Reference mark

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Reference mark
In UnicodeU+203B REFERENCE MARK (komejirushi, chamgopyo)
See alsoU+002A * ASTERISK (*, *)
Handwritten notice in Japanese. Note the komejirushi at the bottom of each page, preceding the footnotes.

The reference mark or reference symbol "※" is a typographic mark or word used in Chinese, Japanese and Korean (CJK) writing.

The symbol was used historically to call attention to an important sentence or idea, such as a prologue or footnote.[1] As an indicator of a note, the mark serves the exact same purpose as the asterisk in English. However, in Japanese usage, the note text is placed directly into the main text immediately after the komejirushi symbol, rather than at the bottom of the page or end of chapter as is the case in English writing.


The Japanese name, komejirushi (Japanese: こめじるし; 米印, pronounced [komedʑiꜜɾɯɕi], lit.'rice symbol'), refers to the symbol's visual similarity to the kanji for "rice" ().[2]

In Korean, the symbol's name, chamgopyo (Korean: 参考表; 참고표), simply means "reference mark". Informally, the symbol is often called danggujangpyo (당구장표; lit.'billiard hall mark'), as it is often used to indicate the presence of pool halls, due to its visual similarity to two crossed cue sticks and four billiard balls.

In Chinese, the symbol is called cānkǎo biāojì (Chinese: 参考标记; lit. 'reference mark') or mǐ xīnghào (Chinese: 米星号; lit. 'rice asterisk' due to its visual similarity to "rice"). It is not often used in Chinese writing.


In Unicode, the symbol has code point U+203B REFERENCE MARK

See also[edit]

  • Syncword – "Preamble" to communications message data after a header, also called reference signal or midamble in wireless communications.
  • Dagger (mark) – Symbol († ‡) for footnotes etc


  1. ^ Jan M. Ziolkowski (2018). The Juggler of Notre Dame and the Medievalizing of Modernity. p. 47. ISBN 978-1783744367. […] The Japanese komejirushi ("rice symbol"), so called for its similarity to the kanji for kome ("rice") and used in Japanese writing to denote an important sentence or thought.
  2. ^ Millen, John (15 April 2008). Japanese in a Flash. Vol. 2. ISBN 9781462915385.