In the following example, it remains unclear to me why the term もの is written in hiragana.


Here is a second example, where 優しい is written in hiragana.


My suppositions:

  • For optical reasons, some kanji are written in hiragana to obtain the desired verse length.
  • Hiragana writing is used to let an open interpretation to the reader (for example 物 or 者, whether this is an object or a person)
  • Too complex kanji are replaced by hiragana to match the target audience (seems not to be the case here since the above kanji are "simple" ones)

Is one of these suppositions correct? Or is there any general rule for this?

  • Most of it is simply prose. Hiragana has a gentler, smoother shape, katakana is bold and sharp, and kanji gives a literary look.
    – user11589
    Commented Mar 27, 2016 at 23:19
  • There may not always be a reason; some people will just write in kana sometimes.
    – Kurausukun
    Commented Mar 28, 2016 at 0:03
  • 1
    I think your number 2 is a good suggestion. Sometimes, using a kanji can pin down the meaning too tightly where you want it to be flexible. Commented Mar 28, 2016 at 2:12

1 Answer 1


According to Alexander Wurdow (a kind of notable author in Russia), "者/物 usually plays an auxiliary role (nominalization), and therefore most of the time it is written in kana". Does that make any sense? It's hard to translate grammatical terms for me...

  • 2
    To build off of this--and also to put Kuchitsu's words into simpler ones--it's done as a form of simplification and also adds a bit of ambiguity. You generally use words with their respective kanji when you want to utilize their truest meaning, not the colloquial or developed ones.
    – Pleiades
    Commented Mar 28, 2016 at 3:39

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