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I was reading the newspaper and saw these vertical lines. I'm guessing it's saying that 川上尚志 is in 広州 or something along those lines. But my question is what are they called and why they are used instead of say the interpunct/中黒(・)or a black dot (●)enter image description here

EDIT: Okay looking at the electronic version it seems that it might just be an equals sign:

広州=川上尚志

However, I don't see anything on Google about a vertical equal sign 垂直イコール or something like that, so the naming and usage are still something I'd like to know.

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The correct name is そうちゅうけい(双柱罫) . It's often called ダブルハイフン or イコールサイン, only because most ordinary natives wouldn't know its actual name, and it does look like either of them. But technically, it's a different sign with different meaning.

https://ja.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%8F%8C%E6%9F%B1

  • The example in the picture actually does not appear to be that symbol, it appears to be a double hyphen. – Ben Mar 5 at 9:12
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This is a double hyphen (=), rendered vertically because the text is written vertically. The mark is called a ダブルハイフン in Japanese.

The double hyphen in Japanese is typically usually used to separate hyphenated names from other languages (e.g. the name of anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss would be rendered クロード・レヴィ=ストロース in katakana). From time to time, it is used as in the same way as the middle dot ・ (as this entry notes https://dictionary.goo.ne.jp/word/ダブルハイフン/#jn-138522). Its function therefore is to on some level to simultaneously connect the concepts, but separate the words themselves for readability.

In any case, here it is being used to connect the concept of the place (広州, where the person is), to the person's name (川上尚志), as is typical at the beginning of newspaper reporting. I'm not sure here why the choice was the double hyphen, but it may just be the house style of whatever newspaper you're reading?

  • When I search 垂直ダブルハイフン I don't find anything either. Is there a separate name for it or even better a unicode thing for it? – Ringil Feb 21 at 23:32
  • The Unicode is U+30A0, according to Wikipedia! – henreetee Feb 21 at 23:40
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    There isn't a different character; it's rendered differently depending on writing direction. [ technically there might be a separate glyph in the font, but it's encoded with the same Unicode code point in the text ] – Will Crawford Feb 22 at 1:46
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    Unicode has separate code points for vertical forms, but an end user like me does not worry about them because applications takes care of it. – naruto Feb 22 at 4:34

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