We (kana)

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transliteration e, we
hiragana origin
katakana origin

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

It is presumed that ゑ represented [we]. It is thought that, after ゑ and え came to denote the same pronunciation as イェ [je] in the Kamakura period, they came to be pronounced as the modern エ [e][citation needed]; there is also the view that the pronunciation difference between the two kana remained until the Taishō period.

Along with the kana for wi (ゐ in hiragana, ヰ in katakana), this kana became obsolete in 1946 for Japanese, and is now rare in everyday usage; in onomatopoeia or foreign words, the katakana form ウェ (we) is preferred (as, ウェスト for "west"). One modern-day usage of this kana is in the name of the beer Yebisu, which is actually pronounced "Ebisu", and is occasionally written "ヱビス" or "ゑびす". 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. The combination ヴェ is far more commonly used.

Hiragana ゑ is still used in several Okinawan orthographies for the syllable /we/. In the Ryukyu 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 ヱ

Other representations[edit]

Encodings decimal hex decimal hex
Unicode 12433 U+3091 12529 U+30F1
UTF-8 227 130 145 E3 82 91 227 131 177 E3 83 B1
Numeric character reference ゑ ゑ ヱ ヱ
Shift JIS 130 239 82 EF 131 145 83 91
  • Braille
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)

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

See also[edit]