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Japanese Hiragana kyokashotai NO.png
U+306E, の



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Orthographic borrowing from Japanese possessive marker (no).

Pronunciation 1[edit]


  1. Nonstandard form of .

Pronunciation 2[edit]

優之良品 (uses for )


  1. Nonstandard form of .

Usage notes[edit]

Not used in running Chinese text in any region. It may be used as a shorthand, or to achieve visual, Japanese-style effect such as on signs, book titles, pamphlet covers or signboards, similar to faux Cyrillic.


Stroke order
1 stroke


Etymology 1[edit]

Derived in the Heian period from writing the man'yōgana kanji in the cursive sōsho style.


(romaji no)

  1. The hiragana syllable (no). Its equivalent in katakana is (no). It is the twenty-fifth syllable in the gojūon order; its position is (na-gyō o-dan, row na, section o).
See also[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

⟨no2 → */nə//no/

From Old Japanese.[1][2] Appears in common use in the Kojiki, completed 712 CE.

May be an apophonic form of Old Japanese particle (na). This other form also appears in a similar function. However, its usage was already restricted to certain set expressions by the time of the earliest Japanese texts in the Nara period, with no clear examples of productive use.[1][2]

In Old Japanese, there are three particles used productively to mark one noun modifying another:

  • (tsu), as in 沖つ島守 (oki tsu shimamori, the caretaker or watchman of an island of the offing [offshore]) or 黄泉つ国 (yomo tsu kuni, the country of the underworld).
  • (ga), as in 関ヶ原 (Sekigahara, a placename, parseable as seki “checkpoint, barrier” + ga [possessive] + hara “field, plain”)
  • (no), as in 山処能一本薄 (Yamato no hitomoto susuki, the sawtooth sedge of Yamato, a line from one of the songs in the Kojiki)

The apophonic form (na) persisted only as an element in certain compounds, such as (minato, harbor, generally parsed as mi “water” + na [possessive] + to “door, gate” → port, landing, harbor), or (tanagokoro, palm of the hand, parsed as ta “hand” + na [possessive] + kokoro “heart, center”, changing to gokoro due to rendaku).

Alternative forms[edit]


(rōmaji no)

  1. genitive case marker
    1. indicates possession: of, -'s
       (わたし) () (けん)
      watashi no iken
      my opinion
    2. indicates identity or apposition
      大統領 (だいとうりょう)ブッシュ ()
      daitōryō no Busshu-shi
      the President, Mr. Bush
      山田 (やまだ) ()鹿 () () (ろう)
      Yamada no baka yarō!
      Yamada, you stupid jerk!
      山田 (やまだ) (やつ)
      Yamada no yatsu
      that dude Yamada
    3. a noun, adverb, or phrase modifier
      数学 (すうがく) (ぶん) ()
      sūgaku no bun'ya
      the field of mathematics
       (みどり) (くるま)
      midori no kuruma
      green car
       (すべ) (しょう) (ひん)
      subete no shōhin
      all goods
       (はは) () (がみ)
      haha e no tegami
      letter to mom
  2. nominative case marker in a relative clause
    眉毛 (まゆげ) () (ひと)
    mayuge no koi hito
    a man whose eyebrow is thick
    Synonym: (ga)
  3. a sentence ending that indicates emphasis or a question, depending on intonation
     () () (のう)じゃない
    Fukanō ja nai no?
    Isn't it impossible?
    Kiiten no?
    Are you listening?
  4. Nominalizes an adjective, verb, or phrase
     ()べる大好 (だいす)きだ。
    Taberu no ga daisuki da.
    I like eating very much.
Usage notes[edit]
  • In senses 3 and 4, (da) changes to the attributive (na) when followed by (no).
     () (のう)なの?
    kanō na no?
    Is it possible?
    Iro ga kirei na no ga ii.
    I prefer something with a beautiful color.
  • For sense 3, use of in declarative sentences for emphasis carries a female undertone (cf. ).
  • is sometimes weakened into (n) in fixed compounds, such as 桜ん坊 (sakuranbō, Japanese cherry) or 飴ん棒 (amenbō, lollipop).

See also[edit]

  • Chinese:
    Mandarin: (de), (zhī)
  • Korean: (ui)

Etymology 3[edit]

Readings of various kanji.


(rōmaji no)

  1. , : a plain, field; the hidden part of a structure
  2. : the shaft of an arrow; Pseudosasa japonica, a species of bamboo
  3. , : a unit of measurement for cloth breadth, approximately 36 centimeters


(rōmaji no-)

  1. : wild; (person) lacking a political post

Proper noun[edit]

(rōmaji No)

  1. , 濃於, , 野應, : a surname
  2. : a female given name
  3. : a place name


  1. 1.0 1.1 1988, 国語大辞典(新装版) (Kokugo Dai Jiten, Revised Edition) (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Shogakukan
  2. 2.0 2.1 2006, 大辞林 (Daijirin), Third Edition (in Japanese), Tōkyō: Sanseidō, →ISBN