Here is a typical Kana chart presented in gojūon order:

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In English, I refer to the first column in the chart as the 'vowels' and I refer to every other column in the chart with the first letter of each Kana in English (K, S, T...).

How would I refer to a particular column of this chart in spoken Japanese?

If for example, I was struggling to remember a word such as 'りんご' but I could only remember the consanant part from the final consonant + vowel pair (ri,n,g—), how could I say...

"I think the last kana was a 'g—' kana..."


The word you are looking for is 「行{ぎょう}」.

Therefore, the columns are named 「ア行」、「カ行」、「サ行」, etc.

How could I say "I think the last kana was a 'g—' kana...'?

You could say:


In case someone is wondering what we call the horizontal rows of kana on that chart, they are called 「段{だん}」. We say 「ア段」、「イ段」, etc.

  • 1
    I assumed they would use the first kana from the top but I assumed there might be an exception for the vowels. I will practice this phrase, thank you! – Ambo100 Dec 21 '17 at 14:44

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