E (kana)

In Japanese writing, the kana (hiragana) and (katakana) (romanised e) occupy the fourth place, between and , in the modern Gojūon (五十音) system of collating kana. In the Iroha, they occupy the 34th, between and . In the table at right (ordered by columns, from right to left), え lies in the first column (あ行, "column A") and the fourth row (え段, "row E"). Both represent [e].

Form Rōmaji Hiragana Katakana
Normal a/i/u/e/o
(あ行 a-gyō)
e
ei
ee
ē
えい, えぃ
ええ, えぇ
えー
エイ, エィ
エエ, エェ
エー
e
transliteratione
hiragana origin
katakana origin
spelling kana英語のエ
(Eigo no "e")

Derivation

え and エ originate, via man'yōgana, from the kanji and , respectively.

The archaic kana (we), as well as many non-initial occurrences of the character (he), have entered the modern Japanese language as え. The directional particle へ is today pronounced "e", though not written as え. Compare this to (ha) and (wo), which are pronounced "wa" and "o" when used as grammatical particles.

Variant forms

Scaled-down versions of the kana (ぇ, ェ) are used to express morae foreign to the Japanese language, such as ヴェ (ve). In several Okinawan writing systems, a small ぇ is also combined with the kana く(ku) and ふ (fu or hu) to form the digraphs くぇ kwe and ふぇ hwe.

Transliteration

In the Hepburn, Kunrei-shiki and Nihon-shiki systems of romanization, both え and エ are transliterated as "e". In the Polivanov system of cyrillization, the kana are transliterated as "э".

Stroke order

The hiragana え is made with two strokes:

  1. At the top, a short diagonal stroke proceeding downward and to the right.
  2. At the bottom, a stroke composed of a horizontal line, a diagonal proceeding downward and to the left, and a rightward stroke resembling a tilde (~).

The katakana エ is made with three strokes:

  1. At the top, a horizontal stroke from left to right.
  2. A downward vertical stroke starting in the center of the first stroke.
  3. At the bottom, a horizontal stroke parallel to the first stroke, and touching the second. This stroke is usually slightly longer than the first.

This is also the way to make the Latin letter "I" (although the correct upper case form does not look like the lower case Latin letter "l")

Other communicative representations

Character
Unicode nameHIRAGANA LETTER EKATAKANA LETTER EHALFWIDTH KATAKANA LETTER E
Encodingsdecimalhexdecimalhexdecimalhex
Unicode12360U+304812456U+30A865396U+FF74
UTF-8227 129 136E3 81 88227 130 168E3 82 A8239 189 180EF BD B4
Numeric character referenceええエエエエ
Shift JIS130 16682 A6131 7183 47180B4
Character
Unicode nameHIRAGANA LETTER SMALL EKATAKANA LETTER SMALL EHALFWIDTH KATAKANA LETTER SMALL E
Encodingsdecimalhexdecimalhexdecimalhex
Unicode12359U+304712455U+30A765386U+FF6A
UTF-8227 129 135E3 81 87227 130 167E3 82 A7239 189 170EF BD AA
Numeric character referenceぇぇェェェェ
Shift JIS130 16582 A5131 7083 46170AA
Character𛀀𛀁
Unicode nameKATAKANA LETTER ARCHAIC EHIRAGANA LETTER ARCHAIC YE
Encodingsdecimalhexdecimalhex
Unicode110592U+1B000110593U+1B001
UTF-8240 155 128 128F0 9B 80 80240 155 128 129F0 9B 80 81
UTF-1655340 56320D82C DC0055340 56321D82C DC01
Numeric character reference𛀀𛀀𛀁𛀁
  • Braille
え / エ in Japanese Braille
え / エ
e
えい / エー
ē/ei

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