Japanese letters

Japanese letters and alphabets – how many are they and why do we use so many of them?

Japanese characters or letters have two sets of alphabets and one set of ideographic characters. Brief Introduction – Hiragana The first set of alphabet is called “Hiragana” and it consists of 48 characters. Each letter represents a sound that is a mix of a consonant and a vowel in most cases. For example “す” is pronounced “soo” and “し” is pronounced “shi”, thus “すし” is pronounced “sooshi” which means Sushi of course. – Katakana The second set of alphabet is called “Katakana” and it also consists of 48 characters. Actually, Hiragana and Katakana are sets of characters which represent the same 48 sounds, but in different styles. For example, the [...]