I (kana)

in hiragana or in katakana (romanised as i) is one of the Japanese kana each of which represents one mora. い is based on the sōsho style of the kanji character 以, and イ is from the radical (left part) of the kanji character 伊. In the modern Japanese system of alphabetical order, it occupies the second position of the alphabet, between and . Additionally, it is the first letter in Iroha, before ろ. Both represent the sound [i]. In the Ainu language, katakana イ is written as y in their Latin-based alphabet, and a small ィ after another katakana represents a diphthong.

Form Rōmaji Hiragana Katakana
Normal a/i/u/e/o
(あ行 a-gyō)
i
ii
ī
いい
いー
イイ
イー
Other additional forms
Form (y-)
Rōmaji Hiragana Katakana
(ya) (や) (ヤ)
(yi) (いぃ) (イィ)
(yu) (ゆ) (ユ)
ye いぇ イェ
(yo) (よ) (ヨ)
i
transliterationi
hiragana origin
katakana origin
spelling kanaいろはのイ
(Iroha no "i")

Variant forms

Like other vowels, scaled-down versions of the kana (ぃ, ィ) are used to express sounds foreign to the Japanese language, such as フィ (fi). In some Okinawan writing systems, a small ぃ is also combined with the kana く (ku) and ふ to form the digraphs くぃ kwi and ふぃ hwi respectively, although the Ryukyu University system uses the kana ゐ/ヰ instead.

Origin

い comes from the left part of the Kanji 以, while イ originates from the left part of the Kanji 伊.[1]

Stroke order

The Hiragana い is made in two strokes:

  1. At the top left, a curved vertical stroke, ending with a hook at the bottom.
  2. At the top right, a shorter stroke, slightly curving in the opposite direction.

The Katakana イ is made in two strokes:

  1. At the top, a curved diagonal line going from right to left.
  2. In the center of the last stroke, a vertical line going down.

Other communicative representations

Character
Unicode nameHIRAGANA LETTER IKATAKANA LETTER IHALFWIDTH KATAKANA LETTER I
Encodingsdecimalhexdecimalhexdecimalhex
Unicode12356U+304412452U+30A465394U+FF72
UTF-8227 129 132E3 81 84227 130 164E3 82 A4239 189 178EF BD B2
Numeric character referenceいいイイイイ
Shift JIS130 16282 A2131 6783 43178B2
Character
Unicode nameHIRAGANA LETTER SMALL IKATAKANA LETTER SMALL IHALFWIDTH KATAKANA LETTER SMALL I
Encodingsdecimalhexdecimalhexdecimalhex
Unicode12355U+304312451U+30A365384U+FF68
UTF-8227 129 131E3 81 83227 130 163E3 82 A3239 189 168EF BD A8
Numeric character referenceぃぃィィィィ
Shift JIS130 16182 A1131 6683 42168A8
  • Braille
い / イ in Japanese Braille
い / イ
i
いい / イー
ī

The Morse code for い or イ, is ・-.

In Japanese phonetic alphabet, one would say "いろはのイ" (Iroha no I.)

Footnotes

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