The Info List - Kunrei-shiki Romanization

Kunrei-shiki rōmaji (訓令式ローマ字) is a Cabinet-ordered romanization system to transcribe the Japanese language
Japanese language
into the Latin alphabet. It is abbreviated as Kunrei-shiki. Its name is rendered Kunreisiki using Kunrei-shiki itself. Kunrei-shiki is sometimes known as the Monbushō system in English because it is taught in the Monbushō-approved elementary school curriculum. The ISO has standardized Kunrei-shiki, under ISO 3602. Kunrei-shiki is based on the older Nihon-shiki romanization, which was modified for modern standard Japanese. For example, the word かなづかい, romanized kanadukai in Nihon-shiki, is pronounced kanazukai in standard modern Japanese
and is romanized as such in Kunrei-shiki. Kunrei-shiki competes with the older Hepburn romanization
Hepburn romanization
system, which was promoted by the authorities during the Allied occupation of Japan, after World War II.


1 History 2 Legal status 3 Usage

3.1 Kunrei-shiki spellings of kana 3.2 Notes 3.3 Permitted exceptions

4 See also 5 Sources 6 References 7 External links

History[edit] Before World War II, there was a political conflict between supporters of Hepburn romanisation
Hepburn romanisation
and supporters of the Nihon-shiki romanisation. In 1930, a board of inquiry, under the aegis of the Minister of Education, was established to determine the proper romanization system. The Japanese
government, by cabinet order (訓令 kunrei),[1] announced on 21 September 1937 that a modified form of Nihon-shiki would be officially adopted as Kunrei-shiki.[2] The form at the time differs slightly from the modern form.[3] Originally, the system was called the Kokutei (国定, government-authorized) system.[2] The Japanese
government gradually introduced Kunrei-shiki, which appeared in secondary education, on railway station signboards, on nautical charts, and on the 1:1,000,000 scale International Map of the World.[4] While the central government had strong control, from 1937 to 1945, the Japanese
government used Kunrei-shiki in its tourist brochures.[5] In Japan, some use of Nihon-shiki and Modified Hepburn remained, however, because some individuals supported the use of those systems.[4] J. Marshall Unger, the author of Literacy and Script Reform in Occupation Japan: Reading between the Lines, said that the Hepburn supporters "understandably" believed that the Kunrei-shiki "compromise" was not fair because of the presence of the "un-English-looking spellings" that the Modified Hepburn supporters had opposed.[6] Andrew Horvat, the author of Japanese
Beyond Words: How to Walk and Talk
Like a Native Speaker, argued that "by forcing non-native speakers of Japanese
with no intentions of learning the language to abide by a system intended for those who have some command of Japanese, the government gave the impression of intolerant language management that would have dire consequences later on."[5] After the Japanese
government was defeated in 1945, General Douglas MacArthur, the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers
Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers
issued a directive, dated 3 September 1945, that stated that Modified Hepburn was the method to transcribe Japanese
names. Some editorials printed in Japanese
newspapers advocated for using only Hepburn.[7] Supporters of Hepburn denounced pro-Kunrei-shiki and pro-Nihon-shiki advocates to the SCAP offices[6] by accusing them of being inactive militarists[7] and of collaborating with militarists. Unger said that the nature of Kunrei-shiki led to "pent-up anger" by Hepburn supporters.[6] During the postwar period, several educators and scholars tried to introduce romanized letters as a teaching device and possibility later replacing kanji. However, Kunrei-shiki had associations with Japanese
militarism, and the US occupation was reluctant to promote it.[5] On 9 December 1954, the Japanese
government re-confirmed Kunrei-shiki as its official system[2] but with slight modifications.[8] Eleanor Jorden, an American linguist, made textbooks with a modified version of Kunrei-shiki, which were used in the 1960s in courses given to US diplomats. The use of her books did not change the US government's hesitation to use Kunrei-shiki.[5] As of 1974, according to the Geographical Survey Institute
Geographical Survey Institute
(now the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan), Kunrei-shiki was used for topographical maps, and Modified Hepburn was used for geological maps and aeronautical charts.[9] As of 1978, the National Diet Library
National Diet Library
used Kunrei-shiki. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, and many other official organizations instead used Hepburn, as did The Japan Times, the JTB Corporation, and many other private organisations.[2]

Legal status[edit] The system was originally promulgated as Japanese
Cabinet Order No. 3 as of 21 September 1937. Since it had been overturned by the SCAP during the occupation of Japan, the Japanese
government repealed it and decreed again, as Japanese
Cabinet Order No.1 as of 29 December 1954. It mandated the use of Kunrei-shiki in "the written expression of Japanese
generally". Specific alternative spellings could be used in international relations and to follow established precedent. See Permitted Exceptions for details.[1] Kunrei-shiki has been recognised, along with Nihon-shiki, in ISO 3602:1989. Documentation—Romanisation of Japanese
(kana script) by the ISO. It was also recommended by the ANSI after it withdrew its own standard, ANSI Z39.11-1972 American National Standard System for the Romanization of Japanese
Romanization of Japanese
(Modified Hepburn), in 1994.


