Japanese characters back

Japanese characters, hiragana,
their alphabetic representation
and pronunciation


In Kenseikai's web pages, bold characters are standard representation of Japanese hiragana in alphabets. These representation is also commonly used in Japanese word processors. Therefore if you type the bold characters on your PCs which have an ability to convert alphabet into Japanese characters, you may easily get the corresponding Japanese hiragana or even Kanji characters.


There are two types of characters used in Japanese, one is kanji characters and the other is hiragana characters.
The former was imported long ago from China and each character has its own specific meaning. The latter was developed by people lived in Japan and each character represents its own sound.
The chart below shows hiraganas, alphabetic representation and their sound. Here the system called Hepburn system is used, it represent Japanese sound by a combination of a consonant and a vowel, like "k" and "a" make ka. In these pages, bold style characters are used to show that they are alphabetic representation of hiragana.

a a , "u" of "sun" i i , "ea" of "eat" u u , "woo" of "wood" e e , "e" of "empty" o o ,"o" of "on"
k ka ka, "cu" of "cut" ki ki , "ki" of "kick" ku ku ,"c" fo "craft" ke ke , "ke" of "kettle" ko ko , "co" of "cotton"
s sa sa, "sa" of "sad" shi si, "she", may be written as shi su su, "Su" of "Susan" se se, "se" of "send" so so, "so" of "socks"
t ta ta, "tu" of "turn" chi ti, "ch" of "church",
may be written as chi
tsu tu, "t's" of "let's", may be written as tsu te te, "ta" of "take" to to, "To" of "Tom"
n na na, "na" of "narrow" ni ni, "ni" of "Nick" nu nu, "noo" of "noon" ne ne, "ne" of "nest" no no, "no"
h ha ha, "ha" of "hat" hi hi, "hi" of "hit" hu hu, "f" of "foot", may be written as fu. he he, "he" of "hell" ho ho, "ho" of "hot"
m ma ma, "Mo" of "Monday" mi mi, "mi" of "mirror" mu mu, "moo" of "moon" me me, "me" of "mess" mo mo, "mo" of "more"
y ya ya, "ya" of "yard" not used yu yu, "yo" of "you" not used yo yo, "yo" of "beyond"
r ra ra, "ru" of "run" ri ri, "li" of "little" ru ru, "loo" of "loop" re re, "le" of "length" ro ro, "ro" of "row"
w wa wa, "wa" of "watt" not used not used not used wo wo, same as o
nn nn, "nn" of "inn"

Following table shows a set of voiced consonant.

a a i i u u e e o o
g ga ga, "gu" of "gun" gi gi , "gui" of "guild" gu gu ,"goo" fo "goose" ge ge , "ge" of "get" go go , "go" of "god"
z za za, "ther" of "gather" zi zi, "zi" of "zipper", may be written as ji. ze zu, "zo" of "zoo" ze ze, "the" of "they" zo zo, "zo" of "zonbi"
d da da, "du" of "duck" di di,(*1), may be written as ji. du du, (*1), may be written as zu. de de, "de" of "desk" do do, "do" of "don't"
b ba ba, "ba" of "bar" bi bi, "be" of "become" bu bu, "bu" of "butcher" be be, "be" of "bell" bo bo, "bo" of "box"

*1: Nowadays there is no difference between the pronunciation of zi and di, or zu and du, but the coresponding characters are different. In Kenseikai's web pages, zi (ji) and di , and also ze and de, are used to show their difference in hiragana form. For example, jodandukijoudan duki is an upper punch and it is same as joudan zuki. However, the word is a combination of jodanjoudan, means upper, and tukituki, means punch, therefore the coresponding hiraganas are jodandukijoudan duki, not jodanzukijoudan zuki.


Following characters are used to represent plosive consonants.

a a i i u u e e o o
p pa pa, "pa" of "park" pi pi, "pi" of "picture" pu pu, "pu" of "push" pe pe, "pe" of "pepper" po po, "po" of "pot"

Followings is a tabel of compound characters used to represent diphthongs.

a a u u o o
ky kya kya, "ca" of "cat" kyu kyu ,"cu" fo "cute" kyo kyo
gy gya gya, "ga" of "gather" gyu gyu gyo gyo
sh sha sha, "shu" of "shut up" shu shu, "sho" of "shose" sho sho, "sho" of "shop"
zy ja zya, "ja" of "jazz", may be written as ja. ju zyu, "ju" of "juice", may be written as ju. jo zyo, "jo" of "jogging", may be written as jo.
ty cha tya, "cha" of "chat",
may be written as cha.
chu tyu, "che" of "chew",
may be written as chu.
cho tyo, "cho" of "chop",
may be written as cho.
ny nya nya, "gnac" of "cognac" nyu nyu, "ne" of "news" nyo nyo
hy hya hya hyu hyu, "hu" of "human" hyo hyo
by bya bya byu byu, "bu" of "butiful" byo byo
py pya pya pyu pyu, "pu" of "pure". pyo pyo
my mya mya myu myu, "mu" of "mute" myo myo
ry rya rya ryu ryu, "lu" of "solution" ryo ryo

(C)Copy right, K.Hayashi. This site was written and developed by Keijiro Hayashi in 1998. The same Keijiro Hayashi maintained and improved this site during the years: 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 continues to do so, and reserves all rights associated with the structure of this site and the information available on this site.