- Japanese dictionary
Japanese dictionaries have a history that began over 1300 years ago when
Japanese Buddhistpriests, who wanted to understand Chinese sutras, adapted Chinese characterdictionaries. Present-day Japanese lexicographers are exploring computerized editing and electronic dictionaries. According to Keisuke Nakao:
After introducing some Japanese "dictionary" words, this article will discuss early and modern Japanese dictionaries, demarcated at the 1603 CE lexicographical sea-change from "
Nippo Jisho", the first bilingual Japanese-Portuguese dictionary. "Early" here will refer to lexicography during the Heian, Kamakura, and Muromachi periods (794-1573); and "modern" to Japanese dictionaries from the Edo or Tokugawa era (1603–1867) through the present.
First, it will be useful to introduce some key Japanese terms for dictionaries and
collation(ordering of entry words) that the following discussion will be using.
Wiktionaryuses English "" to define a few synonyms including , , , , and . It also uses "dictionary" to translate six Japanese words.
*"jiten" (, lit. "word reference-work") "dictionary; lexicon; glossary"
*"jiten" (, lit. "character reference-work") "character dictionary"
*"jiten" (, lit. "thing reference-work") "encyclopedia, encyclopedic dictionary"
*"jisho" (, lit. "word book") "dictionary; wordbook; lexicon; glossary"
*"jisho" (, lit. "character book") "character dictionary; dictionary"
*"jibiki" (, lit. "character pull/arrange) "character dictionary; dictionary"The first three
homophonous"jiten" compounds of "ten" ( "reference work; dictionary; classic; canon; model") are Chinese loanwords. However, Chinese distinguishes their pronunciations, avoiding the potential ambiguities of Sino-Japanese "jiten": "cídiǎn" 辞典 "word dictionary", "zìdiǎn" 字典 "character dictionary", or "shìdiǎn" 事典 "encyclopedia". The usual Japanese word for "encyclopedia" is "hyakka jiten" (百科事典 "100/many subject dictionary", see Japanese encyclopedias). The "jiten", "jisho", and "jibiki" terms for dictionaries of " kanji" "Chinese characters" share the element "ji" ( "character; graph; letter; script; writing").
Lexicographical collation is straightforward for
romanizedlanguages, and most dictionaries enter words in alphabetical order. In contrast, the Japanese writing system, with "kanji", " hiragana", and " katakana", creates complications for dictionary ordering. University of Arizona professor Don C. Bailey (1960:4) discusses how Japanese lexicography differentiates semantic, graphic, and phonetic collation methods, namely:
*"bunruitai" (分類体 "classification form") "semantic collation; grouping words with similar meanings; thesaurus-like organization"
*"jikeibiki" (字形引き "character shape arrangement") "logographic collation; organizing "kanji" dictionaries by radicals (recurring graphic components)"
*"onbiki" (音引き "pronunciation arrangement") "phonetic collation; organization by the Japanese
syllabaryin " iroha" or " gojūon" ordering"In general, "jikeibiki" organization is for a readers' dictionary, "bunruitai" for a writers' dictionary, and "onbiki" for both types.
The Japanese writing system originated with the introduction of
Chinese charactersaround the 4th century CE, and early Japanese dictionaries developed from Chinese dictionariescirca the 7th century CE. These three Japanese collation systems were borrowed and adapted from Chinese character dictionaries.
The first, and oldest, Chinese system of collation by
semantic field(for instance, "birds" or "fish") dates back to the ca. 3rd century BCE " Erya". Only a few dictionaries like the " Xiao Erya", " Guangya", and " Piya" used semantic collation. This system is inefficient looking up a word unless the dictionary user already knows its meaning; imagine, for example, using Roget's Thesauruswithout an alphabetical index. "Bunruitai" collation is obsolete among modern Japanese dictionaries, with the exception of thesauri.
The second system of dictionary collation by radicals (Chinese "bushou", Japanese "bushu", 部首 "section headers") originated with the 121 CE "
Shuowen Jiezi". Japanese dictionaries followed the Chinese example of reducing the number of radicals: original 540 ("Shuowen Jiezi"), adjusted 542 (" Yupian"), condensed 214 (" Zihui", " Kangxi Zidian"), and abridged 189 (" Xinhua Zidian"). Japanese "jikeibiki" collation by radical and stroke ordering is standard for character dictionaries, and does not require a user to know the meaning or pronunciation beforehand.
The third Chinese system of ordering by pronunciation is evident in a
rime dictionary, which collates the characters by tone and rime. The 601 CE " Qieyun" is the oldest extant Chinese dictionary collated by pronunciation, and was expanded in the " Guangyun" and " Jiyun". The shortcoming of this unwieldy tone-rime method is that a user needs to know, or guess, the pronunciation of a character in order to look it up. The modern Chinese dictionary improvement is alphabetical collation by " pinyin" romanization. Japanese "onbiki" dictionaries historically changed from poetic "iroha" to practical "gojūon" ordering. Compare the former pangrampoem ("i-ro-ha-ni-ho-he-to, chi-ri-nu-ru-wo", … "Although flowers glow with color, They are quickly fallen, …) with the latter "fifty sounds" 10 consonants by 5 vowels grid ("a-i-u-e-o, ka-ki-ku-ke-ko", …). m
Early Japanese lexicography
The first Japanese dictionaries are no longer extant and only known by titles. For example, the "
Nihon Shoki" (tr. Aston 1896:354) says Emperor Temmuwas presented a dictionary in 682 CE, the "Niina" (新字, "New Characters") with 44 fascicles ("kan" ). The earliest dictionaries made in Japan were not for the Japanese language but rather dictionaries of Chinese characters written in Chinese and annotated in Japanese.
