I feel like the R sound in the Japanese syllabary is less closely related to the English R(which is voiced), and is more like what an unvoiced “D” would be like, if we had it.
As little actual practice as I have with the Japanese language, I find, after studying it, I avoid saying the English “R” if at all possible. Not just because it isn’t Japanese, but because it’s actually kind of a pain to voice. It’s a relief not having to say it.
Again, my knowledge of linguistics in general is exceedingly poor, but it seems like the hard English R doesn’t seem to have much presence in many other languages, either. Though, oddly enough, English speakers lack smoothly rolled “R” present in many other languages.
I wonder if it’s related? Also, “syllabary” is perhaps the most difficult word to spell I’ve come across since tripping through the various “I before E, except…” abominations in my school days…