Re: Hentaigana

From: Jeroen Ruigrok/asmodai (
Date: Fri Mar 04 2005 - 11:38:59 CST

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    -On [20050228 07:52], vlad ( wrote:
    >Have the Hentaigana (older Hiragana characters) been considered for
    >addition to Unicode before?

    Not that I know.

    >While some could be considered glyph variants of the existing
    >Hiragana, many have seperate origins and should be encoded seperately.
    >The Mojkiyo font set ( currently contains over
    >200 Hentaigana characters.
    >I'd be willing to make a proposal myself, but I'm not an expert on
    >Japanese philology???just an enthusiastic linguist.

    According to my Japanese contacts hentaigana is not used in daily use
    anywhere, so it seems its interest would be purely from a historical context
    only, like we have Gothic.

    Interesting snippet from Wikipedia:

    "Hentaigana are considered obsolete in modern writing, but a few uses still
    remain. For example, many soba shops use hentaigana to spell kisoba on their
    signs. Hentaigana are used in some formal handwritten documents,
    particularly in certificates issued by classical Japanese cultural groups
    (e.g., martial art schools, etiquette schools, religious study groups, etc).
    Also, hentaigana are occasionally used in reproductions of classic Japanese
    texts. Much like blackletter is used in English and other Germanic languages
    to give an archaic flair to text, hentaigana may be used to serve the same
    purpose in Japanese. However, most Japanese people are unable to read
    hentaigana, only recognizing a few from their common use in shop signs, or
    figuring them out from context."

    Jeroen Ruigrok van der Werven <asmodai(at)> / asmodai / kita no mono
    Free Tibet! |   |
    Here's a mirror, there's a screen, on both ways you can get in...

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