Strange XIX century symbol for の

On this weekend, I went with my friends to the museum hosting the exhibition of 浮世絵 by 葛飾 北斎 (Katsushika Hokusai). It was amazing :slight_smile:

One of the famous series of Hokusai’s works is “36 views of Mt. Fuji” 富嶽三十六景. But while looking at the pictures’ titles one thing caught my attention - a character I’ve never seen before.

Some of the pictures used katakana ノ - like this 礫川雪の旦こいしかわゆきのあした


But then there’s this picture - 隠田の水車おんでんのすいしゃ

And here の is represented by symbol I’ve never seen before:

What is it? Some obscure kanji? Non-standard kana?


It’s probably one of the Manyogana for の


hm honestly looks almost exactly like 之 turned sideways but ive got no idea why it would be sideways so that doesn’t really make sense lol.

EDIT: Wait im a retard its 乃 lol

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Following @plantron 's lead I did some searching, went from manyogana to hentaigana and it seems that the mysterious symbol is one of the hentaigana for の:

It’s perhaps the fourth one.

BTW in this rendition it looks very similar to capital cursive H that I learned at elementary school :wink:


Yeah I saw it as 乃 in the title of one thing but looking into it it specifically looks like the 能 変体仮名

If you want some more, you can take a look at htis


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