Sometimes in mangas there are points where you would expect normally furigana. What meaning is it supposed to have?

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1 Answer 1


The dots, called 傍点【ぼうてん】 (or 圏点【けんてん】), function like italics or underline with the Latin alphabet. They are for emphasis.

To see the effect in rōmaji:

futatabi kanojo jishin no kuchi kara kiku koto ni naru to wa

Update. To answer the question in the comments, 傍点 and ふりがな may be combined (although ふりがな may also be omitted, as in the snippet in the question body). ONE PIECE isn't exactly a case study of minimalist typography (I'm counting at least 7 text fonts), but for completeness here is an example of 傍点 on top of (or rather, to the side of) ふりがな:


Update 2. Note that 傍点 may take different shapes. In Japanese both and are common. For more information see

Usually a text would use one type of 傍点, but just for its curiosity value here is a snippet of a book by Miyatake Gaikotsu titled 奇態流行史 and published in 1922 with a rather eclectic use of emphasis points:


  • As a point of interest, what happens if furigana are needed as well as the 傍点?
    – Simon Gill
    Commented Apr 7, 2014 at 8:44
  • @SimonGill At least in the manga of the question, the ふりがな seem to have simply been omitted. 口, 聞く, and 事 are all more basic than 彼女 and 自身, but have ふりがな, whereas 彼女 and 自身 just have 傍点.
    – Earthliŋ
    Commented Apr 7, 2014 at 9:30
  • 2
    @SimonGill, I'm fairly certain that I've seen cases of both ルビ and 傍点 on top of each other... but can't seem to find any cases online.
    – dainichi
    Commented Apr 7, 2014 at 12:18
  • 2
    @SimonGill Please see the update.
    – Earthliŋ
    Commented Mar 12, 2015 at 19:01

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