Example: tat-u

Conjugation Kunrei Hepburn

Mizen 1 tat-a- tat-a-

Mizen 2 tat-o- tat-o-

Ren'yô tat-i tach-i

Syûsi/Rentai tat-u tats-u

Katei tat-e- tat-e-

Meirei tat-e tat-e

Despite its official recognition, Japanese
commonly choose between Nihon-shiki/Kunrei-shiki and Hepburn for any given situation. However, the Japanese
government generally uses Hepburn, especially for passports,[10] road signage,[10] and train signage.[11] Otherwise, most Western publications and all English-language newspapers use some form of Hepburn.[12] Because Kunrei-shiki is based on Japanese
phonology, it can cause non-native speakers to pronounce words incorrectly. John Hinds, the author of Japanese: Descriptive Grammar, describes that as "a major disadvantage."[13][page needed] Additional complications appear with newer kana combinations such as ティーム (チーム) team. In Hepburn, they would be distinguished as different sounds and represented as tīmu and chīmu respectively. That gives better indications of the English pronunciations. For some Japanese-speakers, however, the sounds ティ "ti" and チ "chi" are the same phoneme; both are represented in Kunrei-shiki as tîmu. Such complications may be confusing to those who do not know Japanese phonology well. Today, the main users of Kunrei-shiki are native speakers of Japanese, especially within Japan, and linguists studying Japanese. The main advantage of Kunrei-shiki is that it is better able to illustrate Japanese
grammar, as Hepburn preserves the irregularity of certain conjugations (see table, right).[14][page needed] The most serious problem of Hepburn in this context is that it may change the stem of a verb, which is not reflected in the underlying morphology of the language. One notable introductory textbook for English-speakers, Eleanor Jorden's Japanese: The Spoken Language, uses her JSL romanization, a system strongly influenced by Kunrei-shiki in its adherence to Japanese
phonology, but it is adapted to teaching proper pronunciation of Japanese

Kunrei-shiki spellings of kana[edit]



あ ア a い イ i う ウ u え エ e お オ o

(ya) (yu) (yo)

か カ ka き キ ki く ク ku け ケ ke こ コ ko

きゃ キャ kya

きゅ キュ kyu

きょ キョ kyo

さ サ sa し シ si す ス su せ セ se そ ソ so

しゃ シャ sya

しゅ シュ syu

しょ ショ syo

た タ ta ち チ ti つ ツ tu て テ te と ト to

ちゃ チャ tya

ちゅ チュ tyu

ちょ チョ tyo

な ナ na に ニ ni ぬ ヌ nu ね ネ ne の ノ no

にゃ ニャ nya

にゅ ニュ nyu

にょ ニョ nyo

は ハ ha ひ ヒ hi ふ フ hu へ ヘ he ほ ホ ho

ひゃ ヒャ hya

ひゅ ヒュ hyu

ひょ ヒョ hyo

ま マ ma み ミ mi む ム mu め メ me も モ mo

みゃ ミャ mya

みゅ ミュ myu

みょ ミョ myo

や ヤ ya (i) ゆ ユ yu (e) よ ヨ yo

ら ラ ra り リ ri る ル ru れ レ re ろ ロ ro

りゃ リャ rya

りゅ リュ ryu

りょ リョ ryo

わ ワ wa ゐ ヰ i (u) ゑ ヱ e を ヲ o

ん ン n

voiced sounds (dakuten)

