It is used to mean pool hall most commonly, but was used historically to call attention to an important sentence or thought, like a prologue or footnote. In contrast to English, footnotes are placed directly in the text, not the bottom of the page. The kome has the exact same purpose as an asterisk.
Its Korean name, chamgopyo (Korean: 참고표), literally means "reference mark". It is also informally called danggujangpyo (당구장표; lit. billiard hall mark), as the symbol is often used to indicate the presence of pool halls, with two crossed strokes indicating two cue sticks and four dots indicating four billiard balls.
In Unicode, the symbol is available at code point U+203B ※ REFERENCE MARK (HTML
- Jan M. Ziolkowski (2018). The Juggler of Notre Dame and the Medievalizing of Modernity. p. 47. ISBN 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.
- Japanese in a Flash. 2.