I realize that it's usually better to just learn / use hiragana but I have been asked to look into coding up a solution to convert from Hiragana/Katakana to the modified Hepburn Romaji.

One point I would like some advice on is the conversion of:


I see some converters changing this to:


and others to:


Is there one or the other that I should aim for with the Modified Hepburn?

  • 2
    What is the purpose of this romanized text? Will this romanized text be used later to reproduce the kana rendering? Is this intended for humans to read? Running everything together produces a largely unreadable result. If you're interested in a human-readable output, have a look at Wiktionary's coding module: en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Module:ja – Eiríkr Útlendi Mar 20 '17 at 16:17
  • My opinion is that wo is better, just for the sake of unambiguity/specificity. – Kurausukun Mar 20 '17 at 17:21

As Eiríkr Útlendi mentioned in a comment, the correct romanization for を in modified Hepburn is o.

For traditional Hepburn, the correct romanization is wo.

To blatantly steal his wikipedia link as well, here's the reference. For a programming project, you should be able to use the table at the end of that page for a dict/hash translation. (with some special handling for ん)


is correct for modified hepburn, but since you lack the word seperation functions of kanji/kana alternation with romaji, people usually seperate words with spaces when using romaji.


The correct romaji way is wo.

"O" is how you pronounce it and it's unnecessary since the first thing we learn in Japanese is that を has one use and it's pronounced "o" but written "wo".

We can also distinguish better what each word is in "kaimonowoshimasu".

  • 3
    Citation for "correct way"? There are multiple ways to transliterate Japanese into English. They are "correct" for different purposes – virmaior Mar 20 '17 at 19:30
  • 3
    The asker also specifically mentioned Modified Hepburn, which renders the particle を as "o". – Eiríkr Útlendi Mar 20 '17 at 19:42

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