Season 5 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has a group called the Confederacy. When their off world site is shown it has a set of changing Japanese characters on an electronic display in the background.

The characters are just nonsense, they don't seem to say anything. No one in the Confederacy or on the show speaks Japanese. Besides they are aliens.

So why are they there?

  • 3
    You mean you did not know that aliens invented Japanese characters? They also built the pyramids and Stonehenge.
    – Adamant
    Jun 17, 2020 at 19:30
  • 3
    Pics or it didn't happen! :)
    – DavidW
    Jun 17, 2020 at 19:54
  • As @DavidW said, do you have screen shots? Or at least an episode number?
    – Kevin
    Jun 17, 2020 at 21:04
  • Several episodes in season 5. I'll try to get a screenshot.
    – user
    Jun 17, 2020 at 21:50

1 Answer 1


I assume you're talking about these hieroglyphs:

enter image description here

These characters are not Japanese. We can assume this is some kind of alien writing.

I couldn't find a good confirmation, but some of those look like letters of Kree alphabet (twitter link, for the lack of a better source), featured in the "Guardians of the Galaxy" and "Captain Marvel".

UPDATE: The similar writing is featured in episode 21:

Kree letters

Deke recognizes is as Kree, but he can't read it.

This supports the Kree alphabet theory.

  • They are Japanese. Sometimes rotated but they are Japanese. The bottom far right is "ru", the bottom far left is "se" but mirrored. I saw a few kanji too. They are stylized but all are Japanese.
    – user
    Jun 21, 2020 at 9:06
  • @user Perhaps you're right and there're some overlaps (Kree letter "O" in the top right corner doesn't look like any Japanese symbol to me). What I'm saying is that they're not necessarily Japanese. And kanji doesn't make much sense, plotwise. Jun 21, 2020 at 10:00
  • Seems like the Kree write in Japanese because that second screenshot says something like "ta ru mu/chi ru ru u" (bit dark at the end).
    – user
    Jun 22, 2020 at 15:30
  • @user not sure about Japanese, but in Kree, it says "HANGAR" Aug 16, 2020 at 19:43
  • 1
    It's also possible that Asian pictograms might have been influenced by samples of Kree writing in their past.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Sep 9, 2022 at 12:47

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