Sometimes when I am looking at videos or scripts of Japanese games to practice my translation skills, I occasionally come across unfamiliar kanji usage where words usually written in hiragana are written in Kanji. For example, instead of "ため", "為" or "あなた" "貴方" and finally "また" to "又". I don't really understand its purpose.

For the record these Kanji I have found in two games meant for high school age readers. My question is, why are these kanji used when in most settings they are not used? What sort of effect on the reader does it produce?

Finally, I noticed in some of these cases, they write in kanji words that are not usually in kanji, but then proceed to write other words that use kanji a fair bit such as おまえ or わかる in hiragana. Why would it be written towards one extreme but then ignore other words?

I know there are similar questions about Kanji usage but not exactly what I am looking for. So I apologize if this has been answered.


1 Answer 1


According to modern writing guidelines for plain formal text (like news articles), ため (a formal noun) and また (a lexicalized adverb/conjunction) should be normally written in hiragana. But a creative writer may use 又 and 為 intentionally to make the text look stiff, old, dignified, etc. Some novelists like to use these difficult kanji all the time. Sometimes these kanji may be used simply to reduce the number of characters so the sentence can be put in the text box. However, there are also times when lazy and untrained writers use these kanji just because their IME happened to produce them. Anyway, these kanji are not particularly difficult for high school students who are familiar with creative writings. You don't have to care too much.

Regarding 貴方, it's really common in creative writings and I would say you shouldn't care. Most of the times, it's just up to the writer's personal preference. If you're really sure someone is using あなた and 貴方 distinctively, maybe the latter may look a bit more courteous, gentle, mature, etc.

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