What is the “々” ? Kanji? Katakana? Mark? ...

Hello, JAPANASU friends!

We are happy to announce that our “One-Day One Kanji Challenge” on Instagram has reached 187th Kanji (over half a year!)👏 We hope you enjoy learning Kanji with us.

In this article, we would like to put a spotlight on “” for fun!

First, Question Time!! (please answer the following questions)

Q1: Can you read “時々”?  

Q2: Can you read “人々”?  

Q3: Can you read “色々”?  

Q4: Can you read “日々”?  

A1: ときどき

A2: ひとびと

A3: いろいろ

A4: ひび

As you can see, “” is used as "a kanji iteration mark" in English, so it is not independent from kanji. In Japanese, “” is called “字送り(j-okuri)” or “繰り返し記号 (kurikaeshi-kigou)” etc.

You will not find “々” in a kanji dictionary and “々” doesn’t have a specific reading, either.

Some of you may have thought “” was katakana? Actually it looks likeノ+マ, doesn’t it? That’s why some people call it “ノマ点(no-ma ten).

This Kanji iteration mark “” cannot used independently and needs a kanji after it. This means you can’t use “” for mimetic words in hiragana or katakana.

e.g. キラキラ(❌キラ々) さらさら(❌さら々) ふわふわ(❌ふわ々) ドキドキ(❌ドキ々)

Lastly let’s try an Extra Question!

Q: How can you type “々” without a Kanji following it?

A: Many people type a word including 々 like “時々” and delete the “時”, because “々” has no particular reading. That’s totally fine, but if you want to type “々” directly, what can you do?

The answer is to type “おなじ”or ”どう” (=同’s readings) which means “same” and convert it into “々”.

Thus, “is not Kanji but Kanji iteration mark, so we will not be able to add “” in our “One-day One-Kanji Challenge” on Instagram. That’s why we wanted to talk about “々” in this article. Thank you for reading up to the end, please stay tuned!

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