Japanese lexicography flowered during the Heian Period, when
Chinese cultureand Buddhismbegan to spread throughout Japan. During the Kamakura and Muromachi eras, despite advances in woodblock printingtechnology, there was a decline in lexicography that Bailey (1960:22) describes as "a tendency toward simplification and popularization".
The following review of the first major Japanese dictionaries is divided into the above lexicographical "jikeibiki", "bunruitai", and "onbiki" types.
Graphically organized dictionaries
"Jikeibiki" graphic collation began with the oldest extant Japanese dictionary: the circa 835 CE "
Tenrei Banshō Meigi", edited by the Heian monk and scholar Kūkai. It enters approximately 1,000 characters under 534 radicals, and each entry gives the seal scriptcharacter, Chinese fanqiereading, and definition (usually copied from the "Yupian"), but does not give native kun'yomiJapanese readings.
The first dictionary containing Japanese readings of "kanji" was the circa 900 "
Shinsen Jikyō", which the editor Shōjū (昌住) compiled from the "Yupian" and "Qieyun". It enters 21,300 characters, giving both Chinese and Sino-Japanese readings, and cites many early Japanese texts. Internal organization innovatively combines "jikeibiki" and "bunruitai" methods; a simplified system of 160 radicals is ordered semantically (e.g., 5-7 are Rain, Air, and Wind).
The circa 1100 Buddhist "
Ruiju Myōgishō" dictionary lists over 32,000 characters and compounds under 120 radicals. The structure and definitions closely follow the Chinese "Yupian" and "Qieyun". This Heian reference work gives both Sino-Japanese and Japanese readings for "kanji", usually with Kanbunannotations in citations from Chinese classic texts.
The circa 1245 "
Jikyōshū" collates Chinese characters primarily by the 542 "Yupian" radicals and secondarily by semantic headings adapted from the "Iroha Jiruishō". This Kamakura dictionary, edited by Sugawara no Tamenaga (菅原為長), exists in 3, 7, and 20 fascicle editions that have convoluted textual histories.
The next "jikeibiki" collated dictionary of "kanji" was the circa 1489 "
Wagokuhen". This "Japanese "Yupian" was based on the Chinese "Yupian", actually the 1013 "Daguang yihui Yupian" (大廣益會玉篇, "Expanded and Enlarged "Yupian"), which was current in Muromachi Japan. The "Wagokuhen" went through dozens of editions, which collate entries through various systems of (from 100 to 542) radicals, without any overt semantic subdivisions.
Two historical aspects of these logographically arranged Japanese "jikeibiki" dictionaries are reducing the number of radicals and semantically ordering them. The radical systems ranged from 542 (the "Yupian"), 534, 160, 120, down to 100. Both the "Shinsen Jikyō" and "Jikyōshū" refined logographic categorization with "bunruitai"-type arrangements. While Chinese dictionaries have occasional examples of semantically ordered radicals (for instance,
Kangxi radicals38 and 39 are Woman and Child), Japanese lexicography restructured radicals into more easily memorable sequences.
emantically organized dictionaries
Japanese "bunruitai" semantic collation of dictionaries began with the 938 CE "
Wamyō Ruijushō", compiled by Minamoto no Shitagō (源順). This Heian dictionary adapts the ancient Chinese "Erya" dictionary's 19 semantic categories into 24 Japanese headings with subheadings. For instance, Heaven and Earth is subdivided into Stars and Constellations, Clouds and Rain, Wind and Snow, etc.The character entries give source citations, Chinese pronunciations, definitions, and Japanese readings in the ancient " Man'yōgana" character system.
The circa 1444 "
Kagakushū" was an anonymous Muromachi era Japanese language dictionary or encyclopedia that defined some 3000 words into 18 semantic categories. It was designed for the literate public rather than for priests and literati, and was reissued many times.
Phonetically organized dictionaries
Japanese "onbiki" phonetic collation began during the late Heian Period. The circa 1144–1165 CE "
Iroha Jiruishō" was the first dictionary to group entries in the "iroha" order. Words are entered by 47 first " kana" syllables, each subdivided into 21 semantic groups.
The circa 1468 "
Setsuyōshū" was a popular Muromachi dictionary collated in "iroha" order and subdivided into 12 (later 13) semantic categories. It defined current Japanese vocabulary rather than borrowed Sino-Japanese compounds, and went through many editions and reprints.