が ガ ga ぎ ギ gi ぐ グ gu げ ゲ ge ご ゴ go

ぎゃ ギャ gya

ぎゅ ギュ gyu

ぎょ ギョ gyo

ざ ザ za じ ジ zi ず ズ zu ぜ ゼ ze ぞ ゾ zo

じゃ ジャ zya

じゅ ジュ zyu

じょ ジョ zyo

だ ダ da ぢ ヂ zi づ ヅ zu で デ de ど ド do

ぢゃ ヂャ zya

ぢゅ ヂュ zyu

ぢょ ヂョ zyo

ば バ ba び ビ bi ぶ ブ bu べ ベ be ぼ ボ bo

びゃ ビャ bya

びゅ ビュ byu

びょ ビョ byo

ぱ パ pa ぴ ピ pi ぷ プ pu ぺ ペ pe ぽ ポ po

ぴゃ ピャ pya

ぴゅ ピュ pyu

ぴょ ピョ pyo

Notes[edit] Characters in red are obsolete in modern Japanese. When he (へ) is used as a particle, it is written as e, not he (as in Nihon-shiki). When ha (は) is used as a particle, it is written as wa, not ha. wo (を/ヲ) is used only as a particle, written o. Long vowels are indicated by a circumflex accent: long o is written ô. Vowels that are separated by a morpheme boundary are not considered to be a long vowel. For example, おもう (思う) is written omou, not omô. Syllabic n (ん) is written as n' before vowels and y but as n before consonants and at the end of a word. Geminate consonants are always marked by doubling the consonant following the sokuon (っ). The first letter in a sentence and all proper nouns are capitalized. ISO 3602 has the strict form; see Nihon-shiki. Permitted exceptions[edit] The Cabinet Order makes an exception to the above chart:

In international relations and situations for which prior precedent would make a sudden reform difficult, the spelling given by Chart 2 may also be used:

しゃ sha

し shi

しゅ shu

しょ sho



つ tsu


ちゃ cha

ち chi

ちゅ chu

ちょ cho



ふ fu


じゃ ja

じ ji

じゅ ju

じょ jo


ぢ di

づ du


ぢゃ dya


ぢゅ dyu

ぢょ dyo

くゎ kwa




ぐゎ gwa







を wo

The exceptional clause is not to be confused with other systems of romanization (such as Hepburn) and does not specifically relax other requirements, such as marking long vowels.

See also[edit]

Japan portal Language portal List of ISO transliterations

Sources[edit] Geographical Survey Institute
Geographical Survey Institute
(Kokudo Chiriin). Bulletin of the Geographical Survey Institute, Volumes 20-23. 1974. Gottlieb, Nanette. "The Rōmaji movement in Japan." Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society (Third Series). January 2010. Volume 20, Issue 1. p. 75-88. Published online on November 30, 2009. Available at Cambridge Journals. DOI doi:10.1017/S1356186309990320. Hadamitzky, Wolfgang. Kanji
& Kana
Revised Edition (漢字・かな). Tuttle Publishing, 1997. .mw-parser-output cite.citation font-style:inherit .mw-parser-output .citation q quotes:"""""""'""'" .mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-free a background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/65/Lock-green.svg/9px-Lock-green.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center .mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-registration a background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-gray-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center .mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-subscription a background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg/9px-Lock-red-alt-2.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center .mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration color:#555 .mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help .mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a background:url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/4c/Wikisource-logo.svg/12px-Wikisource-logo.svg.png")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center .mw-parser-output code.cs1-code color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit .mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error display:none;font-size:100% .mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error font-size:100% .mw-parser-output .cs1-maint display:none;color:#33aa33;margin-left:0.3em .mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format font-size:95% .mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left padding-left:0.2em .mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right padding-right:0.2em ISBN 0-8048-2077-5, 9780804820776. Horvat, Andrew. Japanese
Beyond Words: How to Walk and Talk
Like a Native Speaker. Stone Bridge Press, 2000. ISBN 1-880656-42-6, 9781880656426. Hinds, John. Japanese: Descriptive Grammar. Taylor & Francis Group, 1986. ISBN 0-415-01033-0, 9780415010337. Kent, Allen, Harold Lancour, and Jay Elwood Daily (Executive Editors). Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science Volume 21. CRC Press, April 1, 1978. ISBN 0-8247-2021-0, 9780824720216. Unger, J. Marshall. Literacy and Script Reform in Occupation Japan : Reading between the Lines: Reading between the Lines. Oxford University Press. July 8, 1996. ISBN 0-19-535638-1, 9780195356380. ローマ字のつづり方. 文部科学省 (in Japanese). Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. Retrieved 2013-05-21. References[edit]

^ Horvat, Andrew (2000). Japanese
Beyond Words: How to Walk and Talk Like a Native Speaker. Stone Bridge Press. p. 166. ISBN 978-1-880656-42-6. The zi ending of roomazi comes from the Kunreeshiki system promulgated in the 1930s through a cabinet order, or kunree.

