I had been thinking about the invention of writing in human history when I realised I didn't know its Japanese translation. What would be the closest word for the following definition of "writing":

Writing is a medium of human communication that involves the representation of a language through a system of physically inscribed, mechanically transferred, or digitally represented symbols... - [1]

I have come across 筆記 and 執筆, but judging from their dictionary and Wikipedia entries, 筆記 seems to be the closest one [2].


  • 1
    I think 文字 is the word normally used in that context. One translation of 'writing system' is 書字システム.
    – sundowner
    Apr 20, 2022 at 12:45
  • @sundowner That is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks!
    – juanjo12x
    Apr 20, 2022 at 14:57

1 Answer 1


As mentioned by @sundowner in the comments, 文字 is the word I was looking for.

I corroborated the claim by googling up 文字歴史, getting the answers one would expect from "the history of writing".

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