How Is Hiragana Used?
Here are some examples of how hiragana is used in Japanese writing.
- Any writing targeting young children (storybooks, educational material, safety signage, etc.).e.g. わたしはたなかです。(‘I am Tanaka.’)
- Verb endings, particles, and other grammar-related uses.e.g. 私は日本語を勉強している。(‘I am studying Japanese.’)
- Hundreds of words for which there is no kanji, or where the kanji version of the word is rarely used.e.g. ここ (‘here’), はい (‘yes’), きれい (‘pretty’)
- Furigana, the tiny hiragana characters that appear alongside kanji to aid in their reading.
- Design-related: hiragana can be used in place of katakana and kanji for aesthetic purposes in signage, advertising, etc.
- Some given names are written in hiragana.e.g. あかね (‘Akane’, a girl’s name)