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Japanese Hiragana kyokashotai HA.svg
U+306F, は



Stroke order
3 strokes

Etymology 1[edit]

Derived in the Heian period from writing the man'yōgana kanji in the cursive sōsho style.[1][2]



(romaji ha)

  1. The hiragana syllable (ha). Its equivalent in katakana is (ha). It is the twenty-sixth syllable in the gojūon order; its position is (ha-gyō a-dan, row ha, section a).
Derived terms[edit]
See also[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]


From Old Japanese. Used in the oldest Japanese writings, including the Man'yōshū finished some time after 759 CE.[1][2] Ultimately from Proto-Japonic *pa.

The spelling was preserved as (usually read as ha) in the script reform, rather than changed to (wa) as would otherwise be expected from the phonetics.




  1. (unique topic marker, often untranslatable)
    Kore wa inu desu.
    This [the topic, about which we are speaking] is a dog.
    Kyō wa ame desu ne.
    It seems like it is raining today.
    Kyō wa ame ga futteimasu.
    It is raining today.
    (literally, “Today is rain is falling.”)
  2. Inserted between two verbs for emphasis.
    Sō omotte wa inai deshō ka.
    Do you not think so?
    kateru to wa omotte wa inai
    does not think that one can win
    arawarete wa kieta
    disappeared as soon as it appeared
Usage notes[edit]
  • Note that English has no direct counterpart. For illustrative purposes, it may be translated as "as for", "speaking of", or a similar phrase. For example, "As for this, it is a dog". This often does not produce very natural English, however.
  • When inserted between two verbs for emphasis, is usually used with negatives and after a (te) form. This has given rise to ではない (de wa nai), the now standard negative form of (da).
  • (mo) vs (ha): see (mo).
  • always replaces (o) and (ga), but may follow other particles.
Derived terms[edit]
See also[edit]
  • (ga): the subject marker
Further reading[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

The reading of various kanji terms.




  1. : feather
  2. : leaf
  3. : tooth
  4. : edge
  5. : blade edge
  6. : (historical) in ancient times, a kind of fan used by servants to shield the face of nobles
  7. : group, faction, sect
  8. : (music) a slower break or section in the middle of a piece of gagaku music
  9. : supremacy, hegemony


  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