Is there any difference between furigana and rubi. To my knowledge, both of these are used to write the provocation of kanji in small print above the kanji, but is there a difference between these two terms?

In general, is there a resource that lists all such Japanede terms which might be useful to language learners in a comprehensive list?


  • 2
    We have a Glossary post in Meta.
    – Flaw
    Oct 12, 2016 at 12:51

2 Answers 2


ルビ (rubi) is jargon which mainly refers to the characters' appearance (small annotative characters placed on top of or to the right of main text), and is preferred in the publishing industry. Even Microsoft Word call those characters ルビ, and I believe the majority of native Japanese people understand this term.

We sometimes encounter rubies which are not used to show readings of kanji, and in such cases I prefer not to use ふりがな (furigana).



In Japanese we use the term furigana. I have never heard Rubi even once after over 10 years of study. After a quick search, it seems to be a more general term that is used for many language like Chinese and Korean etc. Japanese don't use that word because they have their own word. But they are the same thing.

There are many tool lists you can find, and Google will be a much better help to you than me for that. But I would especially recommend you to install the browser plugin rikaikun(firefox)/rikaichan(chrome).

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