|Unicode name||KATAKANA LETTER A|
Simplified in the Heian period from the man'yōgana kanji 阿, taken from the left part of the character. This is one of many katakana characters that were formed by writing only the first few strokes of a kanji and omitting the rest.
ア (Hepburn romanization a)
- The katakana syllable ア (a), whose equivalent in hiragana is あ (a). It is the first syllable of the gojūon order, and its position in gojūon tables is ア行ア段 (A-gyō, A-dan; “row A, section A”).
Unlike the hiragana system, used for Japanese language words that kanji does not cover, the katakana syllabary is used primarily for transcription of foreign language words into Japanese and the writing of loan words (collectively gairaigo), as well as to represent onomatopoeia, technical and scientific terms, and the names of plants, animals, and minerals. Names of Japanese companies, as well as certain Japanese language words, are also sometimes written in katakana rather than the other systems. 
- For a list of words starting with ア (a) see: Special:Allpages/ア