We (kana)

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transliteratione, we
hiragana origin
katakana origin
unicodeU+3091, U+30F1

in hiragana, or in katakana, is a nearly obsolete Japanese kana.

It is presumed that ゑ represented [ɰe] (About this soundlisten) and that ゑ and え indicated different pronunciations until somewhere between the Kamakura period and the Taishō period when they both came to be pronounced as イェ [je] (About this soundlisten), later shifting to the modern エ [e][citation needed]. Along with the kana for wi (ゐ in hiragana, ヰ in katakana), this kana was deemed obsolete in Japanese in 1946 and replaced with え and エ. It is now rare in everyday usage; in onomatopoeia or foreign words, the katakana form ウェ (U-[small-e]) is preferred, as in "ウェスト" for "west".

The kana still sees some modern-day usage. Ebisu is usually written "えびす", but sometimes "ゑびす" like Kyōto Ebisu Shrine (京都ゑびす神社, Kyōto Ebisu Jinja),[1] and name of the beer Yebisu (ヱビス), which is actually pronounced "Ebisu". The Japanese title of the Rebuild of Evangelion series is Evangelion: New Theatrical Edition (ヱヴァンゲリヲン新劇場版, Evangerion Shin Gekijōban). Katakana ヱ is sometimes written with a dakuten, ヹ, to represent a /ve/ sound in foreign words; however, most IMEs lack a convenient way to write this and the combination ヴェ is far more common.

Hiragana ゑ is still used in several Okinawan orthographies for the syllable /we/. In the Ryūkyū University system, ゑ is also combined with a small ぃ, ゑぃ/ヱィ, to represent the sound /wi/. Katakana ヱ is used in Ainu for /we/.

Stroke order[edit]

Stroke order in writing ゑ
Stroke order in writing ゑ
Stroke order in writing ヱ
Stroke order in writing ゑ

The Hiragana ゑ is made with one stroke. It resembles a Hiragana that continues with a double-humped shape underneath.

Stroke order in writing ヱ

The Katakana ヱ is made with three strokes:

  1. A horizontal line that hooks down and to the left.
  2. A vertical line, just grazing the end of the first stroke.
  3. A long horizontal line across the bottom.

Other communicative representations[edit]

Japanese radiotelephony alphabet Wabun code
Kagi no aru "We"
About this sound▄▄▄▄▄▄▄▄

Japanese Semaphore Basic Stroke 9.svgJapanese Semaphore Basic Stroke 3.svgJapanese Semaphore Basic Stroke 1.svg

Japanese Navy Signal Flag Japanese semaphore Japanese manual syllabary (fingerspelling) Braille dots-235
Japanese Braille
  • Full Braille representation
ゑ / ヱ in Japanese Braille
ゑ / ヱ

ゑい / ヱー
⠖ (braille pattern dots-235) ⠐ (braille pattern dots-5)⠖ (braille pattern dots-235) ⠖ (braille pattern dots-235)⠒ (braille pattern dots-25) ⠐ (braille pattern dots-5)⠖ (braille pattern dots-235)⠒ (braille pattern dots-25)
Character information
Preview 𛅑
Encodings decimal hex decimal hex decimal hex
Unicode 12433 U+3091 12529 U+30F1 110929 U+1B151
UTF-8 227 130 145 E3 82 91 227 131 177 E3 83 B1 240 155 133 145 F0 9B 85 91
UTF-16 12433 3091 12529 30F1 55340 56657 D82C DD51
Numeric character reference ゑ ゑ ヱ ヱ 𛅑 𛅑
Shift JIS[2] 130 239 82 EF 131 145 83 91
EUC-JP[3] 164 241 A4 F1 165 241 A5 F1
GB 18030[4] 164 241 A4 F1 165 241 A5 F1 147 54 132 51 93 36 84 33
EUC-KR[5] / UHC[6] 170 241 AA F1 171 241 AB F1
Big5 (non-ETEN kana)[7] 198 245 C6 F5 199 171 C7 AB
Big5 (ETEN / HKSCS)[8] 199 120 C7 78 199 237 C7 ED
Character information
Preview 𛅥
Encodings decimal hex decimal hex decimal hex
Unicode 110949 U+1B165 12537 U+30F9 13053 U+32FD
UTF-8 240 155 133 165 F0 9B 85 A5 227 131 185 E3 83 B9 227 139 189 E3 8B BD
UTF-16 55340 56677 D82C DD65 12537 30F9 13053 32FD
Numeric character reference 𛅥 𛅥 ヹ ヹ ㋽ ㋽
Shift JIS (KanjiTalk 7)[9] 136 108 88 6C
Shift JIS (JIS X 0213)[10] 132 148 84 94
EUC-JP (JIS X 0213)[11] 167 244 A7 F4
GB 18030[4] 147 54 134 51 93 36 86 33 129 57 167 55 81 39 A7 37


  1. ^ 京都ゑびす神社
  2. ^ Unicode Consortium (2015-12-02) [1994-03-08]. "Shift-JIS to Unicode".
  3. ^ Unicode Consortium; IBM. "EUC-JP-2007". International Components for Unicode.
  4. ^ a b Standardization Administration of China (SAC) (2005-11-18). GB 18030-2005: Information Technology—Chinese coded character set.
  5. ^ Unicode Consortium; IBM. "IBM-970". International Components for Unicode.
  6. ^ Steele, Shawn (2000). "cp949 to Unicode table". Microsoft / Unicode Consortium.
  7. ^ Unicode Consortium (2015-12-02) [1994-02-11]. "BIG5 to Unicode table (complete)".
  8. ^ van Kesteren, Anne. "big5". Encoding Standard. WHATWG.
  9. ^ Apple Computer (2005-04-05) [1995-04-15]. "Map (external version) from Mac OS Japanese encoding to Unicode 2.1 and later". Unicode Consortium.
  10. ^ Project X0213 (2009-05-03). "Shift_JIS-2004 (JIS X 0213:2004 Appendix 1) vs Unicode mapping table".
  11. ^ Project X0213 (2009-05-03). "EUC-JIS-2004 (JIS X 0213:2004 Appendix 3) vs Unicode mapping table".

See also[edit]