Japanese writing system


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.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on Japanese writing system, visit Britannica.com.

Seen & Heard

What made you look up Japanese writing system? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.