The 1484 "
Onkochishinsho" was the first Japanese dictionary to collate words in modern "gojūon" rather than conventional "iroha" order. This Muromachi reference work enters about 13,000 words, first by pronunciation and then by 12 subject classifications.
All three of these "onbiki" dictionaries adapted the "bunruitai" method to collate primarily by first syllable and secondarily by semantic field. This is comparatively less efficient than modern Japanese dictionaries with single-sorting "gojūon" collation by first syllable, second syllable, etc.
Modern Japanese lexicography
The development of early Japanese lexicography from Chinese-Japanese dictionaries has cross-linguistic parallels, for instance, early English language lexicography developed from Latin-English dictionaries. Nonetheless, modern Japanese lexicography adapted to an unparalleled second foreign wave from Western language dictionaries and romanization.
Nanban tradePeriod (1543–1650 CE) when Japan was opened to Europeans, the JesuitMission Press published two groundbreaking dictionaries. The 1598 monolingual " Rakuyōshū" (落葉集, "Collection of Fallen Leaves") gave Sino-Japanese and native Japanese readings of characters, and introduced the small raised circle ("handakuten" 半濁点) to indicate the "p" sound (compare "ha" は and "pa" ぱ). The 1603–1604 bilingual Japanese-Portuguese " Nippo Jisho" or "Vocabvlario da Lingoa de Iapam" dictionary is still cited as an authority for early Japanese pronunciation. The year 1604 was at the beginning of the Edo Period and also, as Nakao (1998:37) points out, the date of the first monolingual English dictionary, the Table Alphabeticall.
SakokuPeriod (1641–1853) when Japan was closed to foreigners, with the exception of the Dutch East India Company, " Rangaku" ("Dutch/Western learning") influenced Japanese lexicography through bilingual Japanese and Dutch dictionaries. Another notable publication was the 1712 " Wakan Sansai Zue" encyclopedia, which was based on the 1609 Chinese Sancai Tuhui.
Japanese language dictionaries
"Kokugo jiten/jisho" (国語辞典/辞書 "national language dictionary") means "Japanese-Japanese dictionary, monolingual Japanese dictionary". This "national language" term "kokugo", which Chinese borrowed as "
guoyu", usually refers to the Japanese language as taught in Japanese schools. "Nihongo jisho" (日本語辞書 "Japanese language dictionary") is a neologism that contrasts Japanese with other world languages. There are hundreds of "kokugo" dictionaries in print, ranging from huge multivolume tomes to paperback abridgments. According to Japanese translator Tom Gally (1999:n.p.), "While all have shortcomings, the best "kokugo" dictionaries are probably among the best reference works in existence in any language."
The Edo "
Kokugaku" scholar Tanigawa Kotosuga(谷川士清, 1709–1776) began compilation of the first full-scale Japanese language dictionary, the "Wakun no Shiori" or "Wakunkan" (和訓栞 "Guidebook to Japanese Pronunciations"). This influential 9-volume dictionary of classical Japanese words was posthumously completed and finally published in 1887.
The first truly modern Japanese language dictionary was edited by the grammarian and English translator
Ōtsuki Fumihiko, who used Webster's Dictionaryas the model for his pioneering "Genkai" (言海 "Sea of Words, 1889–1891)". His revised 5-volume "Daigenkai" (大言海 "Great/Comprehensive Sea of Words", Fuzanbō, 1932–1937) dictionary continues to be cited for its definitions and etymologies.
The "Daijiten" (大辭典 "Great/Comprehensive Dictionary", Heibonsha 1934-36), edited by Shimonaka Yasaburō (下中彌三郎), is the largest "kokugo" dictionary ever published. The original 26-volume edition, which is still available in condensed versions, entered over 700,000 headwords, listed by pronunciation, and covered a wide variety of Japanese vocabulary.
Nihon Kokugo Daijiten" (Shogakukan, 1972, 1976) is the modern equivalent of the "Daigenkai" and "Daijiten". This multivolume historical dictionary enters about 500,000 headwords, and is currently the most complete reference work for the Japanese language.
The bestselling "kokugo" titles are practical 1-volume dictionaries rather than encyclopedic works like the "Nihon Kokugo Daijiten". For present purposes, they are divided between large-size dictionaries that enter 100,000-200,000 headwords on 2000-3000 pages and medium-size ones with 60,000-100,000 on 1300–1500 pages. The following discussion will introduce the major "kokugo" dictionaries, excepting the numerous smallest editions.
Larger single-volume Japanese language dictionaries are a highly profitable and competitive market for Japanese publishing houses.
Kōjien" ("Wide Garden of Words", Iwanami Shoten, 1955, 5th ed. 1998), edited by Shinmura Izuru (新村出), enters 200,000 headwords. This highly respected dictionary gives definitions in chronological order, which is useful for understanding diachronic semantics. Japanese newspaper editorials commonly cite "Kōjien" definitions as authoritative, but the following dictionaries are sometimes lexicographically superior.
Daijirin" (大辞林 "Great Forest of Words", 1988, Sanseidō, 2nd ed. 1995), edited by Matsumura Akira (松村明), has 233,000 headwords. This highly-evaluated rival of the "Kōjien" gives detailed definitions, and arranges word meanings with the most common ones first, instead of historical order.
