In 漢文, why is the レ used for レ点? Is it purely a graphic representation of returning to an earlier point in the text, or does レ stand for some word?

1 Answer 1


The レ点 means first read the next character (that is the character below since it was written from top to bottom at that time) then read the previous character.

Ex: 帰ル(レ点)国ニ should read 国に帰る.

Before, the レ点 was called [雁金点]{かりがねてん} because it looks like a goose which is flying (雁{かり}が飛ぶ姿) enter image description here. You can see that first the symbol is going down then going up. That means first read one character below then go back and read the character above. That's the whole purpose of the レ点.

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