U (kana)

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u
transliterationu
hiragana origin
katakana origin
spelling kana上野のウ
(Ueno no "u")

in hiragana or in katakana (romanised u) is one of the Japanese kana, each of which represents one mora. In the modern Japanese system of alphabetical order, they occupy the third place in the modern Gojūon (五十音) system of collating kana. In the Iroha, they occupied the 24th position, between and . In the Gojūon chart (ordered by columns, from right to left), う lies in the first column (あ行, "column A") and the third row (う段, "row U"). Both represent the sound [u͍]. In the Ainu language, the small katakana ゥ represents a diphthong, and is written as w in the Latin alphabet.

Form Rōmaji Hiragana Katakana
Normal a/i/u/e/o
(あ行 a-gyō)
u
uu
ū
うう
うー
ウウ
ウー
Other additional forms
Form A (w-)
Romaji Hiragana Katakana
wa うぁ ウァ
wi うぃ ウィ
wu うぅ ウゥ
we うぇ ウェ
wo うぉ ウォ
wyu うゅ ウュ
Form B (v-)
Romaji Hiragana Katakana
va ゔぁ ヴァ
vi ゔぃ ヴィ
vu
ve ゔぇ ヴェ
vo ゔぉ ヴォ
vya ゔゃ ヴャ
vyu ゔゅ ヴュ
vye ゔぃぇ ヴィェ
vyo ゔょ ヴョ

The hiragana form with dakuten, ゔ, representing the sound "v", is rarely seen on older words, since the sound does not occur in native Japanese words. However, it is becoming more common with Western influences.

Derivation[edit]

Both う and ウ originate, via man'yōgana, from the kanji (pronounced u and meaning space).

Variant forms[edit]

Scaled-down versions of the characters (ぅ, ゥ) are used to create new morae that do not exist in the Japanese language, such as トゥ (tu). This convention is relatively new, and many older loanwords do not use it. For example, in the phrase Tutankhamun's cartouche, the recent loan cartouche uses the new phonetic technique, but the older loan Tutankhamun uses (tsu) as an approximation:

タンカーメン の カルトゥーシュ
Tsutankāmen no karushu

The character う is also used, in its full-sized form, to lengthen "o" sounds. For example, the word 構想 is written in hiragana as こうそう (kousou), pronounced kōsō. In a few words the character (o) is used instead for morphological or historical reasons.

The character ウ can take dakuten to form ヴ (vu), a sound foreign to the Japanese language and traditionally approximated by ブ (bu).

In hentaigana a variant of う is appeared that written as cursive Kanji 宇.

Stroke order[edit]

Stroke order in writing う
Stroke order in writing う
Stroke order in writing ウ
Stroke order in writing ウ
Stroke order in writing う

The hiragana う is written in two strokes:

  1. At the top of the character, a short diagonal crook: proceeding diagonally downwards from the left, then reversing direction and ending at the lower left.
  2. A broad curving stroke: beginning at the left, rising slightly, then curving back and ending at the left.
Stroke order in writing ウ

The katakana ウ is written in three strokes:

  1. At the top of the character, a short vertical stroke, written from top to bottom.
  2. A similar stroke, but lower and positioned at the left.
  3. A broad angled stroke: beginning as a horizontal line written from left to right, then reversing direction and proceeding downwards from right to left as a curved diagonal. The horizontal line must touch both the other strokes. Apart from the short diagonal, the character is identical to .

Other communicative representations[edit]

Japanese radiotelephony alphabet Wabun code
上野のウ
Ueno no "U"
About this sound▄▄▄▄▄
ICS Uniform.svg

Japanese Semaphore Basic Stroke 6.svgJapanese Semaphore Basic Stroke 9.svg

U-jsl-yubimoji.png ⠉
Japanese Navy Signal Flag Japanese semaphore Japanese manual syllabary (fingerspelling) Braille dots-14
Japanese Braille
  • Full Braille representation
う / ウ in Japanese Braille
う / ウ
u
ゔ / ヴ
vu
うう / ウー
ū
ゔう / ヴー
+う / +ー
chōon*
⠉ (braille pattern dots-14) ⠐ (braille pattern dots-5)⠉ (braille pattern dots-14) ⠉ (braille pattern dots-14)⠒ (braille pattern dots-25) ⠐ (braille pattern dots-5)⠉ (braille pattern dots-14)⠒ (braille pattern dots-25) ⠒ (braille pattern dots-25)

* When lengthening "-u" or "-o" syllables in Japanese braille, a chōon is always used, as in standard katakana usage instead of adding an う / ウ.

Character information
Preview
Unicode name HIRAGANA LETTER U KATAKANA LETTER U HALFWIDTH KATAKANA LETTER U HIRAGANA LETTER SMALL U
Encodings decimal hex decimal hex decimal hex decimal hex
Unicode 12358 U+3046 12454 U+30A6 65395 U+FF73 12357 U+3045
UTF-8 227 129 134 E3 81 86 227 130 166 E3 82 A6 239 189 179 EF BD B3 227 129 133 E3 81 85
Numeric character reference う う ウ ウ ウ ウ ぅ ぅ
Shift JIS[1] 130 164 82 A4 131 69 83 45 179 B3 130 163 82 A3
EUC-JP[2] 164 166 A4 A6 165 166 A5 A6 142 179 8E B3 164 165 A4 A5
GB 18030[3] 164 166 A4 A6 165 166 A5 A6 132 49 151 53 84 31 97 35 164 165 A4 A5
EUC-KR[4] / UHC[5] 170 166 AA A6 171 166 AB A6 170 165 AA A5
Big5 (non-ETEN kana)[6] 198 170 C6 AA 198 253 C6 FD 198 169 C6 A9
Big5 (ETEN / HKSCS)[7] 198 236 C6 EC 199 162 C7 A2 198 235 C6 EB
Character information
Preview
Unicode name KATAKANA LETTER SMALL U HALFWIDTH KATAKANA LETTER SMALL U HIRAGANA LETTER VU KATAKANA LETTER VU
Encodings decimal hex decimal hex decimal hex decimal hex
Unicode 12453 U+30A5 65385 U+FF69 12436 U+3094 12532 U+30F4
UTF-8 227 130 165 E3 82 A5 239 189 169 EF BD A9 227 130 148 E3 82 94 227 131 180 E3 83 B4
Numeric character reference ゥ ゥ ゥ ゥ ゔ ゔ ヴ ヴ
Shift JIS (plain)[1] 131 68 83 44 169 A9 131 148 83 94
Shift JIS (KanjiTalk 7)[8] 131 68 83 44 169 A9 136 104 88 68 131 148 83 94
Shift JIS-2004[9] 131 68 83 44 169 A9 130 242 82 F2 131 148 83 94
EUC-JP (plain)[2] 165 165 A5 A5 142 169 8E A9 165 244 A5 F4
EUC-JIS-2004[10] 165 165 A5 A5 142 169 8E A9 164 244 A4 F4 165 244 A5 F4
GB 18030[3] 165 165 A5 A5 132 49 150 53 84 31 96 35 129 57 166 54 81 39 A6 36 165 244 A5 F4
EUC-KR[4] / UHC[5] 171 165 AB A5 171 244 AB F4
Big5 (non-ETEN kana)[6] 198 252 C6 FC 199 174 C7 AE
Big5 (ETEN / HKSCS)[7] 199 161 C7 A1 199 240 C7 F0
Character information
Preview
Unicode name CIRCLED KATAKANA U
Encodings decimal hex
Unicode 13010 U+32D2
UTF-8 227 139 146 E3 8B 92
Numeric character reference ㋒ ㋒

References[edit]

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