Daijisen" (大辞泉 "Great Fountainhead of Words", Shōgakukan, 1995, 2nd ed. 1998), also edited by Matsumura Akira (above), has 220,000 entries, and is practically a twin of the "Daijirin". Two minor improvements are color pictures instead of line artand replacing classical usage citations with contemporary ones.
Nihongo Daijiten" (日本語大辞典 "Great Japanese Dictionary", Kōdansha, 1989, 2nd ed. 1995), edited by Umesao Tadao (梅棹忠夫), enters 175,000 headwords. It is distinguished by numerous color illustrations and occasional English translations. The hefty scale of these larger dictionaries provides comprehensive coverage of Japanese words, but also renders them cumbersome and unwieldy.
Medium single-volume dictionaries have comparative advantages in portability, usability, and price.
Sanseidō Kokugo Jiten" (三省堂国語辞典 "Sanseido's Japanese Dictionary", 1960, 5th ed. 2001), edited by Kenbō Hidetoshi (見坊豪紀), has 76,000 headwords. It emphasizes contemporary usage and includes many colloquialisms.
*The "Iwanami Kokugo Jiten" (岩波国語辞典 "Iwanami's Japanese Dictionary", 1963, 5th ed. 1996), edited by Nisho Minoru (西尾実), has 57,000 headwords. It is marketed as a reliable authority, but sometimes overlooks current terminology.
Shin Meikai Kokugo Jiten" ("New Lucid Japanese Dictionary", Sanseidō, 1972, 6th ed. 2004), edited by Kindaichi Kyōsuke, gives 76,500 entries. This popular and distinctive dictionary achieved notoriety from Akasegawa Genpei's 1996 bestseller that listed many amusingly idiosyncratic definitions.
*The "Meiji Shoin Seisen Kokugo Jiten" (明治書院精選国語辞典 "Meiji Publishing's Selected Japanese Dictionary", 1972, 2nd ed. 1995), edited by Miyaji Yutaka (宮地裕) and Kai Mutsurō (甲斐睦郎), has 50,000 headwords. It includes many uncommon features such as synonyms, antonyms, stroke orders, and
*The "Gendai Kokugo Reikai Jiten" (現代国語例解辞典 "Modern Illustrated Japanese Dictionary", Shōgakukan, 1985. 2nd ed. 1993), edited by Hayashi Ōki (林巨樹), gives 69,000 entries, and includes numerous tables explaining Japanese usage.
*The "Gakken Kokugo Daijiten" (学研国語大辞典 "Gakken's Great Japanese Dictionary", Gakushū Kenkyūsha, 1978, 2nd ed. 1988), edited by Kindaichi Haruhiko (金田一春彦) and Ikeda Yasaburō (池田弥三郎), enters about 120,000 headwords. This was the first Japanese dictionary fully edited with computers, and give illustrative citations from over 350 published sources.Some Japanese publishers sell both a larger dictionary with more archaisms and classical citations as well as a smaller condensation with more modern examples, for instance, Shōgakukan's "Daijisen" and "Gendai Kokugo Reikai Jiten".
Chinese character dictionaries
"Kan-Wa jiten" (漢和辞典 "Kan" ["ji"] Chinese [character] Japanese dictionary") means "Japanese dictionary of "kanji" (Chinese characters)". This unique type of monolingual dictionary enters Japanese borrowings of "kanji" and multi-character compounds ("jukugo" ), but is not a bilingual Chinese-Japanese dictionary. A "Kan-Wa" dictionary headword ("oyaji" 親字 "parent character") entry typically gives variant graphic forms, graphic etymology, readings, meanings, compounds, and idioms. Indexes usually include both radical-stroke and pronunciation ("on" and "kun" readings), and sometimes other character indexing systems like the
four corner method.
The history of "Kan-Wa" dictionaries began with early Japanese references such as the "Tenrei Banshō Meigi" and "Ruiju Myōgishō" (above). In 1716, the Edo author of "
Yomihon", Tsuga Teishō (都賀庭鐘, 1718–1794) published the "Kōki Jiten" (康熙字典), a Japanese version of the " Kangxi Dictionary", which standardized the "Kan-Wa jiten" system of 214 Kangxi radicals. The first dictionary titled with "Kan-Wa" was the "Kan-Wa Daijiten" (漢和大字典 "Great "Kanji"-Japanese Character Dictionary", Sanseidō, 1903), edited by Shigeno Yasutsugu (重野安繹, 1827–1910), founder of the " Shigaku zasshi". The " Daijiten" (大字典 "Great Character Dictionary", Kodansha, 1917), edited by Eida Takei 栄田猛猪, went through numerous reprints.
