I was wondering Is there a Japanese name (or term) for written stuff that are neither kana nor kanji?

By that, I mean stuff like:

  • ゠ (ダブルハイフン, for indicating the dash in foreign words)

  • ・ (ぽつ, for separating foreign words, to make it more readable)

  • 〆 (しめ, for indicating deadlines)

  • 〄 (ジスマーク, on a product to show that it complies with industrial standards)

  • ~ (なみ, from... to... e.g. 月~金曜日)

  • 〽 (庵点, for indicating the start of a singer's part in a song)

  • ※ (米, the English equivalent of asterisk for indicating attention)

4 Answers 4


I think you would call them 記{き}号{ごう}, or "symbols".

If you look at the Microsoft Office IME's 入力できる特殊文字の一覧 page, you'll see some of these listed under きごう.

I think you could also call them 特{とく}殊{しゅ}文{も}字{じ}, or "special characters".


As cypher said, they are called 記号. Usually, this refers to characters other than letters (kana, kanji, and alphabetic letters) and numerals. Some computer programs call them 特殊文字, but in this case the emphasis is on the fact that entering them requires a special method. In typography, characters other than letters and numerals are called [約物]{やくもの}.


Also, there is the word "shirushi" (印) meaning sign, symbol.

For instance your example ※ is called "komejirushi" (米印).

The well-known Zojirushi brand of rice cookers, coffee makers and such, means "Elephant mark" or "Elephant brand" or the like.


Komejirushi, reference mark, is used in my kanji book to indicate the 2 following kanjis must be read as one word and not two as usual. Example kyou 今日。you cannot read ky and you.

  • 1
    I don't know that this directly answers the question being asked...
    – ajsmart
    Jul 7, 2020 at 16:22

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