I'm surprised I haven't been able to turn up anything, but I'm sure you'll notify me if there's a dupe I missed.

Did the verbs ある and いる ever have kanji? I recognise that it won't be in use today.

  • possible duplicate of Usage of kanji for words usually written in kana
    – 一二三
    Dec 11 '14 at 22:37
  • 1
    You can look it up in any dictionary or IME of your choice: 居【い】る, 有【あ】る, 在【あ】る, 或【ある】いは, While not common anymore, you can see these kanjis from time to time. 有る is more like "possess", 在る more like exist. 妻が有る〔=妻を持つ〕 and 東京の西南に在る.〔=位置する〕. Dictionary:「有」は物事がある状態を保ったり物を所有したりする意味で使われ、「在」は物の存在を特に示す場合に使われる。
    – blutorange
    Dec 11 '14 at 22:42
  • 1
    And the 連体詞 is [或る]{ある}.
    – user1478
    Dec 12 '14 at 0:06
  • This question appears to be off-topic because it is about a simple objective fact any dictionary lookup reveals in a second. It's about the existence of kanji for those words, not whether kanji or all-kana should be used.
    – blutorange
    Dec 12 '14 at 9:05
  • 1
    No, you're just forgetting that some people on SE can't fathom human error intervening from time to time. The kanji are still used today at times for those words. Not bad to know, as they're pretty easy. Dec 12 '14 at 13:22

They are rarely used, but Kanji do exist for いる and ある. FWIW I've seen it used in formal documents.


  • To be as in to be physically somewhere as opposed to exist or to have a quality.


居留守{いるす} Pretending to be not home.

住居{じゅうきょ} To reside, residence.


  • To exist, to have something.


有限{ゆうげん} With limit, limited as in limited resources or time.

存在{そんざい} Existence.

  • 2
    I see thousands of results for 居る in the Balanced Corpus of Contemporary Written Japanese (BCCWJ), so I'm not sure if "rarely used" is quite the right way of putting it. But there are times when the kanji should not be used for these verbs, like in ~ている or である, for example.
    – user1478
    Dec 29 '14 at 3:46
  • One also has to exclude the possibility that 居る is おる.
    – Zhen Lin
    Dec 29 '14 at 6:49
  • @ZhenLin That's a good point! For what it's worth, I see 473 results for 居ます and 128 results for 居ります.
    – user1478
    Dec 29 '14 at 7:01

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