The best available "Kan-Wa" dictionary is unquestionably
Morohashi Tetsuji's 13-volume " Dai Kan-Wa jiten" ("Great/Comprehensive "Kanji"-Japanese Dictionary", Taishūkan, 1956-60), which contains over 50,000 characters and 530,000 compounds. It was condensed into the 4-volume "Kō Kan-Wa Jiten" (広漢和辞典 "Broad "Kanji"-Japanese Dictionary", Taishūkan, 1982), edited by Morohashi, Kamada Tadashi (鎌田正), and Yoneyama Toratarō (米山寅太郎), which enters 20,000 characters and 120,000 compounds.
The following major "Kan-Wa" dictionaries are presented in the chronological order of their first editions. Note that the numbers of character headwords include variants.
*The "Kan-Wa Daijiten" (漢和大字典 "Great "Kanji"-Japanese Character Dictionary", Gakken, 1978), edited by Todo Akiyasu (藤堂明保), enters 20,000 headwords and 120,000 compounds.
*The "Kadokawa Daijigen" (角川大字源 "Kadokawa's Great Source of Characters", 1992), edited by Ozaki Yūjirō (尾崎雄二郎), gives 12,300 characters and 100,000 compounds.
*The "Dai Kangorin" (大漢語林 "Great Forest of Chinese", Taishūkan, 1992), edited by Kamada Tadashi and Yoneyama Toratarō, includes 13,938 characters and 100,000 compounds.
*The "Shin Daijiten" (新大字典 "New "Daijiten", Kōdansha, 1993), edited by Ueda Kazutoshi (上田万年), enters 21,094 characters and 110,000 compounds, and is a modern revision of the "Daijiten".
*The "Jitsū" (字通 "Mastery of Characters", Heibonsha, 1996), edited by Shirakawa Shizuka (白川静), includes 9,500 characters and 22,000 compounds, collated by pronunciation in "gojūon" order. It combines two other Heibonsha dictionaries edited by Shirakawa, the etymological "Jitō" (字統, 1994) and the phonological "Jikun" (字訓, 1995).
*The "Taishūkan Gendai Kan-Wa Jiten" (大修館現代漢和辞典 "Taishukan's Modern "Kanji"-Japanese Dictionary", 1996), edited by Kimura Shūji (木村秀次) and Kurosawa Hiromitsu (黒沢弘光), enters 7500 characters and 25,000 compounds.
*The " Gojūon Biki Kan-Wa Jiten" (五十音引き漢和辞典 "Kanji"-Japanese Dictionary Indexed by the Fifty Sounds", Sanseido, 2004), edited by Okimori Takuya (沖森卓也), gives 6,300 characters and 30,000 compounds, collated by pronunciation (like the "Jitsū") rather than radical.
"Kan-Ei jiten" (漢英辞典 "Kanji"-English dictionary") refers to a character dictionary designed for English-speaking students of Japanese. The prototype was hastily compiled during wartime; the "Beginner's Dictionary of Chinese-Japanese Characters" (Harvard University Press, 1942, Dover reprint, 1977), edited by Arthur Rose-Innes, enters about 5000 "kanji". There are currently four major "Kan-Ei" dictionaries.
*"The Modern Reader's Japanese-English Character Dictionary" (最新漢英辞典, Tuttle, 1962, 2nd ed. 1974), edited by
Andrew Nelsonand commonly called "Nelson's dictionary", enters a total of 5,446 characters (including variants) and 70,000 compounds. It is collated through an idiosyncratic "Radical Priority System" reorganization of the 214 Kangxi radicals.
*The "Japanese Character Dictionary With Compound Lookup via Any Kanji" (漢英熟語リバース字典, Nichigai, 1989), edited by Mark Spahn and Wolfgang Hadamitzky, lists 7,054 characters and nearly 47,000 compounds, collated under a simplified system of 79 radicals. This "reverse dictionary" cross-references compounds by their component characters; for instance, the "ten" 典 headword lists compounds including "jiten" (辞典"dictionary") under the second position, "hyakka jiten" (百科事典 "encyclopedia") under the fourth, etc.
*The "New Japanese-English Character Dictionary" (新漢英字典, Kenkyūsha, 1990, NTC reprint, 1993), edited by Jack Halpern, enters approximately 3,500 characters, emphasizing etymologies and historical semantics. Primary collation follows a "System of Kanji Indexing by Patterns" (SKIP), but pronunciation and radical indexes are provided. It was revised as "
Kodansha Kanji Learner's Dictionary".
*"The New Nelson Japanese-English Character Dictionary" (新版ネルソン漢英辞典, Tuttle, 1997), edited by John H. Haig, is a complete revision of Nelson's, and includes 7107 characters and 70,000 compounds. It employs a modified "Kangxi" system of 217 radicals, and has a 2000-page "Universal Radical Index" that fully cross-references under each component radical. For example, "tō" or "agari" ( "gallop, prance; soar; rise up") is entered under radical 187 馬 "horse", but is also indexed under radicals 1 一 "one", 12 丷 or 八 "eight", 37 大 "big", and 130 月 "meat; moon".It is noteworthy that all four of these "Ei-Wa" dictionaries attempted to improve upon the traditional radical system, which can be problematical for users, but none of their improvements has been widely accepted.
