everyone, thanks for having me! So, i’ve just started studying kanji and vocabulary and searching for words and readings on dictionaries (Japanese app). However some cross information between my study platforms and dictionaries are slightly different from each other and its quite confusing for me to understand and set a pattern for how to read properly, for example; In my studies i read that in 入り口 means entrance, therefore i would assume that the reading of 入 would be い. In the dictionary says that 入り口 is the same as 入口 which would mean that the reading is in fact いり. I found that very confusing, whats the reason to add り in between 入 and 口? What is the actual reading for 入 in this situation ? Also, in the Japanese dictionary, neither り or いり are listed as kun’yomi or on’yomi readings, but instead i only found いり listed as nanori reading, which i thought that was used only for names.


1 Answer 1


This is a convention called "okurigana omission". See the following for general discussions.

The kanji 入 has multiple kun-readings, some of which are はい-る, い-れる and い-る (the part after the hyphen is okurigana). い-る is no longer used in everyday conversation except in fixed phrases and compounds. い-り is not a dictionary form, so you see い-る instead. Many words that start with い can be written with or without okurigana:

  • 入り口 = 入口
  • 入り江 = 入江
    inlet; bay
  • 入れ墨 = 入墨
  • 入れ知恵 = 入知恵
    giving advice

(Note that how safe it is to drop okurigana depends on words. Although understandable, it is usually wise to avoid 入墨 and 入知恵.)

However, in names, いり is used without okurigana. For example, 入江 (いりえ) is also a common surname, and we never insert り between 入 and 江 (hiragana is rare in family names). So in such cases, it's reasonable to think that 入 has an intrinsic reading of いり. That's why いり (without okurigana) is listed as a nanori reading.

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