A (kana)

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a
transliteration a
hiragana origin
katakana origin
spelling kana 朝日のア
(Asahi no "a")

in hiragana or in katakana (romanised a) is one of the Japanese kana that each represent one mora. あ is based on the sōsho style of kanji 安, and ア is from the radical of kanji 阿. In the modern Japanese system of alphabetical order, it occupies the first position of the alphabet, before い. Additionally, it is the 36th letter in Iroha, after て, before さ. Its hiragana resembles the kana no combined with a cross. The Unicode for あ is U+3042, and the Unicode for ア is U+30A2.

The characters represent [a].

Form Rōmaji Hiragana Katakana
Normal a/i/u/e/o
(あ行 a-gyō)
[clarification needed]
a
aa, ah
ā
ああ, あぁ
あー
アア, アァ
アー

Derivation[edit]

The katakana ア derives, via man'yōgana, from the left element of kanji . The hiragana あ derives from cursive simplification of the kanji .

Variant forms[edit]

Scaled-down versions of the kana (ぁ, ァ) are used to express sounds foreign to the Japanese language, such as ファ (fa). In some Okinawan writing systems, a small ぁ is also combined with the kana く (ku) and ふ (fu or hu) to form the digraphs くぁ kwa and ふぁhwa, although others use a small ゎ instead.

Stroke order[edit]

Stroke order in writing あ
Stroke order in writing あ
Stroke order in writing ア
Stroke order in writing ア
Stroke order in writing あ

The Hiragana あ is made with three strokes:[1]

  1. At the top, a horizontal stroke from left to right.
  2. A downward vertical stroke starting above and in the center of the last stroke.
  3. At the bottom, a loop like the Hiragana .
Stroke order in writing ア

The Katakana ア is made with two strokes:[2]

  1. At the top, a stroke consisting of a horizontal line and a short horizontal line proceeding downward and to the left.
  2. Starting at the end of the last stroke, a curved line proceeding downward and to the left.

Other communicative representations[edit]

Character
Unicode name HIRAGANA LETTER A KATAKANA LETTER A HALFWIDTH KATAKANA LETTER A
Encodings decimal hex decimal hex decimal hex
Unicode 12354 U+3042 12450 U+30A2 65393 U+FF71
UTF-8 227 129 130 E3 81 82 227 130 162 E3 82 A2 239 189 177 EF BD B1
Numeric character reference あ あ ア ア ア ア
Shift JIS 130 160 82 A0 131 65 83 41 177 B1
Character
Unicode name HIRAGANA LETTER SMALL A KATAKANA LETTER SMALL A HALFWIDTH KATAKANA LETTER SMALL A
Encodings decimal hex decimal hex decimal hex
Unicode 12353 U+3041 12449 U+30A1 65383 U+FF67
UTF-8 227 129 129 E3 81 81 227 130 161 E3 82 A1 239 189 167 EF BD A7
Numeric character reference ぁ ぁ ァ ァ ァ ァ
Shift JIS 130 159 82 9F 131 64 83 40 167 A7
  • Braille
あ / ア in Japanese Braille
あ / ア
a
ああ / アー
ā
⠁ (braille pattern dots-1) ⠁ (braille pattern dots-1) ⠒ (braille pattern dots-25)

Japanese Semaphore Basic Stroke 9.svg Japanese Semaphore Basic Stroke 3.svg

The Wabun code for あ or ア, is --・--.

In the Japanese phonetic alphabet, one would say "朝日のア" (Asahi no A.)

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Gilhooly (2003) p. 62
  2. ^ Gilhooly (2003) p. 128

References[edit]