Japanese and English dictionaries
Since Japanese bilingual dictionaries, which are available for most major world languages, are too numerous to be discussed here, the two cases in point are "Ei-Wa jiten" (英和辞典) "English-Japanese dictionaries" and "Wa-Ei jiten" (和英辞典) "Japanese-English dictionaries".
First, the history of English-Japanese dictionaries began at the end of the Edo period. The English missionary Walter H. Medhurst, who never traveled to Japan, compiled the first bilingual wordbook "An English and Japanese, and Japanese and English Vocabulary" (Batavia, 1830). The Dutch translator Hori Tatsunosuke (堀 達之助), who interpreted for Commodore Perry, compiled the first true English-Japanese dictionary: "A Pocket Dictionary of the English and Japanese Language" (英和対訳袖珍辞書, Yosho-Shirabedokoro, 1862). It was based upon English-Dutch and Dutch-Japanese bilingual dictionaries, and contained about 35,000 headwords.
English-Japanese dictionary publishing flourished during the
Taishō period. Kanda Naibu (神田乃武) used the Century Dictionaryas the basis for his "Mohan [Model] English-Japanese Dictionary" (模範英和大辞典, Sanseidō, 1911). "Saito's Idiomological" [sic] "English-Japanese Dictionary" (熟語本位英和中辞典, Ōbunsha, 1915) was edited by Saito Hidesaburou (斎藤秀三郎). Inoue Jukichi (井上十吉), a graduate of London University, edited "Inouye's English-Japanese Dictionary" (井上和英大辞典, Shiseidō, 1921). "Kenkyusha's New English-Japanese Dictionary on Bilingual Principles" (研究社新英和大辞典, 1927) was edited by Okakura Yoshisaburo (岡倉由三郎).
In the present day, four major English-Japanese dictionaries are available.
*"Iwanami's Comprehensive English-Japanese Dictionary" (岩波英和大辞典, 1970), edited by Nakajima Fumio (中島文雄), has 110,000 headwords.
*"Shogakukan Random House English-Japanese Dictionary" (小学館ランダムハウス英和大辞典, 1973, 2nd ed. 1994), edited by Konishi Tomoshichi (小西友七), has 345,000 headwords and 175,000 usage examples.
*"Taishukan's Unabridged Genius English-Japanese Dictionary" (ジーニアス英和大辞典, 2001), edited by Konishi Tomoshichi (小西友七) and Minamide Kosei (南出康世), has 255,000 headwords (see Minamide 2002).
*"Kenkyusha's New English-Japanese Dictionary" (研究社新英和大辞典, 6th ed. 2002), edited by Takebayashi Shigeru (竹林滋), has 260,000 headwords.
Second, the history of Japanese-English dictionaries began during the
Meiji Restorationat the end of the Edo period. The American missionary James Curtis Hepburnedited "A Japanese and English Dictionary with an English and Japanese Index" (和英語林集成, Shanghai, American Presbyterian Press, 1867), with 20,722 Japanese-English and 10,030 English-Japanese words, on 702 pages. Although designed to be used by missionaries in Japan, this first Japanese-English dictionary was so popular among the Japanese that nine editions were published by 1910.
"An Unabridged Japanese-English Dictionary, with copious illustrations" (和英大辞典, Sanseido, 1896), edited by Frank Brinkley, Nanjō Bunyū (南条文雄) and Iwasaki Gyōshin (岩崎行親), adapted and expanded Hepburn's dictionary into 1687 pages. It was primarily intended for English-speaking learners of Japanese. Inoue Jukichi also edited "Inouye's Japanese-English Dictionary" (井上英和大辞典, Sanseido, 1909), which was the first dictionary intended for Japanese learners of English. Takenobu Yoshitarō (武信由太郎) edited the authoritative "Takenobu's Japanese-English Dictionary" (武信和英大辞典, Kenkyusha, 1918), which had more coverage and better usage examples than any contemporary dictionaries. It was subsequently revised as "
Kenkyūsha's New Japanese-English Dictionary" (2nd ed. 1931) in order to compete with "A Standard Japanese-English Dictionary" (スタンダード和英大辭典, Taishukwan, 1924), edited by Takehara Tsuneta (竹原常太), with 57,000 headwords and 300,000 examples; and "Saitō's Japanese-English Dictionary" (和英大辭典, Nichi-Eisha, 1928), also edited by Saito Hidesaburo, with 50,000 headwords and 120,000 examples. Kenkyusha's mainstay dictionary is now in its fifth edition, with little contest.
*"Grand Concise Japanese-English Dictionary" (グランドコンサイス和英辞典, Sanseidō, 2002), has 210,000 headwords and 110,000 usage examples.
*"Kenkyusha's New Japanese-English Dictionary" (新和英大辞典, 5th ed. 2003), edited by Watanabe Toshirō (渡邊敏郎), Edmund R. Skrzypczak, and Paul Snowden, has 480,000 headwords.
