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Kanji and Kana

Japan adopted the Kanji characters between the fourth and fifth century from Chinese. Japanese writing is based on three spelling systems. The first consists of Chinese ideograms, each with its own meaning. For everyday use at least 2,000 characters are necessary.

The other two orthographies (Kana) are Hiragana und Katakana. The Kana are syllabaries which use one character for each sound; Hiragana is used for Japanese words, and Katakana for words from other languages which are phonetically borrowed.

Traditionally, Japanese is written on one side from top to bottom in vertical lines (Tategaki). This notation is used in historical documents, novels and also newspapers. In daily use, however, one writes horizontally, mostly from left to right (Yokogaki).

Research Papers

Understanding Japanese Business Culture