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Name that kana!

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Name that kana!

Postby kinokage » Thu 10.24.2013 4:16 am

こんばんは! I'm transcribing some old passenger lists—this one's from 1937—and I've encountered a hiragana character I can't identify. I've studied Japanese calligraphy for a few years and have written most hira-, kata-, and hentaigana, so I figure maybe it's older typography. Can anyone help me identify it?

It consists of three strokes: a dot in the "northeast", then a somewhat longer stroke "southeast" of that that runs from NW to SE, , and then a third that curves from the W side to the SW corner and then along the bottom to the E—what I think must be derived from the radical shinnyuu. (I.e., it's almost like a dotted こ that was left out in the sun.) It's part of a two-kana female given name and followed by normal よ; I've checked lists of names for anything likely, but no joy.

手伝ってくれますか? Frothy bowl of matcha for you if you can. :-)

どうもありがとうございます。
kinokage
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Re: Name that kana!

Postby richvh » Thu 10.24.2013 6:44 am

It might help if you could post a scan of it. A picture's worth a thousand words, so they say.
Richard VanHouten
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Re: Name that kana!

Postby kinokage » Thu 10.24.2013 12:20 pm

richvh wrote:It might help if you could post a scan of it. A picture's worth a thousand words, so they say.


I agree!—but I couldn't get an image post to work. There's an image here: http://kinokageya.blogspot.com/
Most recent (since I haven't actually posted anything in months).

I appreciate your effort. Many, many thanks.
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Re: Name that kana!

Postby JaySee » Thu 10.24.2013 2:15 pm

It's the hiragana と (to).
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Re: Name that kana!

Postby kinokage » Thu 10.24.2013 2:20 pm

Thank you! I've written 437 flavors of と but have never seen that before. From which kanji does it derive?
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Re: Name that kana!

Postby JaySee » Thu 10.24.2013 3:52 pm

I think this was a fairly common (or perhaps even the most common) way of printing と in early modern Japan. The hiragana is ultimately derived from the kanji 止.

For your reference, there's a chart showing the origin of all hiragana on wikipedia.
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