"Senmon jiten" (専門辞典 "specialized dictionary") clearly means "
specialized dictionary" and "senmon-go jiten" (専門語辞典 "specialized word dictionary") means "jargon dictionary; technical dictionary". Since specialized Japanese dictionaries are too diverse and numerous to be covered here, four exemplary types are reviewed: dictionaries of old words, current words, loanwords, and thesauri. (See the bibliographies listed under "External links" below for more complete listings of specialized dictionaries.)
"Kogo jiten" (古語辞典 "old word dictionary") means "dictionary of
Classical Japanese." Pre-modern or Classical Japanese can vary considerably from the modern language, and "kogo" dictionaries are essential for anyone reading historical texts.
*"Kadokawa Kogo Daijiten" (角川古語大辞典, 1982–1999, 5 vols.), ed. Nakamura Yukihiko, is the most comprehensive, with 80,000 classical words, including many proper names
*"Jidaibetsu Kokugo Daijiten" (時代別国語大辞典, Sanseido, 1967–2000, 5 vols.) has a total of 70,000 headwords, with diachronic distinctions in semantics
*"Shōgakkan Kogo Daijiten" (小学館古語大辞典, 1994), ed. Nakada Norio, has 55,000 headwords compiled from the "Nihon Kokugo Daijiten"
"Ryūkōgo jiten" (流行語辞典 "current/fashionable word dictionary") is a specialized wordbook of
catch-phrases and buzzwords. Japan, like most other countries, continually creates new and ephemeral terms. Three publishers put out annual paperback dictionaries that cover the latest native coinages and foreign borrowings.
*"Gendai Yōgo no Kiso Chishiki" (現代用語の基礎知識, Jiyū Kokuminsha, 1948-)
*"Jōhō Chishiki Imidas" (情報知識イミダス, IMIDAS [Innovative Multi-Information Dictionary, Annual Series] , Shūeisha, 1987-)
*"Chiezō" (知恵蔵, Asahi Shinbunsha, 1990-)
"Gairaigo jiten" (外来語辞典 "outside words dictionary") means "loanword dictionary". Beginning with Chinese borrowings, the Japanese language has imported many foreign loanwords and abbreviations. Here are some of the best "gairaigo" dictionaries.
*"Kihon Gairaigo Jiten" (基本外来語辞典, Tōkyōdō, 1990), ed. Ishiwata Toshio
*"Kankōchō no Katakanago Jiten" (官公庁のカタカナ語辞典, Sanseidō, 1994), ed. Shimokawabe Jun, 10,000 headwords
*"Ryakugo Daijiten" (略語大辞典, Maruzen, 2nd ed. 2002), ed. Kato Daisuke
*"Konsaisu Katakanago Jiten" (コンサイスカタカナ語辞典, Sanseidō, 2004), 47,400 "katakana" words" and 7,800 acronyms
"Ruigo jiten" (類語辞典 "categorized word dictionary") means "thesaurus," synonymous with Japanese "ruigigo jiten" (類義語辞典 "categorized meaning word dictionary") and the English loanword "shisōrasu" (シソーラス).
*"Kadokawa Ruigo Shin Jiten" (角川類語新辞典, 1981), ed. Ōno Susumu, 49,000 entries
*"Ruigo Dai Jiten" (類語大辞典, Kodansha, 2002), ed. Shibata Takeshi, 76,000 entries
*"Nihongo Dai Shisōrasu" (日本語大シソーラス, Taishukan, 2003), ed. Yamaguchi Tsubasa, 200,000 entries
*"Sanseidō Ruigo Shin Jiten" (三省堂類語新辞典, 2005), ed. Nakamura Akira, 50,000 entries
Electronic and online dictionaries
"Denshi jisho" (電子辞書 "electronic dictionary") refers either generally to "dictionary software" (on CD-ROM, hard drive, "onrain jisho" オンライン辞書 "online dictionary", etc.) or specifically to "a dedicated PDA-type dictionary" also known as a "denshi jiten" (電子辞典, ).
The specific meaning of handheld "
electronic Japanese dictionary" became popular in the early 1980s. Modern stand-alone dictionaries resemble a PDA or small clamshellcomputer. Different manufacturers and models offer various user features, Japanese input methods, and multiple-volume capacities for switching between dictionaries of Modern Japanese, Classical Japanese, "Kanji", English, medical terminology, etc.
The general "denshi jisho" meaning of "dictionary database software" has evolved from early floppies that Japanese users copied onto their local computers to contemporary server-based dictionaries accessible by users with cell phones. Japanese dictionary software is available in either
freewareor commercial versions, both of which are found online.
Many online dictionaries of Japanese are based upon
Jim Breen’s voluntary EDICT(Japanese-English Dictionary) Project, which consists of the 130,000 entry-strong core EDICT file (under Creative Commons license) and associated files such as KANJIDIC for "kanji". Eijirō, another major online database, is targeted primarily at native Japanese speakers, and as such lacks some of the features to make it more accessible to non-native speakers. Here are some major non-commercial online reference sites.
