Hiragana suprise

I was in Okinawa recently and came a cross a sign in Hiragana that had a combination of characters that I hadn’t seen before. I’ve been able to read and write Hiragana for many moons and have only seen it this one time.


When my Japanese friend read it, I thought they were mistaken. It was on a sign and I thought it was とう (tou). The う was small but as it was a sign I just figured it was an artistic rendering. I was like "isn’t that “tou”. They were like "no that’s a chichai う so it’s pronounced とぅ (two). Mind blown. First time for everything.

I don’t recall seeing this in any of the Hiragana charts. Have you?

Here’s the sign for the restaurant for the curious.



Unless they’ve studied Okinawan, I wouldn’t expect people to have.

Imabi has an article on Okinawan script



There’s a トゥ in katakana. It’s how they write トゥモローランド (as in, the Disneyland region).


I was thinking it might be something related to Okinawa specifically because I had never come across it before. Plus, that combination producing that sound seems counter intuitive.

Thanks for the link.

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