Examples of 半角仮名(はんかくかな) "half-width kana"


The above is from a postcard sent by a local tax office in 1991 showing receipt of an income tax payment. The address of the bank written in kanji would be:

東京都 新宿区 新宿
住友銀行 新宿東口
支店 電話

Because the address is written in half-width kana, the 濁点(だくてん) appears as a separate character (シ゛) rather than as part of the preceding character (ジ) . The 半濁点(はんだくてん) would appear similarly (ヒ゜ instead of ピ, for example). Note also that the small kana are written full-sized (キヨ instead of キョ).


To the left is a receipt from a convenience store received in 2000. Although the cash register is able to print kanji and full-width hiragana (as in おむすび), the katakana continue to be written half-width. Note, for example, that "7-Eleven Low-Fat Milk" is given approximately as


rather than as


This continuing use of half-width katakana even in a system that can handle the full Japanese character set is curious.

(On the receipt, unlike in the above example, each katakana character, including the ゛ and ゜ diacritics, is exactly half the width of the kanji or hiragana.)

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