Small ke


Small ke

The small ke (ヶ) is a common, yet often misunderstood Japanese character.

It is an abbreviation for the kanji 「箇」 which is used as a counter word. Although it resembles the katakana character ke (ケ), it is pronounced ka, ga or ko, not ke.

The small ke is found in some counters and place names. When it is used in a counter word, such as 1ヶ月 (ikkagetsu) it is pronounced ka. When used in a place name, such as 青木ヶ原 (Aokigahara), it is pronounced ga. The combination "~ヶ原" (gahara) means "field of~" and appears occasionally in Japanese place names.

A rare, related character to ヶ is 个. This one is still used in Chinese. A larger version (ケ) also appears and is the same in every way, but its use is largely restricted to established names.

External links

* [http://www.sljfaq.org/w/Small_ke Monash FAQ]


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