Invented by the Japanese women in the 8th century AD, it can express any native Japanese word. It's useful for writing poems like haiku, as it allows only one way of reading, unlike kanji. It is in much heavier use now, as the kanji stops being as remarkable sign of tough knowledge as before. See also Katakana.
An evil system of squiggly little lines that supposedly mean sounds. Only one of three evils (the others being kanji and katakana), you should never bother learning this because you will never use it in "real life".
"Japanese would be a lot simpler if everything was in hiragana."