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Japanese Character Reference

Syllabary Description
Hiragana phonetic lettering system - The word hiragana literally means "ordinary" or "simple" kana ("simple" originally as contrasted with kanji).
Katakana phonetic lettering system - The word katakana means "fragmentary kana", as the katakana characters are derived from components of more complex kanji.
In contrast to the hiragana syllabary, which is used for those Japanese language words and grammatical inflections which kanji does not cover, the katakana syllabary usage is quite similar to italics in English
kanji (漢字) logographic characters - one characters for a word or object
romaji Latin script

Hiragana

Hiragana base characters
a i u e o
k
s
t
n
h
m
y
r
w
(n)
Functional marks
and diacritics
っ tsu Sokuon, doubles the following consonant