Apart from the diacritic-derived characters, hiragana (and kana in general) should be seen as non-reduceable graphical units. They are not derived from simpler functional units. Their formation is based on the principle of graphical abbreviation from more complex characters, and in hiragana's case, the inspiration behind the shapes is cursive script.
In a ...
The mighty dROOOze's answer covers the bases. I just wanted to counter with a similar question -- is b related to d related to p? :)
Ultimately, the shapes come from unrelated glyphs (character shapes). The ancient origins of both the Latin alphabet letters and the Japanese kana characters were glyphs with meaning to them (hieroglyphs underlie Latin ...
It sounds like you are referring to Henohenomoheji (へのへのもへじ). It is sometimes used on Japanese scarecrows (かかし) and teru teru bōzu (てるてる坊主) dolls. The name refers to the Hiragana characters used to create the face.
According to the Japanese Wikipedia article, the exact origins are unknown, although it has apparently not been seen earlier than the Edo ...
Update: to address the broader question in the headline, rather than just the specifics of the sample text.
Can Japanese be written without any kana (kanji only)?
That question has been asked and answered before:
Is it possible to write Japanese in pure Kanji?
Please see that post for a fuller discussion of the general question.
As noted by Jack ...
Statistically speaking, the answer is definitely kanji, because the vast majority of Japanese nouns (including place names) are written in kanji. For example, on signboards, Tokyo is 東京 (kanji), Ginza is 銀座 (kanji), subway is 地下鉄 (kanji). However, there are over 1000 common kanji each with more than one reading, while there are only 40-some hiragana/katakana....
The road signs in most places in Japan have been standardised, such that any directional signs will typically have both Japanese (typically kanji with kana where appropriate) and English for place names. Most other signs will either have just a symbol or include a small amount of Japanese (e.g. 止まれ), possibly with English as well.
As for shop signs, they ...
There are many instances where this happens in Japanese. For whatever reason, sometimes the Kanji is not used with a word.
Here's a few examples:
ありがとう (normal) 有り難う (kanji form)
よろしくおねがいします (normal) 宜しくお願いします (kanji form)
こんにちは (normal) 今日は (kanji form)
Off the top of my head there are four reasons why this happens (possibly more).
Kanji is sometimes ...
Whichever is fine, but katakana tends to be preferred in formal settings. For example, when you take a message over the phone from someone who only called himself Saiki, then you can say サイキ様からお電話がありました. Saiki can be 佐伯, 斉木, 西城 and so on in kanji. Writing さいき様 is not wrong, but it may look childish.
Traditionally, katakana has been used as the default ...
Note, the word is いじめる and is normally never spelled いぢめる. It seems spelling it that way is a quirk of this character.
(Normally じ and ぢ would be pronounced the same (ji), but in this case it’s possible the artist was going for something more ‘squirrel-like’ in pronunciation, like an emphasized/partially-voiced ち.)
This is why you shouldn't rely on romanization while learning Japanese phonology. Looking through the lens of romaji, っ and ん may certainly seem to do more or less the same thing: きっさ kissa, はっぱ happa, あんな anna, and ぐんま gumma (the last one may vary according to the practice). This is because romaji aims to make Japanese pronunciation friendly to those who ...
Just as you have used various English suffixes to turn nouns into adjectives ("-ly", "-ish", "-ful", ...), there are a number of ways to do this in Japanese, too. Most important ones are:
損 (disadvantage) / 損な (disadvantageous)
不思議 (mystery, wonder) / 不思議な (mysterious)
真 (truth) / 真の (true)
永遠 (eternity) / 永遠の (eternal)
子供 (child) / 子供っぽい (...
I would say there is very little conscious thought of whether something is a kun reading or an on reading of a character when speaking normally. That said, if you were to ask someone if a given reading is on or kun, they’d likely be able to answer quickly (if educated). It’s more secondary/subconscious knowledge, but can sometimes come in explicit use if you’...
This を is still an object marker, but the corresponding verb is omitted because it can be inferred from the context. This happens very often in slogans, headlines and lyrics. You can see some examples here:
Does the particle "を" (wo) have a special use when at the end of a sentence?
Is it a right interpretation of the line of this Japanese song?
Sometimes foreign speakers can hear the difference native Japanese speakers don't really care about. I have seen speakers of other languages are confused because, to them, Japanese people are pronouncing が and ぜ in different ways. However, this is something ordinary Japanese speakers are not even aware of.
Why doesn't Japanese have a special Katakana form ...
There are a number of stylistic or aesthetic reasons to do so. Sometimes katakana is used for a native Japanese word because of the katakana's "international", "modern" or "high-tech" feeling:
Why is Toyota typically written in Katakana? (トヨタ)
ニッポン? Why Kana?
However, katakana is also associated with oldness and tradition because it was the standard script ...
To actually answer the question, the characters are な (na) and ぢ (pronounced ji, but di in certain romanisations).
To address the meaning of what's being said, I understand that there is a slight difference in the meaning of いじめる and いぢめる, both meaning to bully/tease.
いぢめる has some sense of cuteness/playfulness about it: perhaps you're teasing someone, ...
In general, if you want to be sure of the correct kana spelling for a Japanese name, your best bet is to find out what kanji it's typically spelled with, and then find the matching readings for those kanji.
In this case, looking up "Shinya" (as a surname), it appears to be most commonly spelled either 新谷 or 新屋. For both of those, the kana spelling would be ...
Without context, "shinya" would be represented as しにゃ. However, AFAIK there is no name with such spelling so with 99% probability it is しんや. To avoid ambiguity, it is recommended to put an apostrophe between n representing ん and following vowels (i.e. "Shin'ya").
Regarding the nametag, it does clearly say れいな -- it's probably just the joins between the elements that are making it 'look off' to you? Perhaps seen from afar it would be clearer, as those small joins would appear less prominent?
As for pronunciation, Forvo is a good place to check for native pronunciation recordings. This individual says "Reina Miura" (...
なんか is an informal version of 何か (なにか). So you are correct in your assumption that it is a combination of なに and か.
Interrogative words like なに (what), どこ (where), どれ (which), etc, are known as 'indeterminate pronouns' (see a related answer here), and when combined with the particle か, indicate that the object is unidentified. It generally corresponds to '...
This なん is not 何; this is な + んです + か。
そう is treated like (but it's really not) a na-adjective. So following the construction here, it becomes そうなんですか。From the same website:
んです (ndesu) has the same meaning as です (desu), but is different in
that it feels a bit more personal since it is used to explain
something, give reasoning, or to emphasize something.
Simply, see what comes before なん. If the word before な is something that can take だ/です (a noun, a na-/no-adjective, そう, よう, いつ/だれ/どこ/etc), it means this な is a form of だ and ん is an explanatory-no. See the usage pattern of explanatory-no here.
学生なんですか。 So you're a student?
簡単なんですか。 So it's easy?
だれなんですか？ Who is it?
If なん is preceded by は or nothing, なん is ...
At the risk of sounding condescending, is the book definitely intended for a Japanese audience? As far as I'm aware standard, formal, modern Japanese basically always contains hiragana. Is it possibly a Chinese language?
The answer is yes. か is more rounded than 力.
か (ka)： is Hiragana character.
力 (ちから - Chikara)： "power", it is Kanji character.
か and 力 are both Japanese. And 力 is also a kanji (Chinese character). But か is not a Chinese character, and it is not a kanji, it is a hiragana letter in Japanese.
They are different! :D