Would it be frowned upon to say for example ぼく instead of 僕?Or わたし instead of 私?Is it just a stylistic choice or do these have to be in kanji?

1 Answer 1


This depends on the pronoun.

  • Some casual first-person pronouns are almost always written in hiragana because there are no ways to write them in kanji in the first place: うち, わい, あたし
  • Some stilted first-person pronouns are always written in kanji: 小生, 朕
  • Many common first-person pronouns can be written both in kanji and in hiragana. Basically it's a matter of taste, but generally speaking, the more casual the situation is, the more frequently hiragana is used.
    • Many adults choose to keep using わたし instead of 私. See: Why is 私 a sixth grade kanji?
    • 僕 is not even a 教育漢字, but the majority of adults use kanji.
    • 俺 is usually spelled with kanji, but おれ and オレ are not uncommon.
    • 儂 is usually わし, but 儂 is not uncommon in novels.
  • thanks! when would someone use わい and うち?and in that case could 僕 be written with hiragana or would that be odd? May 21, 2019 at 7:34
  • @jacoballens What do you mean by "in that case"? Users of うち do not use 僕.
    – naruto
    May 21, 2019 at 7:37
  • i meant in the case that 僕 is not 教育漢字 May 21, 2019 at 7:40
  • @jacoballens わい is used by people from Kansai region, though at times just for comical effect. May 21, 2019 at 22:12

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