I (kana)

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i
hiragana katakana
Japanese Hiragana kyokashotai I.png Japanese Katakana I.png
transliteration i
hiragana origin
katakana origin
spelling kana いろはのイ
(Iroha no "i")

in hiragana or in katakana (romanised as i) is one of the Japanese kana each of which represents one mora. い is based on the sōsho style of the kanji character 以, and イ is from the radical (left part) of the kanji character 伊. In the modern Japanese system of alphabetical order, it occupies the second position of the alphabet, between and . Additionally, it is the first letter in Iroha, before ろ. Both represent the sound [i]. In the Ainu language, katakana イ is written as y in their Latin-based alphabet, and a small ィ after another katakana represents a diphthong.

Form Rōmaji Hiragana Katakana
Normal a/i/u/e/o
(あ行 a-gyō)
i
ii
ī
いい, いぃ
いー
イイ, イィ
イー
Other additional forms
Form (y-)
Rōmaji Hiragana Katakana
(ya) (や) (ヤ)
(yi) (い) (イ)
(yu) (ゆ) (ユ)
ye いぇ イェ
(yo) (よ) (ヨ)

Variant forms[edit]

Scaled-down versions of the kana (ぃ, ィ) are used to express sounds foreign to the Japanese language, such as フィ (fi). In some Okinawan writing systems, a small ぃ is also combined with the kana く (ku) and ふ  to form the digraphs くぃ kwi and ふぃ hwi respectively, although the Ryukyu University system uses the kana ゐ/ヰ instead.

Origin[edit]

い comes from the left part of the Kanji 以, while イ originates from the left part of the Kanji 伊.[1]

Stroke order[edit]

Stroke order in writing い

The Hiragana い is made in two strokes:

  1. At the top left, a curved vertical stroke, ending with a hook at the bottom.
  2. At the top right, a shorter stroke, slightly curving in the opposite direction.
Stroke order in writing イ

The Katakana イ is made in two strokes:

  1. At the top, a curved diagonal line going from right to left.
  2. In the center of the last stroke, a vertical line going down.

Other communicative representations[edit]

Character
Unicode name HIRAGANA LETTER I KATAKANA LETTER I HALFWIDTH KATAKANA LETTER I
Encodings decimal hex decimal hex decimal hex
Unicode 12356 U+3044 12452 U+30A4 65394 U+FF72
UTF-8 227 129 132 E3 81 84 227 130 164 E3 82 A4 239 189 178 EF BD B2
Numeric character reference い い イ イ イ イ
Shift JIS 130 162 82 A2 131 67 83 43 178 B2
Character
Unicode name HIRAGANA LETTER SMALL I KATAKANA LETTER SMALL I HALFWIDTH KATAKANA LETTER SMALL I
Encodings decimal hex decimal hex decimal hex
Unicode 12355 U+3043 12451 U+30A3 65384 U+FF68
UTF-8 227 129 131 E3 81 83 227 130 163 E3 82 A3 239 189 168 EF BD A8
Numeric character reference ぃ ぃ ィ ィ ィ ィ
Shift JIS 130 161 82 A1 131 66 83 42 168 A8
  • Braille
い / イ in Japanese Braille
い / イ
i
いい / イー
ī
⠃ (braille pattern dots-12) ⠃ (braille pattern dots-12) ⠒ (braille pattern dots-25)

Japanese Semaphore Basic Stroke 3.svg Japanese Semaphore Basic Stroke 2.svg

The Morse code for い or イ, is ・-.

In Japanese phonetic alphabet, one would say "いろはのイ" (Iroha no I.)

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Where do the kana come from