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Japan elects cutest hiragana character


The characters at left should look very familiar to any student of Japanese. Hiragana is the phonetic alphabet that is usually the first writing system you learn. Compared to the much more complex and difficult to remember Chinese characters and the angular katakana alphabet, the loopy hiragana characters have a pleasant round feel that’s often called “cute.”

But which character is the cutest of them all? The public weighs in.

The website Nico Nico News recently polled their readers to find out which character takes the cute cake and, with a whopping 21.1% of the vote, the clear winner is あ or “a”, the character that pretty much everyone meets first during their studies of the phonetic alphabet.

Respondents said the character “has a harmony as well as a certain assertiveness” and “feels like the main character.” One man said, “Not only does it come at the beginning, but it also starts out the word ai (love), so I love this character!” Preach.

Number two, with about 14% of the vote, was ゆ or “yu.”

-- “It looks like it’s curling up, so it’s cute.” -- “It’s circular and starts off some classic Showa names for cute girls like Yuko and Yumi.” -- “I think it’s got nice curves and a nice sound as well.”

And coming in third with 7.4% was ね or “ne.”

-- “It has meaning, not just a sound, so it’s the cutest!” (In Japanese, "ne" is used at the end of sentences to mean something like “don’t you think so?” or “right?”) -- “When added to the end of a sentence, both the shape and the sound make it softer.” -- “The sound is cute and the little twist at the end looks like a tail!”

Source: Nico Nico News

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Why old Japanese women have names in katakana -- Creating pictures using the Japanese syllabary -- “When Scribble Gets Out of Hand”

© RocketNews24

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ゆ is nowhere near as cute as み....

3 ( +3 / -0 )

1 ( +1 / -0 )

の の の !

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Time to make a mascot! Seriously, though (although I was being serious), I find Hiragana more attractive than Katakana or Hangul, for example. It's like calligraphy vs. computer generated text (although the latter has strong points as well).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

ゆ is nice because お湯!温泉とか‼i love the yu in the hotsprings!!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

う is the cutest hiragana character.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

ふis my favorite because of the curvy swings and on-off stroking when writing it. あ looks a bit too "marshmallow" to me.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No love for poor old む?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

ぷ San is pretty cute

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I like や cos it looks like 'ya'.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

nedinjapan - my thoughts exactly!

I dont like あ but only because I can never seem to write it so it looks good. I have bad enough handwriting in English, never mind Japanese.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

imagine all those lucky people, getting a chance to vote for..... hold your breath...... the cutest hiragana. wish i had time like these people did...... sigh....... so wanted to vote for my "cutest japanese phonetic character" lucky them, making me ever so "J".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I like も cause it just looks so cuteee with the little curly tail at the end かわいい and also ひ looks like a bag cute but my favourite is も

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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