How Is Hiragana Used?
Here are some examples of how hiragana is used in Japan.
- Anything written for young children (educational material, manga, etc.):わたしはたなかです。(‘I am Tanaka.’)
- Verb endings, particles, and other grammar-related cases: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:ここ (‘here’), はい (‘yes’), きれい (‘pretty’)
- Furigana, the small hiragana “subtitles” that appear alongside kanji.
- 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:あかね (‘Akane’, a girl’s name)