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 Ebisu. This word 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. 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


  1. ^ 京都ゑびす神社

See also[edit]