I was reading this light novel, and these two sentences appear in a matter of minutes between each other. 「ユエナが首を傾げる」 「ユエナがきょとんと首をかしげる」

As you notice the two sentences are pretty similiar in the meaning, but verb in the former is in kanji, while in the latter use the hiragana's version.

There is a precise reason of this, or it's only a matter of writing style by the author? That the author can decides between the kanji or the hiragana version to be more stylistic, or to create a certain effect in the sentence. The two sentences are refer to the same character, ユエナ, so it can't be a way to divide the speech style of a certain character.

What do you think?

  • 4
    At least for those sentences, nothing is intended. I'd say it's an editorial error - it happens because the input method the author was using converted かしげる at one time and didn't at another. That happens.
    – sundowner
    Commented Apr 23 at 13:35
  • 1
    If you've typed enough Japanese, either on the phone or on the computer, you'd notice too that the 漢字変換 isn't always reliable and sometimes it leaves words like わかる in hiragana and other times it automatically converts into 分かる. If one is not consciously checking his work then this could happen.
    – dvx2718
    Commented Apr 23 at 17:45

1 Answer 1


Easy words that can be written in kanji are always written in kanji. No one will write 学校 or 電車 in kana unless there is some special reason.

In your case, かしげる is a little uncommon kun-reading. It's not listed in the official joyo-kanji list, which means newspapers generally don't use 傾げる in their articles.

Here are all the readings of 傾 in the joyo kanji list:

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Most adults do not consciously memorize the joyo kanji list, but they have a vague perception of which readings are standard and which are "customary" or "nonstandard". When they happen to feel it's safer to use kana, they may intentionally do so. Otherwise, because most people do not have strong opinions about the spelling of this word, they may just adopt whatever their IME presented first, which can appear random or inconsistent to some.


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