The Letters

The origin of the letters

The creation of the letters has been inspired by the symbol “Manji”, which is rooted deep into the Japanese culture. Different from the widely known Swastika’s symbol, the “Manji” symbol has its arms contrariwise, as shown in the figure.

By dissolving this symbol can be earned a considerable amount of different characters (with up left arms, up right, down left, down right, small or long lines, horizontal or vertical, parallel, single, double, triple etc.)
These characters are assigned to the sounds of the Japanese and Ainu language.

The letters

To create the “Manjikana” system, all the basic characteristics of the Japanese and ainu language, written below, have been taken into account.

1- The Japanese Language

a) Has these types of basic syllables:

  1. V (only vowels)
  2. CV (consonants + vowels)
  3. CyV (consonants + j(y) + vowels)
  4. Vn (vowels + the ending term „n“)
  5. CVn (consonant + vowels + the ending term „n“)
  6. CyVn (consonants + j(y) + vowels + the ending term „n“)
  7. Vx (vowels + stopping point)
  8. CVx (consonant + vowels + stopping point)
  9. CyVx (consonants + j(y) + vowels + stopping point)

b) There are changes between the short and double length vowels.

c) There are palatalized consonants.

d) In some dialects, the sound „v“ (w) appears after the consonant (CwV)

e) In some dialects some combinations are read differently. (ex/ „t“ + „i“ is read „chi“ or „ti“)

f) The accent is essential on the word’s meaning’s behalf.

g) There are 10 vowels, 21 consonants, 1 special „n“ and a stopping point „x“. (33 sounds)

 

2- The Ainu Language

a) Has these types of basic syllables:

  1. V (only vowels)
  2. CV (consonants + vowels)
  3. VC (vowels + consonants)
  4. CVC (consonants + vowels + consonants)

b) In some dialects there are changes between the short and long vowels.

c) The accent is almost never a distinguishable factor on the word’s meaning’s behalf.

d) There are 10 vowels, 11 consonants and 1 throat sound (it’s not written). (22 sounds)

In addition to the characteristics above, also phonetic characteristics of the dialects all over Japan have been taken into consideration, with the aim of the „Manjikana“ not being restricted.

In the distribution of the characters for each sound a few systematic rules have been followed:

  1. All vowels take vertical form.
    1. the vowel „A“ (one line)
    2. the vowel „I“ (two parallel lines)
    3. the vowel „U“ (one line and a small line on the left)
    4. the vowel „E“ (one line and a small line in the middle)
    5. the vowel „O“ (one line and a small line on the right)
  2. All vowels lengthen the same way. Each vowel can be double lengthened by adding a short line on the upper left side.
  3. All consonants take horizontal form.
  4. The consonants, which by phonetic or historic meaning derive from each other have similar forms. This way, 10 groups have been formed.
    1. the consonants “K”, “G(their development goes on the lower right)
    2. the consonants “S”, “Sh”, “Z”, “J(their development goes on the lower left)
    3. the consonants “T”, “Ch”, “Ts”, “D”, “J”, “Dz(their development goes on the upper left)
    4. the consonant “N” (3 parallel lines)
    5. the consonants “H”, “F”, “B”, “P(they derive from 2 parallel or/and distorted lines)
    6. the consonants “M”, “R” (they are symmetric)
    7. the consonants/half vowels “Y”, “W(they are symmetric)
    8. the special consonant “N” (one line)
    9. the stopping point/the empty sound “(x)” (its development goes on the upper right)
    10. There are also two other non-Japanese and non-Ainu sounds that will help with the writing of the integrated words from the neighbours‘ language.
        1. L” (similar to “R”; adding a short line on the left side turned within)
        2. Ng” (its development goes on the lower left and then on the upper right side)