Cool stylistic technique by 東野圭吾

I’m reading my first story by Keigo Higashino, and he does this really cool thing when introducing Japanese characters. The first time the character is mentioned, their name is written in katakana, and only after that kanji is used. This makes the reading flow easier and eliminates the need for furigana. It’s the little things.

For example ミヤハラ → 宮原

Does anyone know if this stylistic technique is unique to Higashino or do other authors use it as well?


Personally, I don’t think that I’ve seen this style before. But then again, I don’t exactly have the most vast library of books read to make such a claim.

I’ve seen it before, where characters mentioned in monilogue get addressed with a name in katakana, but they get formally introduced later with kanji in dialogue. I think that is because the narration changes. This was in yoru cafe I believe.

Personally I just prefer using furigana every now and then. This is something I see used as a way of teaching, although it’s not limited to textbooks like tobira.


What are you reading. :eyes:

This hot off the press collection of short stories by contemporary Japanese writers. I’m midway through the fourth story, by Higashino.


Why? I think it’s so much nicer to just read it right away via katakana and then see the kanji later.

Perhaps it’s just personal preference, but I thought it was a cool schtick.

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I’ve occasionally seen ‘A’s name is in hiragana until character B asks A “how do you write that?” and A does the “it’s these kanji” explanation, and then after that it’s in kanji’, I think – especially if the book’s narration is written from B’s perspective. Don’t recall seeing a katakana version, though.

I think as a learner I find first-use-has-furigana more convenient – that way when I forget I can flip back to age 10 or whatever and scan the page for the kanji of the name I’m looking for, and the reading is right there next to them rather than a few lines of dialogue further back. The few books with a table of dramatis personae in the front are even more convenient :slight_smile:


Because after a few chapters I’ll probably forget a name or two if they haven’t showed up in a while, so the reminder is helpful.