The reason I'm asking is because I was reading this New York Times article: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/27/magazine/korea-japanese-occupation-surrender-ww2.html and in the article, there was a picture of a Japanese instructor teaching Koreans how to write in Japanese.This picture:https://static01.nyt.com/images/2020/09/06/multimedia/27ww2-korea-03/merlin_176164095_e433a392-9aa3-427b-81aa-496411431e9c-superJumbo.jpg?quality=90&auto=webp

The thing I noticed about this is that they were being taught entirely in katakana, far different than when I was in classes learning hiragana instead. This made me wonder if katakana was actually more widely used back then, or at least if it served a specific purpose (a historical reason) that could explain why they weren't using hiragana.

  • +1 the history of the uses of hiragana and katakana is very interesting. prior to the end of WWII, katakana was used in many official documents where now we would expect to see hiragana. i don’t know if this custom was just during the reign of early Showa or whether it was already established during Taisho. the how and why of this i don’t know, but it is a topic of great personal interest to me; so, i’ll be very interested to see the answers you get.
    – A.Ellett
    Sep 11, 2020 at 2:03
  • 2
    Relevant: japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/14848/…
    – Ringil
    Sep 11, 2020 at 2:14


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