* [http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/wwwjdic.html Jim Breen's WWWJDIC] , primary web interface for EDICT
* [http://www.popjisyo.com/ POPjisyo Dictionary] , pop-up definitions from EDICT
* [http://www.nihongodict.com/ Nihongodict] , interactive interface for EDICT
* [http://www.studyjapanese.org/ StudyJapanese.org] , EDICT and Kanji dictionary in a learning environment
* [http://www.kanjidict.com/ Kiki's Kanji Dictionary] , interface to search and browse EDICT
* [http://www.foks.info/index.html FOKS Intelligent Dictionary Interface] , FOKS (Forgiving Online Kanji Search) EDICT server with fuzzy searching
* [http://www.solon.org/cgi-bin/j-e Jeffrey's Japanese<->English Dictionary] , EDICT and KANJIDIC server with kana, kanji, or romanized Japanese
* [http://japanese.net.tc/ Kanjjidict] , KANJIDICT and EDICT server
* [http://www.jekai.org/ jeKai Japanese-English dictionary] , Tom Gally’s new project to build a free, advanced Japanese-English dictionary
* [http://www.alc.co.jp/ SpaceALC] , an online version of the Eijirō dictionary (Japanese)
Second, many other online and Web dictionaries use commercial software from Japanese print dictionary publishers. Sanseido, for example, sells printed and CD-ROM dictionary versions, leases dictionary software to commercial Websites (especially search engines), and sells subscriptions to their Web Dictionary. Here are some dictionary websites that are popular in Japan.
*ja icon [http://www.excite.co.jp/world/english/ Excite 英和辞書 (English-Japanese dictionary)] , with Kenkyusha's English and Japanese dictionaries, and Sanseido's "Daijirin"
*ja icon [http://translation.infoseek.co.jp/ Infoseek 楽天マルチ翻訳 (Rakuten multi-translator)] , online text or webpage translator using Sanseido dictionaries
*ja icon [http://www.sanseido.net/ 三省堂 (Sanseido) Web Dictionary] , free access to Sanseido's "Daily Concise" dictionaries or subscription access to a dozen more
*ja icon [http://dic.yahoo.co.jp/ Yahoo! Japanの辞書 サービス (dictionary service)] , interface using Shogakukan dictionary software
From these high-tech online reference works, the path of Japanese lexicography extends back to early Chinese character dictionaries compiled by Heian Buddhist priests.
*Aston, William George, tr. 1896. [http://www.sacred-texts.com/shi/nihon0.htm "Nihongi: Chronicles of Japan from the Earliest Times to A.D. 697"] . Kegan Paul.
*Bailey, Don Clifford. (1960). "Early Japanese Lexicography". "Monumenta Nipponica" 16:1-52.
*Gally, Tom. (1999). [http://www.gally.net/translation/kokugo.htm Kokugo Dictionaries 国語辞書] , review article.
*Minamide, Kosei. 2002. [http://kdictionaries.com/newsletter/kdn10-5.html English-Japanese Lexicography and the "Unabridged Genius"] . "Kernerman Dictionary News" 10.
*Nakao Keisuke. (1998). " [http://ijl.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/11/1/35.pdf The state of bilingual lexicography in Japan: learners' English-Japanese/Japanese-English dictionaries] ." "International Journal of Lexicography" 11.1:35-50.
*Okimori Takuya 沖森卓也, et al., eds. (1996). "Nihon jisho jiten" 日本辞書辞典 ("Encyclopedia of Dictionaries Published in Japan"). Tokyo: ISBN 4-273-02890-5 [Review by Michael Carr. (1999). "International Journal of Lexicography" 12:163-176.]
*Smith, Henry. (2005). " [http://www.columbia.edu/~hds2/denshi_jisho.html Report on the Current Generation of Japanese denshi jisho 電子辞書] ". Columbia University.
* [http://dmoz.org/Reference/Dictionaries/World_Languages/J/Japanese/ Dictionaries: Japanese] , Open Directory Project
*ja icon [http://www.let.osaka-u.ac.jp/~okajima/goi.htm 語彙研究・辞書研究("Studies of the words and studies of the dictionaries)] , many 19-20th century copyright expired Japanese dictionaries, mostly images in bigger size pdfs.
* [http://www.lib.duke.edu/ias/eac/words.html Japanese Dictionaries at Duke] , Kristina Kade Troost
* [http://www.ntu.edu.au/education/langs/jpn/rsc/rsc-dict.htm Japanese Resources: Dictionaries] , Paul D. Black
* [http://www.kanjiclinic.com/bookreviews.htm Kanji Clinic book reviews] , Japan Times column
* [http://www.csse.monash.edu.au/~jwb/onlinejdic.html Online Japanese Dictionaries and Glossaries] , Jim Breen
* [http://www.library.pitt.edu/services/classes/eal/dictionary-japan.html Print Resources for Japanese Studies] , University of Pittsburgh Library System
* [http://brneurosci.org/reviews/japanese-dictionaries.html Review: Japanese-English Dictionaries] , T.J. Nelson
* [http://www.columbia.edu/~hds2/BIB95/ch11.htm Words: Japanese Dictionaries] , Helen Baroni and David Bialock
* [http://www.dicts.info/dictlist1.php?l=Japanese Collection of Japanese bilingual dictionaries]
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