^ a b c d Kent, Allen; Lancour, Harold; Daily, Jay E. (1977). Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science: Volume 21 - Oregon State System of Higher Education to Pennsylvania State University Libraries. CRC Press. p. 155. ISBN 978-0-8247-2021-6.

^ Hadamitzky, Wolfgang; Spahn, Mark (1996). 漢字・かな. C.E. Tuttle. p. 12. ISBN 978-0-8048-2077-6.

^ a b " Romanization
in Japan." (Archive) (Paper presented by Japan) United Nations Economic and Social Council. 8 July 1977. p. 3. English only. Retrieved on 15 May 2013.

^ a b c d Horvat, Andrew. "The Romaji (Roomaji) Conundrum." (Archive) – Excerpt from Horvat's book: Japanese
Beyond Words: How to Walk and Talk
Like a Native Speaker. Hosted at the David See-Chai Lam Centre for International Communication of Simon Fraser University. Retrieved on 13 May 2013.

^ a b c Unger, James Marshall (1996). Literacy and Script Reform in Occupation Japan: Reading between the Lines. Oxford University Press. p. 54. ISBN 978-0-19-535638-0.

^ a b Unger, John Marshall (1996). Literacy and Script Reform in Occupation Japan: Reading between the Lines. Oxford University Press. p. 78. ISBN 978-0-19-535638-0.

^ Gottlieb, p. 78.

^ Geographical Survey Institute
Geographical Survey Institute
(1974). Bulletin of the Geographical Survey Institute. p. 22. As reported at the Second Conference, the writing of geographical names in Roman letters in Japan comes in two types — Kunrei Siki (system adopted under a Cabinet ordinance) and Syûsei Hebon Siki (Modified Hepburn System). Kunrei Siki is used for topographical maps, whereas Syûsei Hebon Siki is in use for aeronautical charts and geological maps.

^ a b http://www.kictec.co.jp/inpaku/iken%20keikai/syasin/hebon/romaji.htm

^ http://tabi-mo.travel.coocan.jp/font_kitei2.htm#10

^ Powers, John. " Japanese
Names", The Indexer Vol. 26 No. 2 June 2008. "It [Hepburn] can be considered the norm as, in slightly modified form, it is followed by the great majority of Western publications and by all English-language newspapers."

^ Hinds, John (1986). Japanese: Descriptive Grammar. Croom Helm. ISBN 0-7099-3733-4. LCCN 86006372. The major disadvantage of this system (Kunrei-shiki) is that there is a tendency for nonnative speakers of Japanese
to pronounce certain forms incorrectly.

^ Hinds, John (1986). Japanese: Descriptive Grammar. Croom Helm. ISBN 0-7099-3733-4. LCCN 86006372. The major advantage of kunrei-shiki is that inflectional endings are seen to be more regular.

External links[edit] Horvat, Andrew. "The Romaji (Roomaji) Conundrum." (Archive) – Excerpt from Horvat's book: Japanese
Beyond Words: How to Walk and Talk
Like a Native Speaker. Hosted at the David See-Chai Lam Centre for International Communication of Simon Fraser University. vte Romanization
of Japanese Hepburn JSL Kunrei-shiki (ISO 3602) Nihon-shiki ( ISO 3602 Strict) Wāpuro

