I've seen some kanji whose furigana is actually katakana. For example, see the following manga cover for 桜蘭高校ホスト部. When would a kanji character ever be pronounced as a loan word?

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  • Sometimes this is just used to convey a particular meaning while using a different written character. :)
    – summea
    Apr 25, 2012 at 18:18

1 Answer 1


This tends to be a style choice by an author, who uses a kanji for aesthetic/readability purposes for a word which is usually expressed with 外来語 (borrowed words from foreign languages). The author can choose to do this for a few reasons. Often if they are concerned that the 外来語 they're using will not be understood by everyone, they use kanji to express the meaning of the word with the 外来語 as furigana. In this case ホストクラブ is a common word that would be recognised by everyone, so perhaps they did it to shorten the written title?

Note that クラブ is not an actual pronunciation of 部, and would never usually be read as such. Without the furigana to specify pronunciation this would almost certainly be read as ぶ here.

  • 4
    worth noting that while 部 is not クラブ, 倶楽部 is (and commonly used in the context of host[ess] clubs)... So the author is playing with that.
    – Dave
    Apr 26, 2012 at 4:24
  • I should have pointed out that in the actual anime (and likely in the manga as well), the characters do pronounce 部 as ぶ. Quite frequently, if not always. So this was where my confusion arose from. :)
    – user1316
    Apr 26, 2012 at 9:04

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