Japanese/Kana chart

Hiragana and katakana are both kana systems. With one or two minor exceptions, each sound in the Japanese language (strictly, each mora) is represented by one character (or one digraph) in each system. This may be either a vowel such as “a” (hiragana あ); a consonant followed by a vowel such as “ka” (か); or “n” (ん), a nasal sonorant which, depending on the context, sounds either like English mn, or ng, or like the nasal vowels of French. Because the characters of the kana do not represent single consonants (except in the case of ん “n”), the kana are referred to as syllabaries and not alphabets.

Hiragana is used to write okurigana (kana suffixes following a kanji root, for example to inflect verbs and adjectives), various grammatical and function words including particles, as well as miscellaneous other native words for which there are no kanji or whose kanji form is obscure or too formal for the writing purpose. Words that do have common kanji renditions may also sometimes be written instead in hiragana, according to an individual author’s preference, for example to impart an informal feel. Hiragana is also used to write furigana, a reading aid that shows the pronunciation of kanji characters.

There are two main systems of ordering hiragana: the old-fashioned iroha ordering and the more prevalent gojūon ordering.


Base Kana (clear sounds) Compound sounds
あ a ア い i イ う u ウ え e エ お o オ (ゃ ya ャ) (ゅ yu ュ) (ょ yo ョ)
か ka カ き ki キ く ku ク け ke ケ こ ko コ きゃ kya キャ きゅ kyu キュ きょ kyo キョ
さ sa サ し shi シ す su ス せ se セ そ so ソ しゃ sha シャ しゅ shu シュ しょ sho ショ
た ta タ ち chi チ つ tsu ツ て te テ と to ト ちゃ cha チャ ちゅ chu チュ ちょ cho チョ
な na ナ に ni ニ ぬ nu ヌ ね ne ネ の no ノ にゃ nya ニャ にゅ nyu ニュ にょ nyo ニョ
は ha ハ ひ hi ヒ ふ fu フ へ he ヘ ほ ho ホ ひゃ hya ヒャ ひゅ hyu ヒュ ひょ hyo ヒョ
ま ma マ み mi ミ む mu ム め me メ も mo モ みゃ mya ミャ みゅ myu ミュ みょ myo ミョ
や ya ヤ ゆ yu ユ よ yo ヨ
ら ra ラ り ri リ る ru ル れ re レ ろ ro ロ りゃ rya リャ りゅ ryu リュ りょ ryo リョ
わ wa ワ  wi   we  を wo ヲ
ん n ン
Voiced consonants (turbid sounds) Turbid compound sounds
が ga ガ ぎ gi ギ ぐ gu グ げ ge ゲ ご go ゴ ぎゃ gya ギャ ぎゅ gyu ギュ ぎょ gyo ギョ
ざ za ザ じ ji ジ ず zu ズ ぜ ze ゼ ぞ zo ゾ じゃ ja ジャ じゅ ju ジュ じょ jo ジョ
だ da ダ ぢ ji ヂ づ zu ヅ で de デ ど do ド ぢゃ ja ヂャ ぢゅ ju ヂュ ぢょ jo ヂョ
ば ba バ び bi ビ ぶ bu ブ べ be ベ ぼ bo ボ びゃ bya ビャ びゅ byu ビュ びょ byo ビョ
Stop consonants (half turbid sounds) Half turbid compound sounds
ぱ pa パ ぴ pi ピ ぷ pu プ ぺ pe ペ ぽ po ポ ぴゃ pya ピャ ぴゅ pyu ピュ ぴょ pyo ピョ
っ    ッ Double consonant (e.g. さっか sakka) Prolonged sound (e.g. ミー mi-)
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