"Ryakuji" (Japanese: 略字, or 筆写略字; "hissha ryakuji" meaning "abbreviated characters", latter meaning "handwritten abbreviated characters") are colloquial simplifications of Kanji. Ryakuji are not covered in the Kanji Kentei, nor are they officially recognized (most Ryakuji are not present in Unicode). However, some abbreviated forms of Hyōgaiji (表外字, characters not included in the Tōyō or Jōyō Kanji Lists) included in the JIS standards which conform to the Shinjitai simplifications are included in Level pre-1 and above of the Kanji Kentei (eg. 餠→餅, 摑→掴), as well as some other allowances for alternate ways of writing radicals and alternate forms. Some Ryakuji were adopted as Shinjitai.

Ryakuji are primarily used in individual memos and other handwriting. The Ryakuji for 門 ("MON", "kado"; gate [also a radical, "mongamae"] ) is widely used; however, it appears that there has been a decline in the use of Ryakuji in recent years.

Some widely used Ryakuji.


*1,2 - These are perhaps the most commonly used Ryakuji. 1 ("DAI", ordinal prefix as in No.) is present in Unicode as [http://www.unicode.org/cgi-bin/GetUnihanData.pl?codepoint=3427&useutf8=false] , but is not supported by the MS Gothic or Mincho family of typefaces, or Arial Unicode MS. According to the original Japanese article, 1 has been seen on roadsigns on the Keihin #3 Road (三京浜道路, "Dai-San Keihin Dōro"). 2 is not present in Unicode, although the closely related Simplified Chinese abbreviation (both originated from cursive script forms), 门, is.
*3 - An abbreviation of the bottom four dots in the character 点 is present in Unicode as [http://www.unicode.org/cgi-bin/GetUnihanData.pl?codepoint=594C&useutf8=false] , but is not supported by the MS Gothic or MS Mincho typefaces. It does appear in Arial Unicode, Sim Sun, Sim Hei, MingLiU, KaiU and New Gulim typefaces. Another simplification of this sort can be seen for the bottom four dots of 魚 (present in Unicode as [http://www.unicode.org/cgi-bin/GetUnihanData.pl?codepoint=29D4B&useutf8=false] ). The bottom of the characters 熱 and 馬, however, are simplified instead using a horizontal line, as in the Simplified Chinese characters 马 and 鱼.
*4 (variant 1 is present in Unicode as [http://www.unicode.org/cgi-bin/GetUnihanData.pl?codepoint=803A&useutf8=false] ) - Also used often, but somehow not applied to the related characters 織 and 識.
*5 (not present in Unicode) – Also often written as 旺 (originally a different character), but the dot (as in 玉) is used to distinguish.
*6 – Grass script form (1&2 also originated from grass script forms)
*7 (present in Unicode as [http://www.unicode.org/cgi-bin/GetUnihanData.pl?codepoint=3430&useutf8=false] ) – Abbreviated by removing the contents of the "kunigamae" radical. There is also the 囗 ( [http://www.unicode.org/cgi-bin/GetUnihanData.pl?codepoint=56D7&useutf8=false] ) abbreviation for 国.
*8,10 (not present in Unicode) – A portion at the top consisting of two or more consecutive characters is changed to a ツ shape. This can be seen in the Shinjitai simplifications 榮→栄, 單→単, 嚴→厳, 巢→巣, 學→学. The 竹 top radical has also been used (although rarely). A colloquial simplification for 機 exists (not present in Unicode) in which the right portion is replaced by Katakana キ ("ki") to indicate the On reading.
*9 (present in Unicode as [http://www.unicode.org/cgi-bin/GetUnihanData.pl?codepoint=6CAA&useutf8=false] ) – Not as common a character, but a major Ryakuji in scientific circles, as it is used in such words as 濾過 ("ROKA", percolation). This character has also been seen in print. This 盧→戸 can be seen in other examples such as 蘆→芦, and the Shinjitai simplification 爐→炉.
*11 (a version with the full 門 radical present in Unicode as [http://www.unicode.org/cgi-bin/GetUnihanData.pl?codepoint=9597&useutf8=false] ) – The complicated character 闘 ("TŌ") is replaced by a simpler character of the same On reading, 斗. Another example of this method is 年齢43歳→年令43才, and simplifications of this method have also been seen in print (才, the simplification of 歳 "SAI", age suffix, has become socially acceptable and is very common even in print). 11, although not so common, combines斗 with 门.
*12 (not present in Unicode) – Also commonly seen. The bottom 吅 portion of 品 is merged. Examples have also been seen in characters such as靈 (the Kyūjitai of 霊) in which the 口口口 portion has been merged.
*13 (not present in Unicode) – A colloquial simplification in which Katakana マ (ma) is used to indicate the On reading of both characters ("MA"). The simplification 魔 is seen in manga, and the simplification for 摩 is commonly seen when writing place names such as Tama, Tokyo (多摩市).

ee also

* Shinjitai
* Simplified Chinese character

External links

* [http://hac.cside.com/bunsho/1shou/39setu.html More examples of Ryakuji] Ryakuji are also included in Spahn and Hadamitzky's [http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0804820589 "The Kanji Dictionary"] .

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