A Proposal for Romanization of Japanese
extending Hepburn System


This document describes how to spell Japanese language with Roman Letters. This is written as a reference to revise ISO 3602.

Syllabary 1

Syllabary 1 is used to spell ordinary Japanese documents.

Syllabary 1 for the native words
a e i o u ya yo yu
a (ア) e (エ) i (イ) o (オ) u (ウ) ya (ヤ) yo (ヨ) yu (ユ)
b ba (バ) be (ベ)bi (ビ) bo (ボ) bu (ブ) bya (ビャ)byo (ビョ)byu (ビュ)
ch cha (チャ) chi (チ)cho (チョ)chu (チュ)
d da (ダ) de (デ) do (ド)
f fu (フ)
g ga (ガ) ge (ゲ)gi (ギ) go (ゴ) gu (グ) gya (ギャ)gyo (ギョ)gyu (ギュ)
h ha (ハ) he (ヘ)hi (ヒ) ho (ホ) hya (ヒャ)hyo (ヒョ)hyu (ヒュ)h (ー)[*1]
j ja (ジャ) ji (ジ) jo (ジョ) ju (ジュ)
k ka (カ) ke (ケ)ki (キ) ko (コ) ku (ク) kya (キャ)kyo (キョ)kyu (キュ)
m ma (マ) me (メ)mi (ミ) mo (モ) mu (ム) mya (ミャ)myo (ミョ)myu (ミュ)
n na (ナ) ne (ネ)ni (ニ) no (ノ) nu (ヌ) nya (ニャ)nyo (ニョ)nyu (ニュ)n (ン)[*2]
p pa (パ) pe (ペ)pi (ピ) po (ポ) pu (プ) pya (ピャ)pyo (ピョ)pyu (ピュ)
q qa (ア) qe (エ)qi (イ) qo (オ) qu (ウ) qya (ヤ) qyo (ヨ) qyu (ユ) q (ッ)[*3]
r ra (ラ) re (レ)ri (リ) ro (ロ) ru (ル) rya (リャ)ryo (リョ)ryu (リュ)
s sa (サ) se (セ) so (ソ) su (ス)
sh sha (シャ) shi (シ)sho (ショ)shu (シュ)
t ta (タ) te (テ) to (ト)
ts tsu (ツ)
w wa (ワ)
z za (ザ) ze (ゼ) zo (ゾ) zu (ズ)
[*1] Prolonged Vowels
The letter "h" is used to spell prolonged vowels. The circumflex or the macron is usually substituted for the letter "h". It is omitted in the Japanese passport guideline. Prolonged vowels are sometimes spelled as double vowels or follow Japanese orthography.
[*2] The Nasal Syllable
The letter "n" is used to spell the nasal syllable. The letter "m" may be substituted for the letter "n" before the letter "b", "m", or "p".
[*3] The Glottal Stop
The leter "q" is used to spell the glottal stop. When the glottal stop is located before a consonant, it usually changes to a prolonged consonant. The letter "q" followed by a consonant may be replaced with double consonants as "kk", "pp", "ss" or "tt". Exceptionally, the consonant "ch" follows "t" as "tch". When a vowel or a semivowel needs to start a new syllable at the middle of a word, the glottal stop letter "q" may be inserted to avoid ambiguity. A vowel is "a", "e", "i", "o", or "u". A semivowel is "y" and sometimes includes "w". The apostrophe is usually substituted for the letter "q". It is omitted in the Japanese passport guideline. If the following exceptional sequences appear. the letter "q" is literally used as the glottal stop.

Syllabary 2

Syllabary 2 is used to spell Japanese documents including loanwords. This syllabary complements most of the blank cells of Syllabary 1.

Syllabary 2 for the loanwords
a e i o u ye yo yu
+ + + + + ye (イェ) + +
ch+ che (チェ)+ + +
d + + di (ディ) + du (ドゥ) dyu (デュ)
f fa (ファ) fe (フェ) fi (フィ) fo (フォ) + fyo (フョ)fyu (フュ)
gwgwa (グァ)gwe (グェ)gwi (グィ)gwo (グォ)
h + + + + hye (ヒェ)+ +
j + je (ジェ) + + +
k + + + + + kye (キェ)+ +
kwkwa (クァ)kwe (クェ)kwi (クィ)kwo (クォ)
n + + + + + nye (ニェ)+ +
s + + si (スィ) + +
sh+ she (シェ)+ + +
t + + ti (ティ) + tu (トゥ) tyu (テュ)
tstsa (ツァ)tse (ツェ)tsi (ツィ)tso (ツォ)+
v va (ヴァ) ve (ヴェ) vi (ヴィ) vo (ヴォ) vu (ヴ) vyo (ヴョ)vyu (ヴュ)
w + we (ウェ) wi (ウィ) wo (ウォ)
z + + zi (ズィ) + +

Syllabary 3

Syllabary 3 is used to spell the classic Japanese documents or the grammatical documents. This syllabary represents the real sound of the Kana script, when it was invented.

Syllabary 3 for the classic words
a e i o u ya yo yu
d + + di (ヂ)*+ du (ヅ)*dya (ヂャ)dyo (ヂョ)dyu (ヂュ)*(*1)
gwgwa (グヮ)** * * (*2)
h + + + + hu (フ) + + +
kwkwa (クヮ)** * * (*2)
s + + si (シ)*+ + sya (シャ)syo (ショ)syu (シュ) (*3)
t + + ti (チ)*+ tu (ツ)*tya (チャ)tyo (チョ)tyu (チュ)*(*3)
w + we (ヱ)*wi (ヰ)*wo (ヲ)* (*2)
z + + zi (ジ)*+ + zya (ジャ)zyo (ジョ)zyu (ジュ) (*3)


palatalvelar glottal
voiceless plosive p t k q
voiced plosive b d g
voiceless affricate ts ch
voiceless fricativef s sh h
voiced fricative v z j
nasal m n
lateral approximant r
approximant w y
high i u
middlee o
low a
Kana Syllabary and the Order
a i u e o kakikukekosashisusesotachitsutetonaninuneno
hahifuhehomamimumemoya yu yorari ru rerowawi wewon