Tìngäzìk: a Retrospective – ep. 15 “Hentaigana”

Hentaigana #unicode #japanese

Expected solvable difficulty

  • nohint+: experienced solvers with Japanese proficiency
  • keywords+: most solvers

Level design

This question has nothing to do with Hentai, pervert or anime.

Hentaigana is a from of hiragana that was not standardized in the 1900 orthography reform of Japan. This set of characters, being relatively new in Unicode (version 10 in 2010), and as an alternative way to write Japanese, is lesser known to the most.

The main question – 𛄃𛂜𛁒𛀦𛄜 (呂能世支遠, ろのせきを) – is chosen for their similarity with the standardized Hiragana それをよを.

First sample question – 𛄋𛂈𛃩𛃳𛂉𛁄𛂞𛂪𛂟𛀘𛂃 (王二与李仁八日半加菜, わによりにしはひはかな) is chosen for their close resemblance of their base Hànzì. These characters are arranged in a way that sounds like making sense in modern Chinese, but actually doesn’t.

The following sample questions – 𛁛𛂦゙ (楚者, そば) and 𛀊𛂀𛀥゙ (宇奈幾,  うなぎ) – can be found in some soba and unagi restaurants in Japan.


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