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 JIS code Unicode Name or names Usage
Repetition marks [odoriji (踊り字), jōji (畳字)]
2139 3005noma (ノマ)
kurikaeshi (繰り返し)
dō no jiten (同の字点)

It is called noma because it looks like katakana no and ma).

This symbol originates from a simplified form of the character 仝, a variant of 同 written in the sōsho style. It is also called noma, because it looks like a katakana "no" and "ma" joined: ノマ.

It's used to show the repetition of the previous kanji or kana character.

2133 30FDkatakanagaeshi (かたかながえし)
kurikaeshi (くりかえし)
Repeat the previous katakana.
2134 30FEkatakanagaeshi (かたかながえし)
kurikaeshi (くりかえし)
Repeat the previous katakana with a nigori mark.
2135 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.
2136 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.
2137 3003nonoten (ノノ点) Ditto mark. It is called nonoten because it looks like two katakana nos
None 3033
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.
None 3034
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.
Brackets and quotation marks [kakko (括弧)]
「」 2156
kagi ()
kagikakko (鉤括弧)
These are the usual Japanese quotation marks.
『』 2158
kagi ()
nijūkagikakko (二重鉤括弧)
Japanese version of double quotes.
() 214A
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.
〔〕 214C
kikkō (亀甲) Used to insert comments into quoted text.
[] 214E
kakko (括弧)
kagikakko (鉤括弧)
{} 2150
bureesu (ブレース)
namikakko (波括弧)
nakakakko (中括弧)
〈〉 2152
kakko (括弧)
yamakakko (山括弧)
gyume (ギュメ)
yamagata (山がた)
ギュメ is from French "guillemet".
《》 2154
kakko (括弧)
nijūyamakakko (二重山括弧)
nijūgyume (二重ギュメ)
nijūyamagata (二重山がた)
【】 215A
kakko (括弧)
sumitsukikakko (すみつきかっこ)
Used in headings, for example in dictionary definitions.
Phonetic marks [hatsuonkigō (発音記号)]
2443 3063sokuon (促音) See What are the systems of romanization of Japanese? for details of how to produce a sokuon character on a word processor. See also What is that small at the end of a sentence? for one usage of this character.
213C 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?
212B 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.
212C 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)
2123 3002kuten (句点)
maru ()
The Japanese equivalent of the period, "." or full stop. Marks the end of a sentence.
2122 3001tōten (読点) Japanese equivalent of a comma.
2126 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
213A 3006shime (しめ) This character is used to write shime in shimekiri (deadline) etc.
2141 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".
2144 2026tensen (点線) A line of dots, or ellipsis.
None 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.
2228 203Bkome ()
komejirushi (米印)
This symbol is used in notes (chū, 注). See also jekai's page about komejirushi.
2176 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.
222E 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.
None 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.
Organization marks
2229 3012yūbin (郵便) Used to indicate post offices on maps, and printed before postcodes. See also How does the Japanese addressing system work?
None 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.
None 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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