I am currently reading an early story by Tanizaki Junichiro in Japanese. I have come across both the hiragana く and ぐ written twice the size they usually are, taking up the same amount of space on the page as two characters. Is there any significance in this?

These include words such as ひいと and いろの注文, where the character in bold is written at twice the height as normal.

Any help would be most appreciated (^-^)

  • I think your question is wrong. What you are probably mentioning are not hiragana.
    – user458
    May 15, 2012 at 18:46
  • @sawa. But it is valid if it was mistaken for hiragana.
    – Flaw
    May 17, 2012 at 2:09
  • It would be helpful if a picture of the area in question were included.
    – peacetype
    Oct 9, 2020 at 3:27

1 Answer 1


It's a repetition mark or くの字点 (for its similarity to the character く, as you noted).

It's only used in vertical text, and repeats over two or more characters, which for your examples results in ひいひいと and いろいろの注文.

There is also a single-kana repetition mark (which is the kana equivalent of the kanji repetition mark ), but just like the multi-character version, it's no longer used in modern Japanese.

I don't want to retype the whole Wikipedia article, so do click on that link ;)


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