I wonder if it is too formal to use the kanji for such a common expression like this. However, I like to write most Japanese words with kanji since I write college documents.

Additionally, what do you think about using kanji this way in video subtitles? Since I speak, if a rare kanji appears, I would pronounce it right away, thus, what do you Japanese speakers think about it?

I also write あなた as 貴方 so much and many others. Is it too hard?

  • In its current form, the question on the verge of "primarily opinion-based" question which are generally closed on StackExchange. It's also very broad and highly dependent on the context if you consider something as vague as video subtitles (depends on artistic vision, audience, etc.). It could be reworked giving an exact use-case and asking for references (if they apply to the case, like business communication).
    – macraf
    Oct 31, 2016 at 1:04
  • Should you write 此方 or こちら? I'll answer with another question: "Should people be able to read it?". Oct 31, 2016 at 1:36

4 Answers 4


Writing something with kanji doesn't necessarily make the document more "college worthy". I'll just say that in all the years I have been here, I probably never saw 此方 written as such. But I have seen 貴方 quite a few times. There is no easy way to know what word are commonly used in kana or kanji other than read a lot in Japanese and get used to it.

If no one can read the word you write, you might get the exact opposite result that expected by using it.

For example, Lemon (レモン) can be wrote 檸檬 but seriously, the amount of people who know that or can read/write that word are very few.
Same goes for spider(クモ)(蜘蛛)

  • 1
    I think being able to write 檸檬 and 蜘蛛 is less common, but I would expect most people to be able to read them, especially 蜘蛛.
    – user1478
    Nov 1, 2016 at 1:21
  • Just like English, there are varying levels of kanji literacy (my Japanese friends often can't read kanji that I learned in Japanese school...) but I think 蜘蛛 is on the easy spectrum, along with stuff like 林檎 and 葡萄 that you often see in advertising or on supermarket labels.
    – rjh
    Nov 2, 2016 at 12:36

For any word at all, you should write it the way you've been seeing it in your reading material. If you try to get fancy with kanji, you should have a good reason for it based in what you've read so far and your own common sense. If all you're reading so far is your Japanese textbook, then there you go.


Unless you're writing your questions from some time in the past, the answer is that you should not write こちら using kanji.

This can be seen by going to any monolingual dictionary. For instance, goo marks the kanji as follows:


The x means that the kanji is not in the joyo. The down triangle means that this should not be written this way. Or to say that another way,

  1. in proper* contemporary orthography, 此の etc are never written using that kanji.
  2. in proper contemporary orthography, ちら should not be written with 方

That said, I think anyone could read it, but no one really writes it.

Comparatively, if you look at entries for 貴方, there are no so much markings indicating it should not be written in kanji.

  • Proper here means officially sanctioned by the government -- where there are some common uses of kanji that are not, I've never seen anything normal from the post-war period written this way (non-native speaker though).
  • I see kanji readings marked 'x' in goo.ne.jp a LOT when reading novels, song lyrics or internet posts. People are overzealous with the IME, want to sound smart or are doing it for some stylistic effect. Still, I agree that you should stick to the official unless you know what you are doing.
    – rjh
    Nov 2, 2016 at 12:39

Here on Japan we used to write 此方 as formal and there is nothing wrong with formal, i like it and assume respect, but the real thing is, there is no wrong or right answer for this.

A lot of times to save time to write when there are complicated Kanji or too many kanjis on a sentence we just write in hiragana to save time. (not in case if we are writing a letter to president or high levels of course).

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