Some manga made by Korean writers and illustrators write their names entirely with kanji (especially without any clue as to how to pronounce them), while credits in anime write Korean staffers' names entirely with romanized forms.

So what are the common practices for writing Korean names? Which of them is the most common? How do you go about the correct Han characters for those Korean names? Do you ask them (it's not like every Korean has their name readily available in Han characters, is it?)? And do newspapers use furigana for the names?


1 Answer 1


It seems that the only common rule on Korean personal names throughout the Japanese society is that they are not read aloud in on-yomi of kanji.

Newspaper companies have different policies on how to write Korean names. NHK recently changed their policies to write them basically in katakana, while Asahi writes kanji along with katakana as furigana. But katakana is used for less official and less famous people like K-pop singers and actors.

In informal and private contexts, people seem to do as they want to. Those who don't have little interest in Korea may not know the kanji for Korean names and would use katakana if they should have a chance to write one, for they can write it the way it is read aloud in news and other media.

  • K-pop stars are arguably more famous, not less. I believe most young people know more about Big Bang than about Kim Jong-un. It's probably a difference about showbiz/pop culture (informality) and government (formality) I feel. Nov 18, 2018 at 6:39

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