- 〻 (in vertical writing)
One theory holds that it is simplified from 仝, a variant of 同 (“same (used as iteration mark)”), written in cursive.
- (in horizontal writing, informal) An iteration mark denoting the repetition of the previous hanzi.
In Japanese, the symbol 々 is used in any kind of writing. In Chinese, it is sometimes used in casual horizontal writing (or calligraphy) to indicate a repeated character, but not in formal writing or in print. More often, 〻 is used (though still only casually), or sometimes the older 𖿣. Usually, however, the character is simply written twice, without the use of any of the above symbols.
- 〻 (in vertical writing, now rare)
- An iteration mark denoting the repetition of the previous kanji; the repeated character does not necessarily have the same pronunciation as the first due to rendaku.
- 黙々 (mokumoku, “silent, mute, tacit”)
- 早々 (hayabaya, “promptly”)
- 佐々木 (sasaki, “Sasaki (a Japanese surname)”)
- 昔々 (mukashimukashi, “once upon a time”)
- 時々 (tokidoki, “occasionally, sometimes”)
- 久々 (hisabisa, “long-absent”)
- 色々 (iroiro, “various”)
- 犬々 (inuinu, “dogs”)
- 日々 (hibi, “daily”)
- 島々 (shimajima, “islands”)
- 所々 (tokorodokoro, “here and there”)
- 人々 (hitobito, “people”)
In Japanese, this mark is formally called 漢字返し (kanji-gaeshi, “kanji repeater”) or 同の字点 (dō no jiten, “same-character mark”). More casually, it is called noma since it looks like a ligature of the katakana ノマ (noma), 繰り返し (kurikaeshi, “repeating”), 同じ (onaji, “same”, noun), or 同じく (onajiku, “same”, adverb).
々 is generally used within a word, and not between words. For example, 小学校校長 (shōgakkō kōchō, “president of elementary school”) will not change into *小学校々長 (shōgakkō kōchō). There are some exceptions:
- in very common words such ほげほげ町々会 (Hogehogechō chōkai, “Foobar Town town meeting”)
- if reduplication of the same kanji may imply that something that should happen once will happen again. For example, 結婚式式場 (kekkonshiki shikijō, “wedding ceremony ceremony site”) may be misconstrued to mean two wedding ceremonies (and therefore a divorce of the marriage in question), so the second kanji may be replaced by 々.
A distinction may sometimes be made between this mark and the vertical iteration mark 〻, but in modern Japanese, 々 is commonly used in both horizontal and vertical writing.
々 is avoided at the beginnings of lines, and instead, the kanji is simply duplicated. However, this is not true for proper nouns containing 々 (e.g. the name 佐々木), which may straddle a line break.