Hiragana is used, along with kanji, for native or naturalised Japanese words, and for grammatical elements.


hiragana chart

  • Some of the basic hiragana characters above are also written with modifiers that change the consonant sound slightly. For example, by adding two small vertical dashes or a small circle, the pronunciation of the hiragana for "ha" becomes "ba" or "pa". The chart below contains the complete list of possible combinations:

  • additional sounds
  • When a ya, yu, or yo sound follows certain characters in Japanese, the sound is shortened and so instead of two separate characters, the sound is written as the combination of the first character and a small, subscripted version of the ya, yu, or yo sound that follows:

    additional sounds 2
  • Katakana