Language Japanese Punctuation

By JREF · Nov 19, 2011 · Updated Jun 13, 2017 · ·
  1. JREF
    Punctuation marks are called 句読点 (kutōten) in the Japanese language. Punctuation marks and other special symbols are commonly referred to as 約物 (yakumono). The list below shows the most common kutōten and other yakumono, such as repetition marks (odoriji 踊り字 or jouji 畳字), phonetic marks (hatsuonkigō 発音記号) and other special marks.

    Punctuation marks句読点-
    kuten (句点) or maru (丸)Period, full stop end of the sentence
    tōten (読点) or ten (点)Comma, designated pause usually placed after a statement that requires attention or to split a secondary sentence
    nakaten (中点), nakaguro (中黒) or potsu (ぽつ)Used between katakana words to separate them
    gimonfu (疑問符)Question mark
    kantanfu (感嘆符)Exclamation mark
    ( )shōkakko (小括弧), marukakko (丸括弧) or pāren (パーレン, "parenthesis")Small or round brackets
    { }burēsu (ブレース, "brace"), namikakko (波括弧, "wave brackets") or nakakakko (中括弧, "middle brackets")medium or wave brackets
    [ ]daikakko (大括弧) or sumikakko (角括弧)Large or angular brackets
    【 】sumitsukikakko (角付き括弧)Lenticular or angular filled brackets, used in headings, for example in dictionary definitions
    〖 〗White lenticular or angular brackets-
    〔 〕kikkōkakko (亀甲括弧)Tortoise shell brackets, used to insert comments into quoted text
    〘 〙-White tortoise shell brackets
    〈 〉yamakakko (山括弧, "mountain brackets"), gyume (ギュメ, "guillemets") or yamagata (山がた, "mountain-shaped [symbol]")Left and right angle brackets; the word gyume comes from the French "guillemets".
    《 》yamakakko (二重山括弧, "double hill brackets"), gyume (二重ギュメ, "double guillemets") or yamagata (二重山がた, "double hill-shaped [symbol]")Left and right double angle brackets
    「 」kagikakko (鉤括弧, "hook brackets")Corner brackets: common Japanese quotation marks
    『 』nijūkagikakko (二重鉤括弧, "double hook brackets")White corner brackets: Japanese version of double quotes, often used when indicating a book title
    Repetition marks踊り字 / 畳字-
    noma (ノマ), kuma, kurikaeshi (繰り返し) or dō no jiten (同の字点)Originating from a simplified form of the character 仝, it is also called noma, because it looks like a katakana "no" and "ma" joined: ノマand used to show the repetition of the previous kanji or kana character; iteration mark.
    katakanagaeshi (かたかながえし) or kurikaeshi (くりかえし)Repeat the previous katakana.
    katakanagaeshi (かたかながえし) or kurikaeshi (くりかえし)Repeat the previous katakana with a nigori mark.
    hiraganagaeshi (ひらがながえし) or kurikaeshi (くりかえし)Repeat the previous hiragana. For example はは could be はゝ.
    hiraganagaeshi (ひらがながえし) or kurikaeshi (くりかえし)Repeat the previous hiragana. For example はは could be はゝ.
    nonoten (ノノ点)Ditto mark called nonoten because it looks like two katakana no s.
    Phonetic marks発音記号-
    sokuon (促音)Used to mark a geminate (double) consonant
    chōon (長音) or bōsen (棒線)Indicates a lengthened vowel sound, often used with katakana.
    dakuten (濁点) or 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".
    handakuten (半濁点) or handaku (半濁)Used with hiragana or katakana to indicate a change from a "hahihuheho" sound to a "papipupepo" sound.
    Special symbols--
    Maru Ideographic number zero
    shime (しめ)Closing mark; this character is used to write shime in shimekiri ("deadline"), etc.
    nyoro (にょろ), naishi (ないし), nami (波, "wave") or kara (から)Used in "to from" constructions in Japanese, such as 月〜金曜日 "from Monday to Friday".
    tensen (点線, "dot line") or santen rīda (三点リーダ, "three-dot leader")A line of dots corresponding to one half of a Japanese ellipsis; also used as an ellipsis informally.
    kome (米) or komejirushi (米印)This symbol is used in notes (注, chū) as a reference mark, similar to an asterisk.
    hoshijirushi (星印) or asuterisuku (アステリスク)This symbol is used in notes (注, chū).
    Yūbin māku (郵便マーク)Postal mark
    -Circled post mark
    -Postal mark face
    日本工業規格 Nippon Kōgyō Kikaku Japan industry Standard (JIS) symbol
    geta kigō (ゲタ記号, "geta symbol")Used as a proofreader's mark indicating unavailability of a glyph, such as when a character cannot be displayed on a computer. The name comes from geta, a type of Japanese shoe.


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  1. Guest
    1. thomas
      Carlos, this list is by no means complete, it just displays some of the most common punctuation marks and symbols used in Japan. The website you mentioned shows CJK chars, thus contains a lot of Chinese and Korean symbols not in use in Japan.

      Oh, and I’ve replaced the ?! with their Japanese variation, thank you!
  2. Guest
    Isn’t space missing?

    Your “?!” are in latin version.

    For each punctuation character, would be nice to have an equivalent conversion suggestion to latin when applicable.

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