What does it mean when there's very long bar? I've encountered this many in novels etc. Also, can someone write the long bar correctly? For some reason there are spaces in my version (5 different parts) and there should be just 1 long part.

For example (I've seen longer ones, but here we have examples of a normal bar, and then bars that are 3 times that size). This is just so that you understand what I mean, unfortunately I don't have scans for the ones that are longer than that.

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  • a bar on its own line? Apr 13, 2018 at 11:55
  • Sorry, but what do you mean?
    – Rei
    Apr 13, 2018 at 12:07
  • I think they're asking for an example. You wrote five of them on a line by themselves, which isn't how you'd usually find them in novels.
    – user1478
    Apr 13, 2018 at 13:25
  • can someone write the long bar in Japanese? without spaces like here ――― I can't write it, and it might prevent people from understanding what I mean
    – Rei
    Apr 13, 2018 at 15:26
  • 1
    @Rei japanese.stackexchange.com/a/36605/1478
    – user1478
    Apr 13, 2018 at 15:55

1 Answer 1


This "horizontal bar" is called ダッシュ and serves more or less the same purpose as an em dash in English — inserting additional information to a sentence without ending the sentence or separating it completely from the sentence in parentheses (see what I did there?).

It can be used in pairs — like this —, or simply once.

Unicode does have



but I don't know if they are used by Japanese publishers, since they often have to typeset vertical text, as in your example. One also often sees "——" instead, especially on the internet. Depending on the font there will be small spaces, but everyone knows what is meant.

There is an obvious reason for using a longer dash (or several shorter ones): a single dash looks too similar to the 長音符


  • Very complete answer, it answers all my doubts!
    – Rei
    Apr 13, 2018 at 15:53

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