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The word ? (takush?, 'taxi') written vertically with vertical ch?onpu

The ch?onpu (Japanese: , lit. "long sound symbol"), also known as ch?onkig? (?), onbiki (), b?biki (), or Katakana-Hiragana Prolonged Sound Mark by the Unicode Consortium, is a Japanese symbol that indicates a ch?on, or a long vowel of two morae in length. Its form is a horizontal or vertical line in the center of the text with the width of one kanji or kana character. It is written horizontally in horizontal text and vertically in vertical text. The ch?onpu is usually used to indicate a long vowel sound in katakana writing, rarely in hiragana writing, and never in romanized Japanese. The ch?onpu is a distinct mark from the dash, and in most Japanese typefaces it can easily be distinguished. In horizontal writing it is similar in appearance to, but should not be confused with, the kanji character ? ("one").

The symbol is sometimes used with hiragana, for example in the signs of ramen restaurants, which are normally written ? in hiragana. Usually, however, hiragana does not use the ch?onpu but another vowel kana to express this sound. The following table shows the usual hiragana equivalents used to form a long vowel, using the ha-gy? (the ha, hi, fu, he, ho sequence) as an example.

Romaji Hiragana Katakana
f? / h?
h? (hee)
h? (hoo) or

When rendering English words into katakana, the ch?onpu is often used to represent a syllable-final sequence of a vowel letter + r, which in English generally represents a long vowel if the syllable is stressed and a schwa if unstressed (in rhotic dialects it may additionally be an R-coloured vowel). For example, both "ar" and "er" are usually represented by a long ? vowel, with the words "number" and "car" becoming ? (nanb?) and (k?).

In addition to Japanese, ch?onpu are also used in Okinawan writing systems to indicate two morae. The Sakhalin dialect of Ainu also uses ch?onpu in its katakana writing for long vowels.

Digital encoding

In Unicode, the ch?onpu has the value KATAKANA-HIRAGANA PROLONGED SOUND MARK, which corresponds to JIS X 0208 kuten code point 01-28, encoded in Shift JIS as 815B. It is normally rendered fullwidth and with a glyph appropriate to the writing direction. The halfwidth compatibility form has the value HALFWIDTH KATAKANA-HIRAGANA PROLONGED SOUND MARK, which is converted to Shift JIS value B0.

Character information
Encodings decimal hex decimal hex
Unicode 12540 U+30FC 65392 U+FF70
UTF-8 227 131 188 E3 83 BC 239 189 176 EF BD B0
Numeric character reference ー ー ー ー
Shift JIS[1] 129 91 81 5B 176 B0
EUC-JP[2] 161 188 A1 BC 142 176 8E B0
GB 18030[3] 169 96 A9 60 132 49 151 50 84 31 97 32
KPS 9566-2011[4] 234 72 EA 48
Big5 (ETEN / HKSCS)[5][a] 198 227 C6 E3

Other representations


? (braille pattern dots-25)


  1. ^ The other kana layout for Big5 does not include a ch?onpu.[6]

See also


  1. ^ Unicode Consortium (2015-12-02) [1994-03-08]. "Shift-JIS to Unicode".
  2. ^ Unicode Consortium; IBM. "EUC-JP-2007". International Components for Unicode.
  3. ^ Standardization Administration of China (SAC) (2005-11-18). GB 18030-2005: Information Technology--Chinese coded character set.
  4. ^ Chung, Jaemin (2018-01-05). "Information on the most recent version of KPS 9566 (KPS 9566-2011?)" (PDF). UTC L2/18-011.
  5. ^ van Kesteren, Anne. "big5". Encoding Standard. WHATWG.
  6. ^ Unicode Consortium (2015-12-02) [1994-02-11]. "BIG5 to Unicode table (complete)".

External links

  • Media related to Ch?onpu at Wikimedia Commons

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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