Japanese writing system
System of modified Chinese characters used for writing the Japanese language. The Japanese developed a mixed system, partly logographic (based on the Chinese writing system) and partly syllabic. In the 9th or 10th century two sets of syllabic signs evolved: hiragana, simplified cursive versions of Chinese characters; and katakana, based on elements of Chinese characters. Modern Japanese is written with the two syllabaries and Chinese characters.
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