols for computer input, and the names for the symbols.

Symbol Unicode Names
Repetition marks [odoriji (踊リ字), jōji (畳字)]
U+3005noma (ノマ)
kurikaeshi (繰リ返シ)
dō no jiten (同ノ字点)

This symbol originates from a simplified form of the character 仝, a variant of 同 written in the sōsho (草書) style. It is called noma because it looks like katakana no () and ma ()). It's used to show the repetition of the previous kanji or kana character.

U+30FDkatakanagaeshi (かたかながえし)
kurikaeshi (くりかえし)
Repeat the previous katakana.
U+30FEkatakanagaeshi (かたかながえし)
kurikaeshi (くりかえし)
Repeat the previous katakana with a nigori mark.
U+309Dhiraganagaeshi (ひらがながえし)
kurikaeshi (くりかえし)
Repeat the previous hiragana. For example はは could be はゝ.
U+309Ehiraganagaeshi (ひらがながえし)
Repeat the previous hiragana with a nigori added. For example はば could be written はゞ.
U+3003nonoten (ノノ点)
Ditto mark. It is called nonoten because it looks like two katakana nos
kunojiten (くの字点)
This repetition mark is used in yokogaki (downwards) writing, (see Can Japanese be written right to left?) and it means repeat the previous two or more kana. Note that one symbol requires two Unicode characters.
kunojiten (くの字点)
This is the kunojiten mark with dakuten. The dakuten applies to the first character of the word. For example, tokorodokoro could be written vertically as ところ plus this mark. Note that one symbol requires two Unicode characters.
U+303Byusuriten (揺すり点)
ninojiten (二の字点)
Repeat the previous kanji with a kun reading. Used mostly in vertical writing. Now mostly replaced by 々.
Brackets and quotation marks [kakko (括弧)]
「」 U+300C
kagi ()
kagikakko (鉤括弧)

These are the usual Japanese quotation marks.
『』 U+300E
kagi ()
nijūkagikakko (二重鉤括弧)

Japanese version of double quotes.
() U+FF08
paaren (パーレン)
kakko (括弧)
marugakko (丸括弧)
shōkakkō (しょう括弧)

The word paaren is said to be an abbreviation of the German word for parentheses, although modern German uses the word "Klammer" for this symbol.
〔〕 U+3014
kikkō (亀甲)

Used to insert comments into quoted text.
[] U+FF3B
kakko (括弧)
kagikakko (鉤括弧)

{} U+FF5B
bureesu (ブレース)
namikakko (波括弧)
nakakakko (中括弧)

〈〉 U+3008
kakko (括弧)
yamakakko (山括弧)
gyume (ギュメ)
yamagata (山がた)
ギュメ is from French "guillemet".
《》 U+300A
kakko (括弧)
nijūyamakakko (二重山括弧)
nijūgyume (二重ギュメ)
nijūyamagata (二重山がた)

【】 U+3010
kakko (括弧)
sumitsukikakko (隅付き括弧)
sumitsukipaaren (隅付きパーレン)
futokikkō (太亀甲)
kurokikkō (黒亀甲)

Used in headings, for example in dictionary definitions.
〖〗 U+3016
sumitsukikakko (shiro) (すみ付き括弧(白))

Phonetic marks [hatsuonkigō (発音記号)]
U+3063sokuon (促音)
See How can I input small kana like ぃ, っ and ょ, or づ on a computer? for how to produce a sokuon character on a word processor. See What is that small at the end of a sentence? for one usage of this character.
U+30FCchōon (長音)
bōsen (棒線)
Indicates a lengthened vowel sound. Often used with katakana. The direction of writing depends on the direction of text. See Can Japanese be written right to left?
U+309Bdakuten (濁点)
nigori (濁り)
Used with hiragana or katakana to indicate a "voiced" sound. For example, this mark changes ta to da and shi to ji.
U+309Chandakuten (半濁点)
handaku (半濁)
Used with hiragana or katakana to indicate a change from a hahihuheho sound to a papipupepo sound.
Punctuation marks (kutōten 句読点)
U+3002kuten (句点)
maru ()
The Japanese equivalent of the period, "." or full stop. Marks the end of a sentence.
U+3001tōten (読点)
Japanese equivalent of a comma.
U+30FBnakaguro (中黒)
potsu (ぽつ)
nakaten (中点)
Used to separate items in lists and show the beginning and end of strings of katakana words. See What is used for?
Other special marks
U+3006shime (しめ)
This character is used to write shime in shimekiri (deadline) etc.
U+301Cnyoro (にょろ)
naishi (ないし)
nami ()
kara (から)
Used in "to from" constructions in Japanese, such as 月〜金曜日 "from Monday to Friday".
U+2026tensen (点線)
A line of dots, or ellipsis.
Nonebōten (傍点)
wakiten (脇点)
Adding these dots to the sides of characters emphasizes the character in question. It is the Japanese equivalent of the use of italics for emphasis in English.
U+203Bkome ()
komejirushi (米印)
This symbol is used in notes (chū, 注). See also jeKai's page about komejirushi (Archived copy at archive.org).
U+FF0Ahoshijirushi (星印)
asuterisuku (アステリスク)
This symbol is used in notes (chū, 注). See also jekai's page about komejirushi (Archived copy at archive.org).
U+3013getakigō (下駄記号)
This symbol is used for undecipherable handwritten kanji, kanji which have no typeface available, kanji which have no computer code point available, and as a substitute for unpublishable words.
U+30A0daburu haifun (ダブルハイフン)
This is often used when writing hyphenated loan words in Japanese, to avoid confusion with the chōon mark.
U+303Dioriten (庵点)
This mark is used to show the start of a singer's part of a song. For more details, see jeKai's page on the ioriten (Archived copy at archive.org).
Organization marks
U+3012yūbin (郵便)
Used to indicate post offices on maps, and printed before postcodes. See also How does the Japanese addressing system work?
U+3004jisuma-ku (ジスマーク)
nihon kōgyō kikaku (日本工業規格)
This mark on a product shows that it complies with a Japanese Industrial Standard. The mark displayed is the older version. In 2005 this was replaced with a new version.
U+3299maruhi (丸秘)
This means "secret".

Mathematical symbols

For mathematical symbols, please refer to How do I write or say a mathematical expression in Japanese?

Repetition marks

The repetition symbols described here are much less used nowadays than they were in the past. Odoriji (踊り字) and jōji (畳字), also known as hanpukukigou (反復記号) are general names for the repetition marks like 々 and ゞ. On a word processor, they can be obtained by typing dou (同), onaji (同じ) or onajiku (同じく). See also How can I input small kana like ぃ, っ and ょ, or づ on a computer?


The list of symbols was collected from newsgroup discussions, R. A. Miller's book 'A Japanese reader', several Japanese dictionaries, and the information in 'skkdic.el' in GNU Emacs. Thanks to Bart Mathias, Kouji Ueshiba, Anthony J. Bryant, Jeff Schrepfer, and roxfan for more corrections.

If you have questions, corrections, or comments, please contact Ben Bullock or use the discussion forum / Privacy policy

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