I recently learned about iteration marks, especially . After reading the wikipedia article of iteration marks, I found the following text: "Further, if okurigana is present, then no iteration mark should be used, as in 休み休み. This is prescribed by the Japanese Ministry of Education in its 1981 Cabinet notification prescribes, rule #6—see okurigana article for elaboration."

now going to the wikipedia page of okurigana, the only thing that I can find about iteration marks is the following sentence: The 1981 Cabinet notification prescribes (通則6) the okurigana usage 次々 (iteration mark), but 休み休み (no iteration mark if okurigana is present).

Here it only gives an example, however it does not explain as why I am not allowed to use it.

So I wondered why it is not allowed to use iteration marks in okurigana. Why is 休み々ゝ not allowed?


1 Answer 1


I have never seen something like 休み々ゝ. If okurigana is present, くの字点 () is obviously more concise. At least in the old days, it was possible to use くの字点 to repeat kana-kanji combinations, like this:

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"1981 Cabinet notification, rule #6" is probably this, but this document is about okurigana, and says nothing explicitly about when to use or when not to use iteration marks. This is understandable to me, because and were virtually already dead in 1981.

In general, these iteration marks have been regarded as informal/nonstandard conventions. As far as I know, has never been officially recommended nor banned by the Japanese government, except for this "draft" back in 1946.

As a matter of fact, iteration marks fell out of use long ago, except for 々, which is somehow still regarded as part of the "standard" Japanese orthography. Most Japanese people still understand the meaning of and because they occasionally see them in old documents, but people today almost never use these marks themselves. is the only iteration mark taught at Japanese elementary school today.

I don't know why only survived and became virtually official. Anyway, is clearly more useful than because hiragana are simple.

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