...where the furigana is a different "word"/"synonym" for the actual kanji in song lyrics, titles, etc.?

A couple references to this:

Is there any distinct name for this technique?

2 Answers 2


They are called 当{あ}て字{じ}.

There are two types of 当て字:

  1. Ignoring the meaning of the Kanji and using them to create a sound (e.g. 珈{コー}琲{ヒー})
  2. Ignoring the reading of the Kanji and using their meaning to demonstrate another sound (e.g. 衝{ショッ}撃{ク})

In this case, they are using the second type. The voices of the ghosts sound evoke 共鳴, so while you read 声, the point is that you are to imagine the sound of their actual voices as having the properties of 共鳴.

This is also used a lot for children's names today -- parents want to use particular Kanji, but make the reading something totally different from what the characters would normally read as. A search for 当て字名前ランキング will get you a bunch, but one example is a girl named 星{ティアラ}

  • 2
    当て字 refers to the kanji part, not the reading part (how the author wants the readers to read it).
    – user4032
    Jan 27, 2014 at 8:20
  • 2
    @Tokyo, the wikipedia would seem to suggest otherwise, or am I reading it wrong?
    – jmac
    Jan 27, 2014 at 8:33

It is called ルビ but many of us native speakers just substitute ふりがな for it.

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