The symbol き

イ リ ニ

Hello everyone,

I'm working through the hiragana table, and the character き looks quite different in the video example (and in my practice writing sheet) vs. the keyboard character.  When I looked online to see what is commonly used, I see even more variations, e.g. this one

I mean, all three a different enough that I'm a bit confused.  Can someone shed light?

Thank you!!


The character in the video and on your practice sheet is correct. There are a few ひらがな (hiragana) characters that can be slightly stylized in their digital presentation— き(ki), さ(sa), ふ(fu), ら(ra) —and the way they look on-screen is largely dependent on the font used for display.

The chart you linked looks radically different because it is a カタカナ(katakana) chart, i.e. the writing system used for foreign loan words. The sounds are all the same (a, i, o, e, u, ka, ki, ko, etc.) but used for words like スポンジ (su po n ji / sponge) and トマト (to ma to / tomato).

イ リ ニ

Oh shoot, that was dumb of me - I just realized the link was to the katakana symbols, sorry about that.

So, if I understand correctly, when I'm writing the symbol, I don't write it as the digital representation shows (that's only for keyboards/online representation).  I stick to the example in the video.

Thank you very much for the quick response :-)


Hi Nyx,

It's not just online representations; it's print in general. It's like these letters in English:

In print, whether it's a computer screen, a page in a novel, or a supermarket docket, "a" will almost always have a little hook over its head, like a Totoro under a leaf. The "g" that looks like handcuffs is a little less ubiquitous (some computer fonts don't use it, for example) but it's still in every novel you read. But we don't write them like that when we do it by hand.

Some hiragana and kanji are like that. The biggies in hiragana are き (ki) and さ (sa), where the left-facing horseshoe at the bottom loses the point of its curve when handwritten. Note that the similar ち (chi), whose horseshoe faces the right, keeps its full curve.

As 夫婦茶碗 mentioned, you'll also spot stylistic changes in other hiragana (and especially kanji), which largely depend on the font used. But you just get used to it - after a while you won't see the differences any more than you notice how weird that handcuffs "g" looks everywhere.  o_O


Just so you know the written format of ki and sa き さ are different slightly from the computer form. The loop to the left at the bottom is often broken in the written form and if you take formal education in the language you are instructed to write it with the split in it.

You are going to come across many variants between written and typing. 洗 with the water radical to the left this will always appear as three strokes opposed to the stroke at the bottom left that looks like a little ィ

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