U (Kana)

うin hiragana or katakanaウ( romanised u) one of the Japanese kana is representing a Mora. In the modern Japanese alphabetical sorting, it is the third. It is also the 24th letter in Iroha, just after theむand beforeゐ. In the Gojūon table ( sorted by columns from left to right) standsうin the first column (あ行, " Column A " ) and in the third row (う 段, " row U"). Both sounds represent [ [u ͍ ] ]

For the combinationうぅorウゥthere is no uniform regulation in the Hepburn system, according to the variant Hyōjun - shiki, as amended in 1974, this transcribed as wu.

The hiragana version of the Dakutenゔis almost never used because the sound does not occur in the original Japanese.


Both formsうandウderived via Man'yōgana from Kanji宇(pronounced u with the meaning of space ).


The scaled versions of the characters (ぅ,ゥ) can be used to create Moren, which do not occur in the Japanese language, for exampleトゥ(tu). This application form is relatively new. In the phrase Tutankhamun's cartouche for example, in the recent Lehnswort cartouche the new phonetic form used. In the earlier word Tutankhamun isツ( tsu ) is used as an approximation:

The signうis also used in its normal form in order to extend the sound "o ", written for example in the word构想, in HiraganaこうそうKoso ( kousou ) pronounced. In a few words the characterお(o ) is used for renewal. This has morphological or historical reasons.

The Kanaウwritten with Dakutenヴ( vu ) is used to represent the Japanese foreign phone, and usually approximated withブ( bu ) to the sound play.

Stroke order

The hiraganaうis drawn with two strokes:

The Katakanaウis written with three strokes.

Other forms of presentation

  • In Japanese Braille:
  • The Wabun code is · · -
  • In the Japanese phonetic order it would read, "上野 の ウ" ( Ueno no U).