vte Japanese
languageEarlier forms Old Early Middle Late Middle Early Modern Dialects Hokkaidō Tōhoku Tsugaru Akita Kesen Yamagata Kantō Ibaraki Tokyo Tōkai–Tōsan Nagaoka Nagoya Mikawa Mino Hida Hokuriku Kansai Awaji Banshū Chūgoku Umpaku Shikoku Iyo Tosa Sanuki Hōnichi Ōita Hichiku Hakata Saga Tsushima Satsugū Okinawan Japanese Pidgins and creoles Bamboo English Bonin English In Hawaiian Creole Kanbun Kyowa-go Pseudo-Chinese Yilan Creole Japanese Yokohama Pidgin Japanese Japonic languages Hachijō Ryukyuan Amami Ōshima Kikai Kunigami Miyako Okinawan Okinoerabu Tokunoshima Yaeyama Yonaguni Yoron Writing systemLogograms Kanbun Kanji by concept by stroke count Kanji
radicals by frequency by stroke count Ryakuji Kana Hiragana Katakana Furigana Okurigana Gojūon Man'yōgana Hentaigana Sōgana Kana
ligature Orthography Braille Kanji Punctuation Orthographic issues Kanazukai Historical kana Modern kana Jōdai Tokushu Kanazukai Yotsugana Transcription into Japanese Encoding EUC EUC-JP ISOEIC 2022 JIS 0201 0208 0211 0212 0213 Shift JIS Unicode Hiragana Kana
Extended-A Kana
Supplement Small Kana
Extension Katakana Katakana
Phonetic Extensions Other ARIB STD B24 Enclosed EIS Extended shinjitai Half/Full Grammar andvocabulary Japanese
grammar Verb
and adjective conjugations Consonant and vowel verbs Irregular verbs Pronouns Adjectives Possessives Particles Topic marker Counter words Numerals Native words (yamato kotoba) Sino- Japanese
vocabulary Loan words (gairaigo) from Dutch from Portuguese Wasei-eigo Engrish Honorific speech Honorifics Court lady language (nyōbō kotoba) Gender differences Dictionaries Phonology Pitch accent Rendaku Sound symbolism Transliteration Romanization Hepburn Nihon-shiki Kunrei JSL Wāpuro rōmaji In Esperanto Cyrillization Literature Books Poetry Writers Speculative fiction writers Classical Japanese texts

vteISO standards .mw-parser-output .nobold font-weight:normal by standard numberList of ISO standards / ISO romanizations / IEC standards1–9999 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 9 16 17 31 -0 -1 -2 -3 -4 -5 -6 -7 -8 -9 -10 -11 -12 -13 128 216 217 226 228 233 259 269 302 306 361 428 500 518 519 639 -1 -2 -3 -5 -6 646 657 668 690 704 732 764 838 843 860 898 965 999 1000 1004 1007 1073-1 1155 1413 1538 1629 1745 1989 2014 2015 2022 2033 2047 2108 2145 2146 2240 2281 2533 2709 2711 2720 2788 2848 2852 3029 3103 3166 -1 -2 -3 3297 3307 3601 3602 3864 3901 3950 3977 4031 4157 4165 4217 4909 5218 5426 5427 5428 5725 5775 5776 5800 5807 5964 6166 6344 6346 6385 6425 6429 6438 6523 6709 6943 7001 7002 7010 7027 7064 7098 7185 7200 7498 -1 7637 7736 7810 7811 7812 7813 7816 7942 8000 8093 8178 8217 8373 8501-1 8571 8583 8601 8613 8632 8651 8652 8691 8805/8806 8807 8820-5 8859 -1 -2 -3 -4 -5 -6 -7 -8 -8-I -9 -10 -11 -12 -13 -14 -15 -16 8879 9000/9001 9036 9075 9126 9141 9227 9241 9293 9314 9362 9407 9506 9529 9564 9592/9593 9594 9660 9797-1 9897 9899 9945 9984 9985 9995 10000–19999 10005 10006 10007 10116 10118-3 10160 10161 10165 10179 10206 10218 10303 -11 -21 -22 -28 -238 10383 10487 10585 10589 10646 10664 10746 10861 10957 10962 10967 11073 11170 11179 11404 11544 11783 11784 11785 11801 11898 11940 (-2) 11941 11941 (TR) 11992 12006 12182 12207 12234-2 13211 -1 -2 13216 13250 13399 13406-2 13450 13485 13490 13567 13568 13584 13616 14000 14031 14224 14289 14396 14443 14496 -2 -3 -6 -10 -11 -12 -14 -17 -20 14644 14649 14651 14698 14750 14764 14882 14971 15022 15189 15288 15291 15292 15398 15408 15444 -3 15445 15438 15504 15511 15686 15693 15706 -2 15707 15897 15919 15924 15926 15926 WIP 15930 16023 16262 16355-1 16612-2 16750 16949 (TS) 17024 17025 17100 17203 17369 17442 17799 18000 18004 18014 18245 18629 18916 19005 19011 19092 (-1 -2) 19114 19115 19125 19136 19407 19439 19500 19501 19502 19503 19505 19506 19507 19508 19509 19510 19600 19752 19757 19770 19775-1 19794-5 19831 20000+ 20000 20022 20121 20400 21000 21047 21500 21827:2002 22000 23270 23271 23360 24517 24613 24617 24707 25178 25964 26000 26262 26300 26324 27000 series 27000 27001 27002 27006 27729 28000 29110 29148 29199-2 29500 30170 31000 32000 37001 38500 40500 42010 45001 50001 55000 80000 -1 -2 -3